Every winter I look forward to the arrival of blood oranges at the market. This year I was rather impatient, popping in to my favorite produce place every few days to ask, "Are they here yet?" You see, I've been itching to make blood orange marmalade for months now, and I was beginning to worry it might not happen. But then this week, finally, there they were.
Just in case you are unfamiliar, a blood orange is a kind of orange with ruby-hued flesh. Typically, blood oranges a bit sweeter and juicier than regular oranges, and the flavor can have berry notes. In the United States they are in season from December through March, hitting their peak in February.
As I researched recipes for blood orange marmalade, I came across one in Better Homes & Gardens that incorporated a cup of Beaujolais, a light-bodied, high acid French red wine made from the Gamay grape. Intrigued by how the wine might enhance the flavor and color of my marmalade, I borrowed the idea.
This marmalade has a gorgeous, purple-crimson hue. The flavor is a bit sweeter than traditional marmalade, with notes of raspberry and wine. It would be absolutely delicious sandwiched between layers of almond or polenta cake, or try it with cornmeal biscuits. This recipe makes six half-pint jars. Savor one or two now and squirrel the rest away for Valentine's Day.
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About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.