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Breads, Desserts

Blueberry and caramelized orange marmalade focaccia

Blueberry and caramelized orange marmalade focaccia
Los Angeles Times

Pity the poor blueberry. Often it gets lost in the mix, thrown in among brighter, showier berries, or overlooked simply because it seems to be around all the time. It's not exactly the most outgoing of berries either, with its ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes plus 1 hour, 15 minutes rising time | Serves 20

Caramelized orange marmalade

  • 6 medium oranges
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon (optional)

Step 1With a sharp paring knife, slice the top and bottom off each orange. Then, cut off the peel and pith in swift downward curves, exposing the pulp. Hold the peeled orange over a bowl to catch any juices and cut out the segments by wedging the knife next to the connective membranes on both sides of each segment. You will need 2 cups of fruit with no pith or membrane attached.

Step 2Strain out half a cup of the orange segments and set aside. Leave the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the segments with the juice.

Step 3Combine the sugar with the water in a heavy-bottomed nonreactive saucepan, stirring until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the vanilla bean and seeds. Using a pastry brush or clean fingers, brush down any stray sugar granules on the sides of the pan to prevent the mixture from crystallizing as it caramelizes.

Step 4Set the pan over high heat and cook the mixture, undisturbed. When it begins to brown, gently swirl and continue cooking until the sugar turns a deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the orange segments and all of the reserved juice (be careful; the hot caramel will spatter as you do this). Once the spattering subsides, stir the mixture quickly and continuously with a wooden spoon until the marmalade begins to thicken and the bubbles are thick and glossy, about 8 minutes.

Step 5Add the bourbon, if using, and continue stirring vigorously until the alcohol dissipates, 2 minutes. Add the remainder of the orange segments and stir gently, just until the last of the fruit reaches the same temperature as the marmalade, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Discard the vanilla bean. Transfer the marmalade to a flat container with low sides and spread it out as thinly as possible. Cool the mixture and cover the container with plastic wrap and set aside. (Makes 1 1/3 cups marmalade.)


  • 1 1/2 sticks plus 7 tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (will need two packets)
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 7 tablespoons bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons raw (turbinado) sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary

Step 1Cut the 7 tablespoons of butter into half-inch cubes and set aside, letting them soften. In a small saute pan, combine the 1 1/2 sticks of butter with the vanilla bean and seeds. Over medium-low heat, melt the butter and cook until it begins to bubble and brown. Gently stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. When you see rust-colored specks in the bubbles, the browned butter is done, about 7 minutes. Immediately transfer it to a small bowl and set aside.

Step 2Place the yeast into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the water and whisk to dissolve the yeast. Stir in the granulated sugar. Add the pastry flour, bread flour, nonfat dry milk and salt. Using the dough-hook attachment, mix on low about 2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed. Turn the speed up to medium and knead the dough for 6 minutes. Add the cubed, softened butter and continue kneading until the butter is completely incorporated. (The dough will be soft.)

Step 3Brush a clean, large bowl with a generous amount of the browned butter. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and into the buttered bowl. Gently brush the top of the dough with more of the brown butter. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until it doubles, about 45 minutes.

Step 4Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; grease with browned butter. Brush a cutting board with a small amount of browned butter. Turn the dough out onto the board. Using a pastry scraper, halve the dough and scoop each half onto a baking sheet. Using the palms of your hands and your fingertips, flatten the dough, starting at the center, and coax it into a 10-inch circle with edges slightly higher than the center. Gently brush the dough with browned butter again. Lightly cover the dough with a clean, damp kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 30 minutes. When the dough has risen, gently press your fingertips to form dimples all over the surface. Brush with the rest of the brown butter.

Step 5Sprinkle half of the raw sugar over each of the focaccia rounds. Gently and generously brush about half of the caramelized orange marmalade over each round (you may have a tablespoon or two left over), then sprinkle with half of the blueberries and half of the rosemary. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets 180 degrees halfway through to allow for even browning. When done, the top of the focaccia will be soft to the touch.

Step 6Cool for about 10 minutes. Cut each focaccia into 10 wedges. Serve warm.

Note: From pastry chef Elizabeth Belkind of Grace restaurant in Los Angeles. You may substitute a good-quality vanilla extract for the vanilla beans; use 1/2 teaspoon in the marmalade and 1 1/2 teaspoons in the browned butter.


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