Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pomelo Marmalade

Pomelo Marmalade

Are you a marmalade fan?  Not everyone is, but I am!  I love the chewy rind and the sweet-bitter aftertaste that lingers as you sip your tea.  Yum!  When I was in Darjeeling last fall at the Glenburn Tea Estate, I had pomelo marmalade for the first time (from pomelos grown on the estate!).  Finding these giant fruits at our local market, I decided to rope the DH into helping me give marmalade-making a try.  He's a good sport.  It's a lot of work, but I'm pleased with the result.

Never heard of a pomelo?  According to the Farmer's Almanac, they're the predecessor to grapefruits.  They are giant - the largest in the citrus family.  The flesh is juicy and sweet, the rind and pith quite bitter.

The large and small of it - Pomelo with an extra tiny tangerine

Pomelo Marmalade

The DH and I were inspired by this recipe.  We've added more details to it below.  I chose this recipe because of its simplicity, just the fruit and sugar.  You don't need commercial pectin because the fruit is high in natural pectin.  This recipe yielded 10 jars (8 oz) with some left over for immediate consumption.

2 pomelos
4 cups sugar

  1. Put together a game plan.  This is an involved process.  From start to eating marmalade on toast, it took us 4 hours.  We needed 3 pots:
    • One big stockpot for boiling the rinds and then cooking the fruit mixture
    • One big pot for the hot water bath
    • One small pot for the jar lids
  2. Peel the fruits. The leathery rind pulls away with a thick layer of puffy white pith.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the rinds and pith for five minutes, then drain. In the first boiling, they will float.  This isn't a problem as they will take on water and get heavier.  Do this boiling routine two more times (3 total), starting with a fresh pot of water each time.
  4. Extract the fruit.  Leave behind the membranes, any extraneous pith, seeds and stringy segments.  Put in a large bowl and set aside.  Be sure to taste along the way - it's delicious and juicy!
    • Gigantic seeds (and tiny ones, too). They pop right out.  I began calling this the "dinosaur fruit" because it's a very old citrus and also because it's big enough to feed a dinosaur!

    • The DH method of fruit extraction:  With a knife, scrape off remaining pith.  Separate pomelo into two parts and then individual segments.  Pull back the membranes and with fingers, remove the fruit pulp.  Discard seeds along the way.  His segments came out pretty.
    • My method:  Separate fruit into segments, leaving on pith.  Use a knife to cut open a segment.  Remove seeds and with fingers remove the fruit pulp.  My segments came out messy, but I had lots of fun. 
  5. Process the rind/pith with the fruit pulp.  First, tear the rind/pith into chunks.  The pith will be extremely saturated with water.  Do not be concerned.  Now process in batches, with the fruit pulp.
    1. We used a food processor, pulsing the rind/pith and fruit in about three rounds.  Don't over-process, you want this to be chunky.
    • The DH says he'll do this all by hand next time.  The rind/pith cuts very easily.  I'd still use the food processor, but keep out a few segments to do in larger pieces by hand.
  6. Dump into the large pot and add 4 cups of sugar.  Mix well.
  7. Over a medium to medium-low heat, bring to a simmer.  (It didn't take long.)  Simmer for about 45 minutes without a lid, or until it starts to thicken.  Note:  Most of the thickening happens as it cools.
  8. While the fruit is cooking, heat the water for the lids and the hot water bath.  
  9. Once you determine the fruity mixture has thickened, spoon into jars.  No worries if this resembles pomelo relish at this point.  Trust that it will thicken overnight! Process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes.  For information on hot water baths, see this site.
OK, after writing this mega-post, I need a snack!  Toast and marmalade sound good.


Rosemary said...

Looks amazingly delicious! And what a process for two simple ingredients!

relevanttealeaf said...

What a fun cooking project to keep your recent trip current.

Teafan said...

Cool! Don't think I'll be making this anytime soon (not enough pots), but I loved reading about it! Check out those dragon teeth (the seeds).

Teafan said...

Cool! Don't think I'll be making this anytime soon (not enough pots), but I loved reading about it! Check out those dragon teeth (the seeds).

Colleen said...

What a lot of work this was, but looks delicious. Your directions are super clear and pictures great accompaniment- I love the pomelo and tangerine and the 'dragon teeth' one as Teafan describes it.
You and DH are so industrious!

Marilyn said...

This looks and sounds delicious! Love citrus marmalades.

Marlena said...

Stop, you're making me drool - cool pix and lovely marmalade

Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelley said...

This looks so delicious...well worth the effort. Tea and marmalade...yum!

Beautiful photos too, Steph.

Thanks for stopping my photo blogs too, and commenting. I'll be on the lookout for the bergamot oranges at New Season's!

Sean said...

Great photos, and glad you liked the recipe!

Anonymous said...

nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....

Angela McRae said...

This sounds divine! I got hooked on orange marmalade while reading Jan Karon's Mitford books, as a famous Orange Marmalade Cake is almost a character itself in some of the books. (I've never had it, but I'll bet it's good!)

Anonymous said...

We made this but it was too bitter. We put all the pith/rind. Should there be a ratio to lessen the bitterness?

Jaly Can said...

We've long been inspired by urban art and have finally created a collection that pays homage to this secret addiction of ours!

Yarden Shoval said...

I just made this marmalade today. I used the rind/pith of 2 pomelo a but fruit from only one. Still used about 3.5 cups of sugar. Followed all the steps except for the last bit about how to jar in a bath. My marmalade tastes pretty nice, though still rather tart. My main issue is that it's not gooey/ sticky/ jammy at all! It is still in the consistency of purée or relish as you call it. Any tips on what I should do next time to achieve a more jam like consistency?

Yarden Shoval said...

I just made this and I have a small problem with it- the consistency is nowhere near gooey/ jammy/ sticky. It stayed like relish or puréed pomelo. I used rind/pith of 2 pomelo a and fruit of only one. Still used about 3.5 cups of sugar and followed all the steps except for the jarring in a bath. Any tips on what to do next to its more like jam? Flavor is ok- still a bit tart- but I assume it's because there was more rind than fruit.