Saturday, January 19, 2013
I have some jars left over from my summer jam making. I wanted to do something with them. But what could I "put up" that was in season? Oranges are in season! So I decided to try to make some marmalade. Love the Internet. Both Ina Garten and Alton Brown (from the Food Network) posted recipes! They are two of my favorites on the Food Network. I had to go to the store. I don't keep oranges and lemons in quantity at home. And it takes two days. We had a snow day coming and it sounded like a perfect snowy day activity.
4 seedless oranges (I used 5 because my ends got smooshed and I couldn't use them, so buy a few extra)
8 cups sugar
8 cups water
You may think 8 cups of sugar is a lot. Get over it. If you use less it won't set up and you will be mad. Just give most of the marmalade away and you won't end up eating all eight cups.
Wash the oranges and lemons and take off the fruit stickers. Discard them where certain people, who shall be nameless, can't see them and be nauseated If you have a mandoline, this would be a good place to use them.
Cut them in half crosswise and remove the seeds. Cut them in thin slices. The smallest that I could go was 1/4 inch. It helped to kind of zig zag the fruit across the blade As I said, the ends got smooshed and lumpy and I just tossed them and used an extra orange.
Place the sliced fruit and their juices in a large stainless steel pot. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and add the sugar. Stir until it dissolves. Cover the pot and let it sit there all night at room temperature. Go take a bath. Take a cup of tea in with you. That was exhausting and you need some R&R. Lock the door and don't let anyone bother you. You're making marmalade.
In the morning, after breakfast and at least two cups of coffee, turn the mixture back on and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and let it cook uncovered for two hours. If someone asks you to help, remind them that you are cooking, here. Look busy by stirring once in a while. Get out enough Mason jars for about 10 cups. Wash them and put them in a pot of simmering water, lids and all. You want them hot and very clean for the canning...Jarring???
Now you want to bring the mixture up to a low boil, about medium heat. My orange peels were hanging in there pretty good. I have eaten a lot of marmalade in my life and it didn't have complete circles of orange peels. Alton had told me to cut them, but Ina didn't. I was worried about losing too much juice on the cutting board, so I didn't cut the slices. Now what?
I took my kitchen scissors, washed them and started cutting. Right in the pan. Then stir a bit and cut some more. Your hand may get a bit hot, so take a break. If it is boiling too hard to keep your hand in there, it is too hot anyway! If you see any seeds you missed, this is a good time to scoop them out. If there is any foam on the top, skim that off while you are in there.
Cook the marmalade until your candy thermometer shows 220. Thank you, Tara! If you don't trust the thermometer, put a dollop on a plate and put it in the refrigerator to cool. If it is a bit loose ( it is jam, after all), but not liquid it is done. If it is too runny, cook a bit longer. Too hard, add some water.
I have a funnel for filling Mason jars. It makes it so much easier and cleaner to fill them. I scooped up the hot marmalade with a one cup plastic measuring cup. It even has a lip to make pouring easier. Wipe the rims with a wet paper towel and seal tightly. I heard them all pop sealed within about 20 minutes.
Store in a cool place for up to a year.
I wrote all that before our power went out due to the heavy snowfall. I couldn't toast anything to put the marmalade on. I needed a final picture and I wanted to taste it before I posted it. What if it was terrible and you made some and hated me? Then I couldn't load it. I'm starting to not like snowy days so much.
The end result is, I had it two ways on a toasted bagel. One with butter and marmalade and one with cream cheese with marmalade. Both were quite tasty and worth the wait. It was also good with scrambled eggs and grapefruit!