The front yard nectarines are days away from exploding into ripeness. It’s a yearly race to harvest at peaking ripeness, but before the neighbors and dog walkers notice the dangling juicy orbs, denuding the branches of their bounty. In preparation for a potential nectarine jam session (of the Ball jar kind), I’ve been limbering up with a few marmalades. Last weekend was a batch of my favorite mouthwateringly tart lemon marmalade, from Susan Feniger’s Street cookbook. Today, I tested a savory Fennel-Orange Marmalade, only slightly adapted from Cat Cora’s recipe. Almost chutney-like in consistency and flavor, I’m envisioning spoonfuls crowning halibut steaks for July 4th.
Fennel Orange Marmalade
Makes two ½ pint jars Slightly adapted from Cat Cora
Fennel Bulbs, thinly sliced and cored
Small Onion, thinly sliced
Orange, zested, supreme, and chopped
Fresh Ginger, grated (I didn’t include, but think it would benefit from the ginger’s bite.)
Chopped fresh Thyme or to taste
Heat fennel, onion, sugar, juices, and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add zest, chopped orange, and ginger. Simmer for another 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch closely toward the end to ensure marmalade doesn’t burn. Once thickened and gelled, take off heat, add salt and thyme. Use your standard canning process if not consuming within two weeks.
Oh no, I’ve caught myself playing in the kitchen to avoid my “to do” list again.
Saturday day: I baked up batch of apricot, walnut, orange phyllo tartlets. Mmm…smelling like Christmas, they’re difficult to resist. I had to limit my dinner to a 100-calorie bag of popcorn after a full day of sampling.
Saturday evening, I cooked up lemon marmalade from Susan Feniger’s Street Food cookbook. In 2011, after visiting her restaurant, II was smitten with her pucker-worthy marmalade that I found hidden under sour cream and Ukrainian dumplings and attempted my own version, which was lacking tartness and needed tweaking (it was my FIRST canning attempt). I bought her cookbook the other day and realized the marmalade recipe was included so I had to – just had to – try it. Check out that color.
Finally, this morning, I couldn’t get my mind off the final roll of phyllo languishing in the freezer – my mind prodding me with “apple strudel, apple strudel”. One last trip to the store for granny smiths and raisins and the result – walnut apple strudel tartlets.
It is officially Sunday evening and I can pat myself on the back for successfully avoiding all projects scheduled this weekend. I can now walk into the office on Monday stressed over my lack of progress and my growing “to do” list.