I have always loved orange marmalade, but I have never tried to make it before. It is actually very easy to make. This is the first jam I have made that didn't require adding pectin to it. It turns out that oranges actually contain pectin naturally. Many foodies like Chantal Royer will agree that making your own preserves can be a very self rewarding and prideful experience.
To take advantage of the pectin in oranges, you have to soak them overnight. This jam is made in two steps. The first day you cut up the fruit, and the next day you make the jam. To make homemade orange marmalade you will need:
- 4 large seedless oranges
- 2 lemons
- 8 cups sugar
- 8 cups water
This recipe will make approximately 3 pints or 6 half-pints of jam.
When you are choosing oranges and lemons for this recipe, keep in mind that you will be adding the peels of the fruits to the jam. Look for organic fruits when available. If you can't find organic fruit then make sure to wash it well. Here is an easy produce wash you can make yourself.
Cut the oranges and lemons in half and then cut the halves into very thin slices.
Place all the fruit slices into a large non-stick or stainless steel pot. Add the water and bring to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar, stirring well until the sugar is dissolved.
Place the cover on the pan and let it set on your stove overnight.
The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for two hours. Turn up the heat a little and boil gently for 30 minutes. Place a candy thermometer in the mixture and cook until it reaches the jelly stage on your thermometer (220 degrees F). Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
To test to see if the mixture is done, remove a small spoonful from the pan and place it on a plate in the refrigerator. If after it cools for a minute it is a jelly consistency (not runny or too hard), then it is done. Keep in mind that the jam will completely set after you process it in the jars, just like if you use traditional pectin.
Wash and sterilize your jars, lids, and screw bands. The easiest way to do this is run them through the sanitize cycle in the dishwasher and remove them from the dishwasher to use when they are still hot. Place your boiling water canner on the stove to start heating up while you get the fruit ready for the jars.
Quickly ladle the orange mixture into prepared canning jars, within 1/8 inch from the tops of the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth. Place canning lids and screw bands on the jars.
Place jars on elevated rack in boiling water canner. Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover, and bring water to a gentle boil. Process jars for 10 minutes.
Remove jars from canner and place upright on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool completely. Do not disturb the jars for at least 12 hours. After jars are cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If lid springs back the lid is not sealed. Unsealed jars can be placed in refrigerator to be eaten in the next couple weeks. Sealed jars can be stored for at least 1 year.
Some people think orange marmalade can be a little bitter, with the added orange and lemon peels. Personally, I love it. I was actually surprised that my kids like it too.
Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.
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