In my garden I have some fruit trees: plum, apple, fig, peach, lemon and marmelo. Yup, the fruit is called mar-mel-oh. I had never heard of it before moving to Brazil and I do not believe that it is a fruit you find in the USA. I know that they have it in Portugal, but other than that I am not sure. Anyway, marmelo is a fruit that looks very much like an apple. It is hard, has a thick yellowish-green skin and smells similar to an apple. It is round and has the same top and bottom indents that an apple has.
Here in Brazil, at one time, marmelo was very popular. There is even a town in the state of Minas Gerais that is called “Marmelópolis” specifically named after the marmelo fruit because all of the industry in that town involved the marmelo fruit in some form or another. But, as with all things, the popularity for marmelo soon dwindled and now it is difficult to find the fruit and the jam or sweets made from it.
But, enter the farmer. Well kind of. I’m embarrassed to say that I actually didn’t pay any attention to my marmelo trees until just this past week. Four years of living right next to them, and I never once harvested or even tried the fruit. Instead I would actually throw the fruits to my pigs who devoured them within seconds.
I never really bothered with them because the fruit was hard, and quite honestly, looked completely unappealing.
Sometime ago though, my mother-in-law bought some marmelo sweets called “marmelada”. This is a hard jelly like log of cooked marmelo and sugar. You eat it by cutting into slices and either eating on its own or with white or fresh cheese. It is absolutely delicious. The marmelada has a slightly tangy flavor, almost like a crabapple jam. Needless to say I enjoyed the marmelada and my husband and I consumed it in a very short time.
Still, it took me another year to actually make this at home. This year my marmelo trees looked beautiful and the fruits had not been consumed by bugs or birds. So, I finally took the plunge and made my own marmelada. It turned out perfect. A beautiful blend of tangy and sweet. It set amazingly well and was a joy to slice through.
So, how do you make this stuff? Simple.
Peel and core the marmelos. Cut into small pieces and place in a pan. Add 3/4 of the weight of the peeled and cored marmelos in white sugar (that is to say, if you have 1.2kg of marmelo you need to add 900g of white sugar). Add approximately 150ml of water and bring the mixture to a boil. With the lid on, boil for 45 minutes stirring occasionally. With an immersion blender, blend the marmelos. When finished blending allow to boil for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Pour mixture into heat proof containers top with parchment paper and allow to cool.