One of the reasons I enjoyed the Harry Potter book series as much as I have, aside from J.K. Rowling providing her readers with a powerful lesson in choice and creating their own destiny, is the description of… well, everything.
Any time I pick up the books, they draw me in, I truly feel as if I am there with Harry, Ron and Hermione. Having breakfast for example. I could almost taste the yumminess described. Almost.
And that scenario right there is where Dinah Bucholz’s book, “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory — More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards”, comes in handy for me. I received this book last Christmas, and with the holidays just around the corner, I figured this would be the perfect time to post on the blog about something I’ve tried cooking from it.
Without further ado, Sweet Orange Marmalade.
“Marmalade shows up often in the Harry Potter books; it’s just that British. In one breakfast scene, Hermione determinedly avoids discussing her busy schedule and asks for the marmalade in response to Ron’s questions (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 6).
Sweet Orange Marmalade
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Place the oranges in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hrs. Remove the oranges from the pot to a cutting board. Discard the cooking water and rinse the pot.
Peel the oranges and scrape off the pith (the white underside of the peel), using a metal spoon. Discard the pith, as it’s bitter. Mince the orange peel and add to the clean pot. Chop the peeled oranges, discard the pits, and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour through a sieve, pressing down with a rubber spatula to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp and add the juice to the pot, along with the sugar and water. (As the mixture boils, it will expand like crazy, so make sure your pot is large enough to handle at least double what you’re putting in.)
Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and it begins to bubble. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture registers 220F on the candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
Makes enough to fill one 14-ounce jar.
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can do the wrinkle test: put a small amount of marmalade on a saucer and cool it in the fridge. In the mean time, turn off the flame. When it’s cool, push the edge with your finger; if it wrinkles, it’s done. Otherwise, reheat the marmalade, cook it for a few more minutes and try again.”
Have a magical Christmas breakfast! ;)