Bitter Tangerine Sauce, An experiment that worked out
Hey everyone sorry I have been MIA (Missing in Action). It’s not that I haven’t been cooking but, not every dish that gets done I think deserves a post. I did however post a picture on Instagram of the Conch dish, which was one of the many experiments over the last two and half maybe three weeks (It’s been too long).
So today we have a successful experiment. Wasn’t a smooth path to walk on but I figured it out. Back in A Voce we would make this orange bitter sauce. We sliced the oranges into disk shapes and boiled them in a sugar solution, blended them and added oil. To be honest it wasn’t bad, but I found it a little too bitter for my liking. I wanted to recreate it, but I didn’t want to use oranges, and I also wanted to control how bitter it was going to be and how sweet it was going to be.
Bitter Tangerine Sauce
- 6-10 tangerines
- 1 ¼ tsp Angostura bitters
- 4 tsp Gelatin Powder
- 1 Cup water
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- Canola oil
Shall we start? I peeled all of my tangerines, measured everything I needed, took a few pictures then started. Now I will type this as a recipe then go on my little rant about my total fail and quick recovery after.
Peel your tangerines and place them in your pot with your sugar solution. Use the smallest pot you can find. You don’t want a pot that’s too big or else it will reduce too fast. Leave it on a medium heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Once the time is up, strain them and keep the liquid. Add the tangerines into the blender, cover and start to blend on a low speed, slowly making your way up. As its blending, slowly add maybe 4 tablespoons of oil . Then add maybe a few tablespoons of the liquid left over from the tangerines in the pot to it. If it doesn’t thicken with the oil, then pour it back into the small pot and reduce by a third. If it’s still not thick enough you can either reduce it a little more or do what I did and that was add gelatin
Now I did this by pouring my hot liquid and measuring it. It was almost 1 cup full. Then I put it back on the stove.
You can thicken a sauce using 1 – 4 tsp of gelatin powder to one cup of liquid. I used some of the leftover solution and added the gelatin to bloom*. The liquid has to be cold or else it won’t work. Once its bloomed you can add ½ first and if it’s not coating the back of a spoon enough for you then add more of the gelatin to the puree. Just let it simmer until the gelatin is all dissolved. Finish with the bitters. Pour in a bowl to cool down. Once its cooled down pour it into a bottle for later use.
You can store it in the fridge and it will solidify. But once you have it at room temperature or a little warmer it will loosen up. I know this sounds a bit complicated and there are other ways to do this, especially with agar agar but I didn’t have any in the house (Come to think of it, I probably should).
Once I realized that my puree wasn’t thickening with the sauce I got worried. Now using gelatin to thicken a sauce was not something I had ever done and had to run to the computer and do a quick read up. I read a few pages and discussions and had an “okay” understanding of what I was supposed to do. To be honest I didn’t have any more tangerines and didn’t want mess this up so I needed to get this right. Anyways, it was success and I felt the need to share this with you.
This blog post is only one part of a dish. So keep your eyes peeled for part two in a couple of days.
* To bloom gelatin means you add it to a liquid to help breakdown its structure and activate it. Its very similar to what you do with yeast. If it's sheets then blooming will cause it to get soft. When you do the powder then it gets like jello.