OK – so if you read my post on Friday, you know about the epic challenge I am undertaking – that I plan to can my way through the entire Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. So here is my first post for that challenge, page 97, my first traditional marmalade.
2 1/4 lbs Oranges
2 Clementine oranges
12.5 cups hot water
11.5 cups sugar
1/3 cup brandy (optional)
Here’s how we made it:
We didn’t 100% follow Ball on how to do step 1 just because we wanted really thin slices of peel, so you can decide which method you prefer. We peeled strips off the oranges with a potato peeler, then peeled off the rest of the peel and juiced them in an electric juicer, reserving the juice. The rest of the peel/rind, seeds and pulp goes into a cheesecloth bag. The other way you can do it is by halving your oranges and lemons and squeezing the juices out into a cheesecloth lined bowl. Then scoop out all the rest of the pulp and seeds into the cheesecloth. If you like the orange slices thick then no problem, follow Ball and now slice those peels as thin as you like them. We just wanted really thin slices. Whichever way you do it, reserve the juices, and tie the pulp, peel and seeds up in a cheesecloth bag.
Combine the juices, peel slices, pulp sack and hot water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and continue to boil gently. The goal is to get the peel nice and soft, and reduce the total volume by nearly a half. This will take about 1.5-2 hours.
After the hour and a half or so you’ll remove the cheesecloth bag. Try and squeeze it out pretty well back into the pot, or set it in a strainer so you can add those tasty juices back. At this point you want to check that you have pretty close to 10 cups of liquid remaining. If you have more left (like we did) this can affect the quality of your set. So if you are still well over 10 cups you can either discard some or let it boil down a little longer.
Time to prepare the canner, jars and lids. This recipe will yield 11-12 half pints.
Bring your juice back up to a boil, stirring constantly. Slowly add in the sugar. Maintain a hard boil for 15 minutes or so while stirring occasionally, until gel stage is reached. Once it reaches gel you can add the brandy if you are using it.
Fill the hot jars with marmalade, leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rim, apply the lid, and tighten the band finger tip tight.
As you can maybe tell, our marmalade was a little thinner than it should have been. I’m pretty sure this is due to us not making sure we had 10 cups of liquid, so definitely don’t skip that step. It also did set more and more throughout the week, so if it’s not perfect at first don’t panic.
Place the jars in the canner covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, and remove the jars onto a hot pad or towel. After 12-24 hours when they have cooled, check the seals, remove the bands, wipe the jars, label and store. Wait a few weeks to eat them for the best set.
*This post contains affiliate links. Check out the “About the Blogger” page for more information.