Ah, Runaround Sous. Runaround, Runaround, Runaround. I'll stick to her blog name to lend her an air of intrigue. She'll like that.
A year or two ago I would have cocked my eyebrow at the notion of an internet-facilitated friendship. Hanging out with someone I got to know online? That's just creepy.
And yet, that's pretty much what happened with the two of us. Sure, our sons were in the same first grade class last year, but we probably exchanged only 10 words between September and June. I'd compliment her cute skirts, and she'd say, "Thanks" followed by, simply:
But now we're pals. She's a consistent presence on this blog, and we've even started doing the ditch-and-run. You know, where you make something tasty, drive it to a friend's house, ring the bell, and run away. It started with some biscotti she dropped off on my doorstep a few months ago. I followed up with pumpkin mini tarts. Then a week ago, she drove over a beautiful, ribbon-tied container of marmalade. The handmade label read:
"Lady Marmalade, 1/09: Blood orange. Ruby Grapefruit. Meyer Lemon. Vanilla."
And with that, she raised the stakes. I guess now I need to make her a turducken or something equally elaborate.
Her marmalade is a glossy wonder. It's chunky with fruit and peel, and though it's flavored with a trio of winter citrus, there's nothing wintry about it. The hue calls to mind a tutu, a wad of pre-licked cotton candy, or a Barbie Dream House. And it's elegant. This stuff has about as much in common with store-bought jam as an emu with a pack of chewing gum.
Here's the recipe, from Runaround to you. It's sweet and sassy, much like she is.
Runaround Sous' Lady Marmalade
This recipe is Runaround's, and though I've certainly enjoyed it (and continue to enjoy it daily), I haven't actually tested the recipe myself. Caveat emptor! Runaround says, "This recipe was inspired by Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, Carolyn Jung, and the package of Sure-Jell."
The recipe below (A Little Bit of Lovin') makes about 4 cups of marmalade.
2-4 blood oranges*
1-2 Meyer lemons*
1/4 Ruby Red grapefruit *
(* enough fruit/juice to equal 2 cups)
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Pinch of baking soda
1-1/4 cups water
2-3/4 c. sugar
1/2 box of Sure-Jell pectin ( It's easier to weigh this... I used 24g)
Cut away the colored zest from the fruit. Chop coarsely and set aside.
Chop the fruit, discarding the seeds and reserving the juice.
Place the zest, vanilla bean, baking soda and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fruit and juice; simmer another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, measure out the sugar and set aside. (Do not reduce the sugar or the marmalade may not set properly.)
After the 10 minutes are up, stir the pectin into the fruit mixture. Bring to a full, rolling boil.
Stir in the sugar quickly, return to a full, rolling boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, scrape any of the remaining vanilla seeds into the mixture (then discard the pod), and skim off any foam.
Pour into clean canning or freezer jars. Let set at room temperature for 24 hours. You can refrigerate the marmalade for 2 months or freeze for 1 year.
For "A Whole Lot of Lovin'" (about 7-8 cups), double the batch...