at some point i opened my fridge last week and precisely 4 apples, 1 orange and 2 lemons sky-dove directly toward my toes and proceeded to spread themselves over the kitchen floor, like insurgents deftly finding their marks.
there were many more behind them waiting for their signal.
i really can’t tell you exactly how i ended up with a bottom shelf loaded with citrus and myriad of kinds of apples (not to mention the quince & cranberries) except for the fact that when i made the move back down to LIC for the winter i grabbed as many apples from local farmers as i could, and the citrus – well whenever i know i’m going to be preserving sweet i need to have them on hand. and there must have been a couple of trips to the co-op or farmstore where i forgot just how many i already had.
ever had that happen?
so this past saturday morning i knew my mission; i sweet-talked a bunch of them and brought them over to the other side.
apple marmalade with rosemary
2 & 1/4 pounds apples – use a mixture if you can*
2 small organic oranges
3 small organic lemons
3 1/2 cups sugar (i use raw)
5 sprigs rosemary
1/2 pint and pint mason jars
yield: approximately 2 & 1/2 pints
1. prepare jars for hot water bath processing. no need to sterilize beforehand, just make sure they are hot.
2. wash and dry lemons and oranges. cut in quarters and slice as thinly as you can, removing the seeds. place citrus slices in a non-reactive (stainless or enameled iron) preserving pot and pour 3 cups cold water over. peel apples, core and chop coarsely, add to pan as you go, making sure to submerge apples. this will keep them from discoloring.
3. bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, just until the citrus slices are soft.
4. turn off heat, add sugar and stir to dissolve. once dissolved add rosemary sprigs, bring to the boil once again, then cook on medium high for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. similar to cooking a fruit butter, you will know it is done when you can run your wooden spoon through the center and you see the bottom of the pot for a split second before the mixture folds back over itself. i do mean just a split second, if you overcook you are in danger of making the marmalade too thick.
6.fish out the rosemary sprigs, most likely they will just be the bare center stems, that’s good! it’s nice to leave the rosemary leaves in the finished marmalade. fill hot jars to 1/4 inch headspace, run a chopstick or plastic knife around the inside of the jar rim to release air bubbles and hot water bath process for 10 minutes.i am in love with this buttery marmalade. it’s tart like a traditional marmalade should be, but the creaminess of the apple is a game-changer. for me there is really no better place for a marmalade to sit than on top of toast and a generous amount of butter. though i can’t help but think for the meat-eaters (organic & humanely raised please) in the bunch this flavor combo would glaze quite deliciously over a more meaty meal.
*if you use a mixture of apples some will cook down completely to create the butter-like texture and some will remain pretty much intact to provide a burst of apple chunkiness smack dab in the center of this tart marmalade. i wish i could tell you exactly what kind i used, but most likely it was a mixture of gala, green pippin, braeburn and jonagold or some-such thereof.