meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: Sunday in Paris and Bergamot Marmalade

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday in Paris and Bergamot Marmalade

Sunday in Paris is sacrosanct, first and foremost comes sleeping (In my building for instance, you won't hear a sound in the courtyard until well past 10am). Years ago my aunt, uncle and cousins lived in this same building where we now live; Sundays held the promise of a wonderful if VERY long lunch, extended playtime with my cousins, lots of laughter and best of all, a late supper of beer batter waffles served up with a dozen or more preserves my Tante Helene had put up in the summer.

The Sunday Marché Raspail at 10am
Heading out to the marché early in the morning on Sundays is a solitary and quiet affair;  there is very little of the energetic American 'jump up in the morning for a run' business.  Sundays are for "La Grasse Matinee" (sleeping in) so the marché aisles will be spacious and roomy with few people shopping before 11. The Sunday marchés are most crowded between 11:45 and 1pm as people slip out to pick up lunch, or something simple for later before heading out to Brunch - a recent Parisian phenomena. 

The Bergamot is a lovely, but generally inedible, fruit
A few Sundays ago, when at the organic marché Raspail, I couldn't help but notice baskets of those illusive Bergamot oranges featured at several of my favorite stands. I'd been unsuccessfully searching for them since moving here 3 years ago so could barely contain my excitement and promptly bought 2 kilos of the exotic smelling fruit with the intention of turning them into marmalade.

Scooping out the renegade pits
I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but Alex (who reproduces the most amazing maps at Bedrock Images) and Chloe came over to help (and learn how) because they were thinking of making 200 small pots of the stuff to give as gifts at their upcoming wedding (which they did, but that's another story) It was great fun to share such a simple, if messy, process.  We wound up with about 6 jars of thick marmalade in no time. I've been eating it on crackers like crazy, and tell myself that it's okay, since Bergamot is said to be a powerful antioxidant, lowers triglycerides and is great for encouraging good cholesterol, not to mention balancing blood sugars. It also tastes really great.

Bergamot Marmalade
yields about 6   250ml / 8oz jars


2 kilos/ 4 lbs           Bergamot Oranges - well washed and dried
1 kilo / 2 lbs           White Sugar
1 liter / 34 oz         Water
12" square              Cheese cloth


1)  Cut the oranges in 1/4's and then slice as thin as possible (or as you want the rind in your marmalade to be) 

2) remove the seeds, set aside.  When finished, tie the seeds up in cheese cloth. (the seeds have loads of pectin and will help your marmalade jell - you just don't want to eat them)

2)  Place the sliced Bergamot in a large, non corrosive pot (enamel or copper), cover with water.  Bring to a rolling boil and blanch for 2 minutes.  Drain.

3) Return the blanched orange slices to the pot, add the sugar, the cheese cloth of seeds and the 1 liter of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. (you can spoon off any of the thick 'scum that rises to the top - this clouds the marmalade) 

4) When the marmalade reaches your desired consistency (for this you can do the 'wrinkle test' by spooning a tablespoon of so onto a refrigerated plate, when the jam 'wrinkles' when the plate is tilted, it's ready) turn off the heat, remove the cheese cloth seed packet and ladle into clean, dry jars. Seal.  Turn upside down until cool.

Store in a cool dark place, or the fridge.

This recipe can be used with most any citrus (though with orange or clementines you won't want to blanch 1st - it's just that the Bergamot flavor can be overpowering) if you can't get your hands easily on Bergamots.  I'm hoping to find one more batch worth of these illusive fruit to put up next Sunday because we've already gone through 3 of the 6 jars and I'll be really sorry if to run out and have to wait until next year! It's seriously THAT good!

A bientot!


Virginia said...

Looks delicious Zabie and I must say your photographs are as well. Don't forget my marché at Butte aux Cailles. I"m holding the photo so I can link to your blog.

warrior said...

Oh!!! it looks so delicious I can practically imagine smelling it (I sadly have never met a bergamot).

I can't help but note - the beautiful copper pot that looks as it belongs - to a professional.

Janelle Meraz Hooper said...

There's not much hope of my finding Bergamots in my little farming town that is known for its rhubarb and raspberries. Maybe a trip to the Farmer's Market in Seattle. Think there's any chance? Probably not. Augh!