Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Blood Orange Marmalade
4 1/2 cups of raw and/or organic cane sugar. Cane sugar is best for jams, jellies, and marmalades. Anything else can lead to a bitter and runny spread.
2 1/2 cups of filtered water.
1 box of Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin
8 wide mouth half pint jars with new lids and bands. Bands can be reused, but you will need a new lid as the rubber seal is less reliable after the first use and could lead to spoiling.
Using a mandolin slicer over a large bowl, place the quartered fruit pulp side down and slice. Dispose of the excess peel. Be certain to get the juice into the bowl, wasting as little as possible. And watch your fingers! Slicers and knives can do a doozy on your fingertips.
If you do not have access to a slicer, using a well sharpened knife, cut the fruits into slivers. Remove excess center pith, seeds, and the cap ends of the peel.
Add the water and sugar to the fruit and mix well. Pour into a enamel lined pot, using a silicon scraper/spatula remove every last drop, and then set to boil for twenty minutes. Sprinkle in the pectin and stir well. Scrape down the sides frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cover for approximately thirty-five minutes, scraping the sides and bottom every five minutes.
Wash and sanitize the jars, lids, and bands. Start the canning pot to boil.
Evenly pour out the marmalade into the jars. Be certain the rim is clean and dry before placing the still warm and completely dry lid and band on it. Using a hand towel to hold the base while tightening with a rubber jar opener/ tightener provides traction, ensuring that the band is on really tight.
Place in the canning pot, cover and boil for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the lid, let sit for ten more minutes and then using the canning tongs, remove the jars and set on dish towels to dry. When the lids pop they are sealed. Allow to cool for at least one hour before storing in a cool dark pantry or cupboard.
There are all sorts of recipes that call for overnight soaks, excessive trimming, and more, but I'm telling you - you don't need any of those things. This recipe turns out just the right blend of sweet and bitter, it spreads beautifully, the color is like a sunset, and the peels are tender. As with all orange marmalade recipes, it will take about a week or two for the spread to thicken or gel. It is still perfectly fine and spreads nicely, it's like honey the way it pours and spreads.
I poured the excess into a little dish and placed it in the refrigerator to thicken over night and it was perfect on my toast in the morning.