Back in the early days of this blog [well, only 7 months or so ago, hah] I featured many recipes for canning and preserves. Most of the those recipes came to be, in my attempt to prolong our garden bounty. What a treat each of those have been this winter! They are dwindling away as the months go on – the applesauce is gone. Granted I didn’t go overboard in the production of said sauce, but now I know I need to at least double the quantity next fall.
The beautiful, and equally delicious blood oranges I’ve been able to purchase in recent weeks, inspired me to give Marmalade a try…for the first time. And by first time, I mean first time! I had never tasted an Orange Marmalade until making my own. Which I find strange in a way – I mean it’s on the table [in little plastic containers no less] at just about every diner I’ve ever eaten. I also remember it in the refrigerator of the home where I grew up. I guess I always reach for the strawberry jam! But here I now sit wondering, what the heck was my deal? I was missing out…big time! I should have taken the cue from Paddington Bear years ago 🙂
The nice thing about this recipe, is that you don’t have to “can and process” the jars. If you choose, they can go straight to the refrigerator for storage. I processed mine for the longer shelf life not knowing how quickly we would consume all the sweetness. With the proper equipment [large pot, thermometer, jars, etc] it is a relatively simple task. I simply love the pinkish hue the blood oranges gave the marmalade 🙂
1¾ pounds oranges, 4 to 5 medium [I used 3 blood oranges & 1 jumbo navel orange]
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
6 cups water
7 cups sugar
•Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly. Cut the oranges into 1/8-inch slices using a mandoline or by hand, removing the seeds as you go. Zest the lemon. Cut the oranges into quarters, stacking helps with this task.
•Place the oranges into an 8-quart stainless steel pot. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and the water to the pot, set over high heat and bring to a boil, approximately 10 minutes.
•Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.
•While the fruit is cooking, fill a large 12-quart or larger pot 3/4 full with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Place jars [enough to hold approximately 4 pints worth of marmalade] and rings, canning funnel, ladle, and tongs into the boiling water and make sure the water covers the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lids, cover the pot and leave everything until the marmalade is ready.
•Place a small plate in the freezer, which you will use later to test for “done-ness” of the marmalade.
•When the fruit is very soft, increase the heat under the orange mixture to return to full boil. Add the sugar and stir the mixture continually, until it reaches 222 to 223°F on a deep-fry or candy thermometer, and darkens in color, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. You may need to adjust the heat in order to prevent boil-over. [Note: Mine took about 2 minutes shy of forever to reach the right temperature! Finding the proper boiling point and still preventing boil-overs can be a little tricky…patience will get you there!]
•Test the readiness of the marmalade by placing a teaspoon of the mixture onto the chilled plate and allowing it to sit for 30 seconds. Tilt the plate -the mixture should be a soft gel that moves ever so slightly. If the mixture runs easily, it is not ready. In the pictures below, left side=not ready, right side=ready.
•Remove jars and equipment from the water and drain on a clean towel. Place a canning funnel onto the top of 1 of the jars and ladle in the marmalade just to below the bottom of the threads of the jar. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. The amount of marmalade may vary by ½ to 1 pint. Wipe the rims and threads of the jars with a damp paper towel and top each with a lid. Place a ring on each jar and tighten.
OR…fill clean containers with marmalade, cover and allow to come to room temperature, then store in refrigerator. Refrigerated marmalade will keep approximately 30-45 days.
•Return the jars to the pot with boiling water, being certain that they don’t touch the bottom of the pot or each other. [If you don’t have a jar rack, try a round cake rack, or a folded kitchen towel on the pot bottom.] Add additional water if necessary to cover the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Using canning tongs, carefully remove the jars from the water, place in a cool dry place and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before opening. Once open, store in the refrigerator. Unopened, canned marmalade will last for up to 6 months.
Recipe found via Alton Brown.