British Columbia

Need a spread for that pandemic bread? Try making marmalade

With citrus fruit in season, it's an ideal time for making marmalade. The classic orange marmalade is made with Seville oranges, but you don't have to limit yourself to just that type — or even that fruit, says Genevieve Blanchet, owner and operator of Le Meadow's Pantry in Vancouver.

With citrus in season, now's the best time to learn — and you don't have to stick to simple orange

You can make marmalade with any kind of citrus, says Genevieve Blanchet, the owner and operator of Le Meadow's Pantry in Vancouver. (Roshini Nair/CBC)

If you've perfected your pandemic bread recipe, now's the time to make marmalade to spread on it. 

Genevieve Blanchet, the owner and operator of Le Meadow's Pantry in Vancouver, says the pandemic has inspired many to get into canning and preserving.

"I think it started early in the year when people were starting to bake bread and then they realized, like, now we need to put some good stuff on the bread. This summer there was a big shortage of mason jars, the canning jars, people were starting to can fruits," Blanchet said. 

And with citrus fruit in season in the winter, it's an ideal time for making marmalade.

She says the classic orange marmalade is made with Seville oranges, but you don't have to limit yourself to just that type — or even that fruit.

"I like marmalade with blood orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime. You can be more exotic and use Meyer lemon or Buddha's hand — anything that has citrus rind. It's so beautiful in any marmalade," she said. 

You can also combine other fruit to make, for example, strawberry-orange or lemon-ginger marmalade, or use other flavours like spices or alcohol. 

"I do orange and whisky or lemon and vodka," she said. "Some people do a rum and orange. It can also help to set the marmalade as well, too."

Marmalade is made by boiling together citrus fruit, sugar and water. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

A basic marmalade recipe calls for three ingredients — citrus, water and sugar.

The citrus, sliced into thin strips, is boiled in the water until the peels are soft. At this point, the sugar is added and the mixture is cooked until thickened. 

Blanchet says there are a few things you can do to make your marmalade a winner.

For one, it's important to use fresh citrus. If you're not going to be able to make the marmalade within a few days of purchasing the fruit, she recommends freezing the citrus until you're ready to make it.

Blanchet also recommends making sure your citrus is cooked thoroughly and softened before adding any sugar. 

"If you miss the first cooking part where your oranges are still a bit tough, than that's it, your marmalade is going to be really tough. That's something you don't want to do."

But overall, she says, it's hard to go wrong with marmalade.

"There's so many different techniques to make a marmalade ... All of them are good."

Listen to the segment on CBC's On The Coast:

With files from On The Coast

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