Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rediscovering the Pleasure of Citrus

I am rediscovering the pleasures of citrus through the amazing marmalades we’re producing at BERKSHIRE PRESERVES. I’m one of those fussy eaters who don’t appreciate a slice of orange and a cabbage leaf as a decoration on my plate of scrambled eggs and bacon. I don’t like oranges dipped in chocolate. I never drink orange juice or even eat an orange. However, I’ve discovered the old-fashioned flavor of oranges in our BERKSHIRE PRESERVESSeville Orange Bitter-Sweet and Blood Orange Marmalades. Because of the depth of flavor we create in our cooking process , the marmalades remind me of the fruits of my childhood. It was rare, in those days, for fruit to be shipped, unripe, from orchards across the country, not to mention from another continent. Fruit was a seasonal thing and we waited, with great anticipation, for all the seasons to arrive bearing their produce. Peaches hard as hockey pucks were never on supermarket shelves. In fact, there were no supermarkets. Fruit, then, had marvelous flavors and sensual aromas. Apples didn’t remain on the shelf for 8 months from picking. Oranges came in one or two, not ten, varieties. Everything was pretty local and exceedingly flavorful when we could get it. It spoiled quickly, which led to lots of canning of preserves.

At BERKSHIRE PRESERVES, we are determined to use local produce whenever possible and to bring you preserves that let you taste the heart of the fruit, not the sugar we use in the process. I hope you’ll enjoy our marmalades as much as we enjoy making them.

Last Saturday night I had a dinner party for six close friends. We began with a Carrot-Ginger soup with fresh grated ginger and a dollop of Erivan yogurt on top. Then we had roasted Cornish Hens, cavities filled with a quarter of a lemon and a sprig of rosemary, salted and peppered. This was accompanied by a wild rice pilaf with sliced scallion for freshness and texture. There was a salad of baby arugula, grated Reggiano Parmesano and topped with a lemon vinaigrette. So, you’re wondering “Where was the marmalade”? It was part of the dessert. I served a New York style cheesecake from a recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum topped with a citrus sauce made with our BERKSHIRE PRESERVESSeville Orange Bitter-Sweet Marmalade. Here’s the recipe for the sauce….

Orange Sauce


1/3 cup c

1/3 cup orange juice

2 tbsp. dark rum or Grand Marnier


Heat till preserves melt and ingredients are blended. Do not let boil. Let cool on stove.

Delicious served with your favorite cheesecake, as a topping on ice cream, as a sauce to accompany roast duck. Or on a large spoon when no one’s looking.


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