This marmalade is for people (like me) who don't care for the bitter quality of traditional marmalades, as none of the white citrus pith is used. Carrots give this a great texture and a bit of natural sweetness, while the orange and lemon zest and juice give it a fresh, citrus flavor. Ginger and coriander provide subtle spice notes. Excellent on toast. —AntoniaJames
4 eight-ounce jars
4 cups grated carrots (about two pounds)
2 cups of sugar (I prefer turbinado raw cane sugar), divided
2 large oranges, preferably organic
4-5 Meyer lemons (enough to produce at least 1/2 cup juice)
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized or candied ginger (See note below.)
3 tablespoons toasted and coarsely ground coriander seeds (measured before grinding)
1/4 cup Curaçao, Cointreau or other orange liqueur (optional)
Zest all of the citrus using a traditional zester, and not a microplane grater. Zest over a cutting surface on which you've sprinkled a few tablespoons of the sugar. Chop the zest and sugar together. Using the side of your knife, remove all of the zest, sugar and juice mixture (as the zest will release a lot of liquid) and put into a large, non-reactive pot.
Juice the lemons and oranges and put the juice in the pot. Save all of the pips (the seeds) and whatever citrus membrane comes out while juicing. Put the pips and membrane into a small cheesecloth bag and add the crushed coriander seed. Tie tightly and add to the pot.
Add the grated carrots, as well as the grated fresh ginger and grated apple. Add 3 cups of water and turn the heat up to medium high.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat somewhat, so that it boils very gently, stirring all the while. Periodically, press gently on the cheesecloth bag to release the pectin. Once the carrots have softened considerably -- which should be within five or six minutes of reaching a boil -- add the remaining sugar.
Continue to cook in this manner, stirring occasionally, for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the marmalade, when a quarter teaspoon or so is put on the back of a frozen silver spoon, wrinkles when you push your finger through it. Depending on how juicy your carrots are, you may need to add some more water to achieve the consistency of marmalade that you prefer. Most of the liquid should be gone and what is left should look like a soft gel. Stir in the liqueur and the crystallized ginger (more or less, to taste) and cook for another minute or so.
Remove the cheesecloth bag and pour the marmalade into sterilized jars. Run a knife around the inside of the jar to release all of the air bubbles, so the marmalade will settle nicely in. Seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Note: Crystallized and candied ginger are much easier to chop if you sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar on your work surface, and then another teaspoon on top of the ginger, before chopping. Add more as you chop, if necessary, to keep the ginger from sticking to the knife blade. ;o)
Please also note that, if you plan to put this marmalade in sealed jars (which won't be refrigerated), the zest is mandatory, not optional. Apart from providing a lot of great flavor, the zest adds to the acidity of the marmalade, which is essential for safe preserving. ;o)
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)