One of my favourite breakfasts is soft-boiled eggs and soldiers followed by an extra piece of toast with marmalade and a pot of earl grey tea. Even better when you’ve made the marmalade yourself! The vanilla adds an extra aromatic and I find the salt in the recipe gives it a bit of balance, as blood oranges are often sweeter than other more traditional marmalade citruses. Use as many or as few blood oranges as you have, as the recipe is easily adapted.
- 10 medium blood oranges
- 2 vanilla beans, sliced lengthways
- 3 tsp river salt, plus 1 pinch extra
- water, to cover
- caster sugar
- ½ lemon, juiced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time overnight
Wash the blood oranges first, as commercially they are often waxed and you don’t really want a waxy marmalade.
Slice your blood oranges in half and then slice across the fruit into 2 mm slices. Place in a bowl, then add the salt and vanilla beans, with the seeds scraped into the orange. Add water until the oranges are just covered.
Leave the bowl covered in the fridge to sit overnight.
When you are ready, weigh the contents of the bowl and then, in a separate bowl, weigh out half the amount of sugar.
Place the oranges and liquid into the widest heavy-based pot you have. Bring the mix to the boil, stir in the sugar and then cook fairly vigorously for about half an hour, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t catch. Be careful, it may spit at you.
Marmalade is ready when it reaches setting point. This is tested by placing a little of the mix onto a small plate that you’ll have ready and waiting for you in the freezer, the plate then going into a fridge until the mix is cold. This lets you see how thick the marmalade will be once it’s cooled.
Once the marmalade comes off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and an extra pinch of salt.
Marmalade can easily be kept in a container in the fridge, but I personally like storing things in jars where they can be admired. Remember to sterilise your jars first.
• When I make marmalade I never bother with taking out the pips as it takes too long and I don’t really mind finding the odd seed. The beauty of blood oranges is that they are often seedless, so this becomes less of a problem.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd. Bowl, The FortyNine.