Happy New Year Everyone! I hope your Holidays were good to you. Mine were great! It was an old fashioned Christmas. Each gift was hand made. I must admit I was a little nervous about this. Would everyone like what I made them? My worries were for nothing. Everyone seemed to love their gifts. Crisis avoided. LOL!
A friend of mine stopped by early this year with a FRUIT BASKET! I love fruit but honestly I didn’t think I could eat it before it started to turn. What to do? Hmmmm… Marmalade? YES!
I must warn you, I like my marmalade a little bitter. Must be the Brit in me. My Grandmother hooked me on many British treats, current jam, Early Grey tea, black current Earl Grey tea, marmalade ….. I could go on but I don’t want to bore you.
You can see in the picture that my oranges are varied and far from perfect but what is? I’m using three navel oranges, one tangerine and three clementines. I had a beautiful lime and decided to include it. (I’m glad I did) I’m going to show you that making marmalade isn’t as hard as you think.
The General Rule of Thumb when making marmalade is:
- one orange
- one tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup sugar
How you cut your fruit determines the flavor:
- cutting up the whole fruit and processing in a food processor will give you a bitter marmalade.
- cutting the zest thinly from the fruit and discarding the pith will give you a sweeter marmalade.
Many people like to process their fruit in as many different ways. Some will use a mandolin and carefully slice it paper thin. I prefer simple methods. I cut mine into chunks and process it in a food processor. Easy and fast! So it’s entirely up to you how you slice them. I should mention at this point that you should wash your produce well before you start.
It’s important to have everything you need out and ready to use:
- A large pot (There is a lot of sugar in this so you must make sure it won’t bubble out of the pot and burn you)
- Large spoon – wooden or otherwise
- Enough sealing jars to hold your marmalade
- Candy thermometer
- A large canning pot to process your jars (a large stock pot will work)
- Canning funnel
- Tongs for handling your very hot jars
- Wash your fruit and process it however you choose. As I said I cut mine into chunks and use a food processor.
- In a large pot combine your fruit, water and sugar.
- Put the pot on a medium heat. Keep your eye on it. Once it starts to bubble reduce heat to medium low and stir frequently. Continue to simmer until the temperature reaches 220 degree F.
- While your marmalade is simmering bring your water to a boil in the canning pot to sterilize your jars. You don’t have to use mason jars. I keep jars from jams, pickles and pasta sauces because they work well for canning.
- Process your jars and lids for at least five minutes. You want them sterilized and hot! Remove from the pot with your tongs. BE CAREFUL! It’s easy to burn yourself. Set them up-side down on a clean tea towel to dry. Do the same with the lids.
- Once your marmalade reaches 220 degree F ladle the hot mixture CAREFULLY into your jars leaving about a quarter inch space at the top. With a damp cloth clean the tops of the jars to make sure you’ll have a good seal. Twist the lids on loosely. By this I mean twist them finger tight. Don’t over do it.
- Return the jars to the boiling water by setting them in upside-down. Process for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the jars and set them right side up on a tea towel and allow to cool for several hours. You will hear a POP when they cool enough to pull the center of the lid down to create the seal. I love that sound!
And you have your finished product! See? It wasn’t that hard.
I hope you enjoy the homemade goodness! I know I can’t wait to slather some on my toast tomorrow. Go forth and enjoy!