Sunday, July 25, 2010

Orange Marmalade

A friend of mine has long-distance custody of several citrus trees, and every once in a while she ends up with boxes of oranges and lemons. More than any one person could use. So she gives them to anyone who will take them.

When a friend gives you oranges, make ...  marmalade?

Before I attempted this, I've never made marmalade before, and never really thought about what was in it. After I made it, I was surprised how easy it was. I was also surprised at the standing time after the first boil. I thought that maybe it was an antiquated step, but even newer books had similar instructions.

Many of the marmalade recipes I found required grapefruit. Some required the seeds to be added and then removed, because apparently the seeds make the marmalade bitter. I wasn't interested in a bitter marmalade, though.

Of all the recipes I looked at when I was contemplating my bounty of oranges, this was probably the easiest.

Orange Marmalade
adapted from Ball Blue Book, 1982 edition

1 quart thinly sliced orange peel (from about 6 large oranges)
1 quart orange pulp, cut up and seeds removed (from those same 6 oranges)
1 cup thinly sliced lemon, seeds removed (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 quarts water
About 6 cups sugar

Add the water the the fruit and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover the pot and let stand for 12 to 18 hours in a cool place.

Cook on high heat until the peel is tender, about an hour.

Measure the fruit and liquid and add 1 cup of sugar for each cup of the fruit mixture.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook in high heat until it reaches the jelly point, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot, where it might burn.

The jelly point can be tested by dipping a cool metal spoon into the hot jelly and seeing how it drips off the spoon. At the jelly point,it will break from the spoon in a sheet. Or check the temperature. The proper temperature is 8 degrees above the boiling point of water at your altitude.

Ladle the hot mixture into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust the lids and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Here's some information about canning using a boiling water canner.