By definition marmalade is a fruit preserve, made from the peel of citrus fruits, sugar, and water. Many of us (including myself) are familiar with the English treat primarily because of Paddington Bear, the illustrated cartoon bear who with his old hat, battered suitcase, and duffle coat displayed a remarkable love of marmalade sandwiches. Prior to this past weekend though I had never so much as held a jar of marmalade. But when my cousin brought over a grocery sack of Florida's finest, I couldn't help but to take a peeler to them, give 'em a mashing, and start a new epicurious experience!
Here's the marmalade recipe I used. To get started you will need the following:
- 8 whole oranges, thinly sliced (4 cups cut)
- 3 whole lemons, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups cut)
- Orange juice or Water – 4 cups of either.
- Sugar – about 4 cups of dry, granulated (table) sugar
- Pectin (it's a natural product, made from apples and available at grocery stores)
- At least 1 large pot
- Large spoons and ladles
- Ball jars
The first thing to do is essentially select your fruit (including the lemons) and place them all on a towel or in a bowl. With a Tupperware brand peeler you then need to peel them all and cut out any seeds and/or bad spots. What you are left with is a bowl of naked oranges that are almost ready. First though, remove the remaining rind using your fingers, by peeling off the remaining white portion of the rind. Discard this – it is tasteless and spongy. Then slice the oranges and lemons in half. Next, slice the two halves into thin slices and then chop the slices up a bit! Remove and discard any seeds or tough parts of the orange that you find in the process. Continue to save any juice that leaks out!
You'll want to measure out the sugar at this point and combine your dry ingredients. Please follow the directions that come with the pectin, but generally, the lower sugar pectin recipes call for about 4 cups of sugar per box, and the regular pectin calls for 7 cups of sugar. Mix the dry pectin with about 1/4 cup of sugar and keep this separate from the rest of the sugar. Note: you can also add some spice at this point, if you like! I added a full tablespoon of cinnamon. Add the pectin to the fruit at this point.
Now place the chopped fruit and 4 cups of water or orange juice in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and return to a boil. Stir the mix and bring it to a full boil, hard, for one minute. Now fill the jars and put the lid and rings on Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Then put them into the boiling water canner!
Process the jars for about 10 minutes then allow them to sit at room temperature for up to 48 hours. I haven't had much more than a spoonful or two of the marmalade, and while it makes me feel no more proper than the man in the moon, it has a great flavor and will make a fantastic housewarming gift or just small guest gift.