Marmalade (Recipe: beer marinade)
I didn't grow up in a marmalade house.
In fact, apart from JIF peanut butter and Smuckers grape jelly, I don't remember seeing any jams, jellies, preserves or marmalades in my mother's kitchen. Oh, I know that she had the occasional souvenir jar stashed in the back of the cupboard — a homemade treasure brought by a houseguest or friend who'd returned from a road trip to a part of the country where every family "puts things up", and recipes are prized. But I don't think we ever opened them.
My friends grew up in marmalade houses.
Barbara does a great lime preserve, and fig jam, and all sorts of things made from the dozens of varieties of berries she grows on her organic farm in southeastern Massachusetts. Mary makes quince jam from the fruits in her garden. Pauline creates amazing things with rhubarb, as does Lucia with blueberries picked on local Rhode Island farms. Wonderful and delicious, each and every one of these culinary treats.
And yet, surrounded by so much availability and generous friends, my own house still is not a marmalade house.
I always stock orange marmalade in my pantry, but I know so little about preserving fruit that I had to look up the definitions of jam, jelly, preserve, and marmalade. What's the difference? Aren't they all just sticky concoctions, made with fruit and some sort of goo to hold the fruit in suspension?
In part, the difference seems to be degree of density. According to The Food Lover's Companion, jelly is a clear, bright mixture made from fruit juice, sugar, and sometimes pectin; the texture is tender but will be firm enough to hold its shape when turned out of its container. Jam is a thicker mixture of fruit, sugar (and sometimes pectin) that is cooked until the pieces of fruit are very soft and an almost formless puree. Preserves, made from fruit cooked with sugar and pectin, differ from jam in that the chunks of fruit are medium to large, rather than the texture of thick puree.
Marmalade is a preserve containing pieces of fruit rind, especially citrus fruit. The original marmalades were made from quince — the Portuguese word marmelada means "quince jam." Now, however, Seville oranges are the most popular fruit for making marmalade, in part because of their high pectin content.
These days, you can purchase Keiller's Dundee marmalade, in its oh-so-recognizable white ceramic jar, in specialty stores and most larger supermarkets. Keiller's dates back to 1797, when a Spanish ship carrying Seville oranges took refuge in the harbor town of Dundee, Scotland. James Keiller, a local grocer, purchased the cargo; his wife Janet boiled the oranges with sugar to make a tart orange marmalade.
There's always a jar of Dundee marmalade in my refrigerator. Not only is it delicious to eat, but, melted down with a teaspoon of water and put through a sieve, it makes a perfect glaze for fruit tarts. As an ingredient, marmalade finds its way into cakes and more cakes, tarts and more tarts, terrines and tea and cookies to have with your tea. Occasionally, too, marmalade enriches the sauce for a savory dish.
A pantry lover's delight! From the ever-practical Joy of Cooking, this simple marinade for beef or pork would be great with flank steak, cooked under the broiler. Try it on jumbo shrimp, too. Makes 1-2/3 cups, enough for 3 pounds of meat.
Combine all ingredients.