I’m on another “lime rampage”. However, these are not the regular green limes that I absolutely love to cook and experiment with in the kitchen. You see, a few weeks ago I was minding my own business, doing some grocery shopping. In my midst I saw a haul of new fruits labelled “organic blood limes“. I’m not one to turn away from such things. Especially if it involves some kind of citrus! I’d love to paint a picture and tell you I was at some local farmers market. And that it was a sunny winters day. And that a lovely farmer explained what these organic blood limes were… But alas no. I was in the middle of a very busy Sydney shopping centre on a Thursday night. On a whim, I picked up my shiny plastic box and off I went to pay.
A little late night googling and some conflicting internet research later, I found some information about these precious little fruits. They are hybrid citrus fruit developed by the Australian CSIRO. It’s a cross between an Australian finger lime and the Ellendale mandarin (to further confuse things-this mandarin is also a hybrid fruit-a cross between an orange and a mandarin!). There’s a whole of cross breeding going on here! Phew! They look like a large unripened, dark olive. And, you’re probably curious about the taste. Blood limes are quite acidic and have a “crisp and clean” taste. And they smell very mandarin-ey (ok that’s not really a word). My next concern was cooking with them. I found a recipe for a salsa of sorts but that will have to wait for another blog post. I decided to do what I know best and that was to make a marmalade. I had visions of making a chunky marmalade-like the ones you make with cumquats. But the skins are not edible on these fruit. It didn’t matter in the end. The marmalade was a success. It was quite strong in the bitter department but in actually didn’t mind that. Even though it didn’t yield much I still managed to enjoy it on some morning toast for breakfast. Be wary that I took a different approach in preparing the blood lime marmalade. I sliced them in half and boiled them with the sugar syrup and then proceeded to mash them up using a potato masher. This squeezed all the juicy citrus goodness out, leaving the tough leathery skins behind. A little unconventional but a time saver.
- 250 grams of organic blood limes
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract
- Rinse the blood limes under cold running water, slice in half and set aside.
- Place the sugar, water and vanilla extract in a pot and cook over a medium heat until the sugar has fully disolved.
- Add the blood limes into the syrup, turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once you have reached the boiling stage turn your heat down to a simmer and proceed to cook the mixture for approx 40-45 mins.
- Remove from the heat and using a potato masher squash the limes until all the flesh has been extracted.
- Renmove the pips and skins and store the marmalade in a sterilised jar.
- If you don't like any texture in your marmalade you can pass it through a fine sieve before storing it in jars.