I always felt that preserving was something to do in the late throes of Summer. The garden is just about to give up the ghost, beets and grapes are at their peak, the only tomatoes on the vines still green and though they aren't likely to reach the gorgeous ripe ruby of their earlier cousins, they're perfect for a batch (or three) of chutney to enjoy over the Winter.
But of course, that's probably because my lemon and fig trees have never borne me fruit, and of course the plants outside have either died completely or gone into a deep, deep slumber by the time the first snows come around. Thankfully the bounty of the warmer parts of the world, especially the decadent citrus out of Italy, Morocco and the southern USA. These locales give us up in the windswept North the delicious, juicy Cara Cara and blood oranges, the sweet navel oranges and tangelos, and the brightly tart lemons - all the elements that go into one of the most perfect morning spreads this season has to offer.
I originally found this recipe on the blog Leena Eats, where it had been adapted from the Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. I modified Leena's version to suit what I could find in our house, which included five types of citrus (though only one or two of each type) and some fresh ginger, but no port - one of the integral elements of the marmalade. Luckily, being the good Italian household that we are, there was red wine, and since I have a pantry stocked to the hilt there was plenty of sugar. So a makeshift port mixture was created, added to the blended citrus and ginger stock and cooked to a luscious, ruby red gel that spreads into a jewel-like cloak on morning toast and pairs with strong, spicy cheeses just like the best wine.
Citrus & Sweet Wine MarmaladeMakes about 1 1/2 cups1 navel orange1 cara cara orange1 blood orange1 tangelo1 lemon1 slice (1" wide) fresh ginger1 cup water½ cup red wine1 tbsp brown sugar1 ¼ cups granulated sugar