January 12, 2011

Blood Orange Marmalade

Seeing how it's a major snowstorm here in New England, I can't help but think that canning would be a perfect indoor project for today. That is, assuming you have all the ingredients you need to whip up some jam. And who usually does? I'm telling you, I'm not going out there today!

Fortunately, I made this marmalade yesterday, since I'm not one to have 8 blood oranges and 2 Meyer lemons laying around the produce basket. But maybe you are (sicko).

I was most impressed with this marmalade; I thought I didn't like them, due to their tendancy to be bitter and in the end, a little 'meh.' But this one is so sweet and then tart, and of course, a beautiful color. However, there is only one word that truely describes this recipes, and that word is... tedious. So be forewarned.

Low-sugar Blood Orange Marmalade
From Kraft

8 blood oranges
2 Meyer lemons
2 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp. baking soda
4 cups sugar
1 box No Sugar Needed Sure.Jell pectin

Prepare your canning supplies:

Fill a hot water bath canner half-full of water and bring to a boil. Wash your 8 oz. jars (I washed 8 and used 7) and place in the canner. Boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize. Place the flat part of the lids in a small saucepot. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. Wash and set aside the screwbands.

Prepare the fruit:

Wash fruit and remove colored part of peel with a vegetable peeler. Be sure not to get any of the white part, since this is what is responsible for the bitter taste in marmalade. Chop peel into matchstick sized pieces and place in a large stock pot. Add water and baking soda and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

While the peel is cooking, remove the white part from the fruit and segment the fruit into a bowl (watch this helpful and short video if you need to). Hold the fruit over the bowl while you work to capture the juice. Add fruit to stockpot and cook for another 10 minutes. Measure 5 1/2 cups of prepared fruit into a 6 to 8 qt. stockpot and bring to a boil (Note: I didn't do this- I just used all the fruit, juice and peel I had. It turned out fine!)

Make the jam:

Measure your sugar into a bowl, and remove 1/4 cup of sugar into another small bowl. Mix well with the package of pectin. When your fruit is boiling, add the sugar-pectin mix, stirring well to combine. Bring to a full rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down), then add the remaining sugar. Bring the jam to a boil again, and boil for one minute. Remove from heat.

Can the jam:

If you'd like a canning primer, read How to Can (dilly beans).

Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims with a damp paper towel, and apply lids and screw bands until fingertip tight. Place jars in the canner, bring the heat to high, and start a timer for 10 minutes when the water is boiling. Remove jars from canner and let cool for 24 hours, undisturbed, to allow seals form.

Yield: 8 (more like 7 and 1/2 for me) 8-oz. jars