Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Citrusy Carrot Marmalade

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Because some recipes are so weird I just HAVE to try them.  My curiosity always gets the better of me.

This recipe started as the uniquely creative kind of weird, but wound up a little differently than preferred after an impulsively irreversible decision on my part.  In other words, I unintentionally upped the weird factor.

You see, I was in a bit of a hurry and the marmalade just wouldn't thicken.  Adding pectin was my first choice, and I even had a spare box of pectin on hand, but the amount of soupy orange mixture boiling away on my stove wasn't enough to warrant an entire package of pectin.  What would I do with a partial package of pectin lurking in the pantry?  And so, just before I tore open the package, I stuffed it back in the box, stood tip-toe, and placed it back on the top cupboard shelf.  Soon I spotted a box of unflavored gelatin packets.  My fingers reached into the box, tore open a packet and sprinkled it over the simmering pot.  Blast, why did I do that?

Don't get me wrong, the marmalade thickened beautifully in time to snap a few pictures.  I hurriedly placed the jars in the fridge and left for work.  When I got home it was just as I feared; the marmalade was thick like Jello.

Funny thing, isn't it, how adding gelatin makes things have a Jello-like consistency.   Pectin is for jam making and gelatin is for, well, making gelatin.  I know this, really I do.  I just forgot during the very same split second my fingers decided to sprinkle gelatin into the pot.  And then, as suddenly as I had forgotten, I realized what I had done.  Carrot marmalade turned carrot Jello. Weird.

Okay, actually it's still quite tasty and spreadable like marmalade.  But were I to make it again and in less haste, I wouldn't purposefully add the gelatin.  Carrots provide a naturally vibrant orange color but don't be fooled, this marmalade still shines with sunny citrus flavors.   I especially enjoy the citrus burst when you bite into a strip of orange or lemon peel.  Your kitchen will also smell amazingly refreshing as you slice the orange and lemon.  Spread it on toast, slather it on muffins, spoon it onto scones, wrap it into these citrus rolls with pomegranate and candied ginger. You've got to get your veggies in one way or another.

Citrusy Carrot Marmalade
adapted from Fig and Fauna
1 orange
1 lemon
2 cups water
2 cups loosely packed shredded carrots
2 cups granulated sugar
1 envelope (about 7 grams) unflavored gelatin**

**see post above

* Wash orange and lemon. Slice each in half and cut into very thin slices, 1/8-inch or less.  Cut slices into quarters (or thirds), leaving peel attached but removing any seeds.
* In a large saucepan combine sliced oranges and lemons with water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil 10 minutes. Add carrots and sugar and return to a boil.  Boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes or until mixture is thickened.  While stirring, sprinkle gelatin over surface, and continue stirring until gelatin is dissolved.  Boil and additional 2-3 minutes.  Place in jars or containers and store in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Food for Thought: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas Edison

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