Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sour oranges and Marmalade

We have a giant sour orange tree in our yard, which most people consider a great big waste of space. However when you consider that it's very similar in many ways to a lemon (and can easily replace them in most recipes), the tree starts looking a little more valuable. When you realize you can make a margarita out of those things, they become infinitely more valuable.

My basic recipe for the Southwest Sour Orange Margarita (only a little less good than the legit lime kind):
Two shots sour orange juice
One shot of good tequila
Half shot water
Big squirt of agave nectar
A few ice cubes.

Shake. I leave the ice cubes in. Drink. You can also add a splash of grenadine which I think is extra tasty, but at some point it stops becoming a margarita and turns into some weird Red Lobster "hurricane splash" type drink.

Earlier this year I made marmalade with some of the sour oranges. I always remember that making marmalade can be a frustrating process as getting it to set without adding pectin can be a pain, however I often forget that there is a soul-crushing amount of sugar in there. This year I left all of the oranges soaking in water for a day, that seemed to help as I got a good set. Recipes abound, I won't include the one I used because I'm still not 100% happy with it, maybe next year I'll add ginger, cardamom, vanilla or something else to give the taste more depth. Any recommendations?


Susan said...

What does a sour orange look like?

rosiemomma said...

Margaritas!! Why didn't someone tell me!! Now I must have a sour orange! Thanks for shedding some light on a tree that truly had me baffled (why would people water that thing if it's not good eatin'?) I have no marmalade suggestions as preserving is very new to me. We've made peach and strawberry jam this summer and yes, the amount of sugar is, er um, a bit jarring.

cooterhollow said...

"When you realize you can make a margarita out of those things, they become infinitely more valuable. "

Truer words have never been spoken! When thinking about growing horseradish, all I can think is "bloody Mary plant." But SOUR ORANGE! I have nothing to say but cherish that!

Could you ferment them?

Boho Farm and Home said...

Sour oranges sound like fun to experiment with...like mixing it with another fruit that has a lot of sweetness like apricots, but the margarita sound REALLY good! All the jams/jellies I make I macerate in the fridge with just the fruit and sugar(limited sugar, like 2 cups, instead of 8)and leave it in there for a day or two. I don't quite know what happens but the fruit absorbs the sugar and it sets well with no pectin and without tons of sugar. Thank you for coming to visit me and helping me with the rescue chicks. :) i am going to follow you along for the journey. Caroline

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Have you ever tried to reduce the sour orange juice in a double boiler? I do that with strawberries this time of year. I reduce the juice and berries to a thicker consistency and then add sugar. It has worked fairly well for me. Doesn't work so well for the brambles, though, because I just end up with seedy jam.

Also, have you tried pickling your sour oranges whole for future use?

shell said...

A friend of mine recommended your blog, what has been going on at your tiny farm? I have a massage practice in Coronado....

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