On a recent trip to Griffith NSW, our winemaker Josef Orbach had the pleasure of visiting the Gold Bridge orange orchard. Gold Bridge is the largest producer of the rare 'Cara Cara' variety, a hybrid between a "Valencia" and the striking "Blood Orange".
Owner Adrian Bianchini conducted a guided tour of the packing shed and hi-tech sorting system. French designed software is used to image process each orange.
In a split second each orange is checked for colour, scars and weight.
The oranges then travel along a conveyor and tipped into the a bin best suited to the computer match. First grade and so on. Once packed into 20Kg cartons, the oranges are loaded into a refrigerated 40 foot shipping container destined for the USA.
Adrian presented a box of these wonderful oranges to Josef who in=turn passed them onto Ande Orbach who made a batch of Cara Cara marmalade. Below you can find the fruits of her labour ;)
9 cups bottled pure water
9 cups white sugar
Makes: 5 x 450ml-jars
1. Cut the lemons and oranges in half, then slice very thinly. Discard any pips. Place all the citrus and juices into a big stainless steel pot.
2. Add the water, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved. Cover the pot and let it sit at room temp for 24 hours.
3. The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and slowly simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours.
4. Then, turn up the heat to medium and cook for another 30 minutes. If the top is foamy, skim off with a spoon. Continue to cook until the marmalade reaches 102 degrees C.
PRO TIP - Best way to check if your marmalade is ready to jar, is to drop a spoonful on a cold plate and see if the marmalade firms up. It shouldn't be hard, but it shouldn't be runny, either. If it's not firm enough, cook for a few more minutes and try again.
Also, keep in mind that the marmalade will be a little on the runny side the first day, but will set up a little more in the jars. (If it's too hard, add a bit more water.)
To sterilize jars: Start with clean jars straight out of the dishwasher. Place the jars on their sides in the oven. Heat oven to 110 degrees C for at least 20 minutes, fill hot jars with hot marmalade. Wipe the rims of the jars well before putting the lids on.
Your “Cara Cara” orange marmalade will keep for at least a year stored in the cupboard.