Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When the World gives you oranges, and you have them too long, make marmalade

I'm usually not one for lumpy jams, fruit compote, or sauces. I was one of those kids who picked tomatoes out of tomato sauce and left the margins of my plate littered with lumps.

However, I was recently liberated by a very, very good jar of black cherry fruit spread.

This week, caring for sick kids...again, I see that the oranges my husband picked up a few weeks ago are still in their bowl on the table. You don't really want to know about the last bowl of oranges we had sitting out over Christmas. It wasn't pretty and is probably the reason this bowl is still here. Perfectly good but in that almost-too-ripe stage.

Then I start daydreaming about my own fruit spread. Would it be good a piece of ginger? Or with a few lemons? Or with some canned pineapple? I don't think I've tried marmalade since 1983, so there's a lot of room here for innovation.

I didn't get too crazy because I was simultaneously trying to tell I. stories about his grandparents and great-grandparents for an assignment, make L. eat his food, do dishes, and tend the stove. No pineapple. No lemons. No ginger. Just standard orange marmalade with too much sugar.

Orange Marmalade

8-10 'Cutie' oranges (the small ones) and 4 large Navel oranges

I peeled them, then opened them and took the hard white strings out. (Some people shave the orange peel off, soak it in water & baking soda, and then dispose of the bitter white rind. That seemed like too much work to me.) Then I chopped them across the segments. Get ready for a lot of juice. You have to empty the oranges and juice into the pot fairly often.

2 cups of orange juice

You can use water instead but I wanted that orangey taste with a bit less sugar. I put these two together in a pot and let it simmer on low while I was peeling and chopping.

3 cups of sugar

I started with 1 cups, and added more a little at a time. I think 2 cups would have been fine, but it wasn't jelling well so I added a third at the last minute. Next time I'll just trust the process. I would recommend adding a little at a time and seeing what you like first. Usually I like to taste the fruit over the sweetness. This can also work with Splenda.

1 box of pectin (Sure-jell, etc.)

At this point I brought it to a rolling boil. You can add seasoning (ginger, all-spice, anything you like) at this point too. Once it's boiling for a few minutes (stirring well) you can put it back to a simmer and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Then either can or put in containers for the freezer or fridge. It should last a month in the fridge.


Francesca said...

Why do you add pectina?! With all that sugar you shouldn't need it! When temperature reaches 104 celsius degrees the marmelade is ready. :-)

Anna said...

I love your blog and I am so glad to find another garden blogger from Wisconsin. I look forward to reading more in the future.


Tam said...

Francesca...because I know very little about jam-making and nothing at all about marmalade!!

It was still soupy even with the extra sugar and pectin, although it firmed up just fine in the fridge. Next time I'll stop doubting myself.

Thanks Anna. :)