It's just a few days after my last marmalade themed post. Since then I've sliced, chopped, squeezed and boiled to replenish stocks of my favourite complex three fruit marmalade. That remaining bowl of Seville oranges will be used for more jars of 'straight' tangy variety.
The yield is a couple of jars down from normal. That was deliberate. At least, it was after I'd had my little thought. As I started the second batch I decided to take out two ladlesworth of sugary juice before the softened peel was added back.
We are at the start of a glorious few weeks when forced rhubarb is making its appearance. Restaurants are grabbing supplies (tenderly, I hope) and adding this seasonal ingredient to their menus. Many will be offering a dessert with a blood orange sorbet or jelly. A panna cotta in place of custard might very likely be there as well. The rhubarb and orange combination is a classic which I have made in various forms over the years. But never in a preserve.
Ah, no - I had none of the tender stem to hand. However, my wife's recent search for a different drink had come up with the infusion on show here.
Those two ladles of reserved juice were boiled in a small pan until a set seemed likely... 106 °C on the thermometer and the consistency of a tiny sea anemone on a cold saucer. Just the one small jar in this trial run which then had one of the new tea bags dunked in while still very hot. When all was cooled, the bag was dragged from its sticky capture. The tasting revealed a subtle influence of rose and rhubarb. Very pleasing. Having made Earl Grey creams, I'm surprised it hadn't occurred to me before to make some sort of flowery, leafy tea additions to my jams and preserves.
I'll repeat the process, trying other flavours and different amounts. It certainly works... But I leave it to you to discover just what best suits your taste.
Let the tea-bagging commence!