The new year has come! Welcome 2015! I like to make a batch of marmalade around this time of year, when I have oranges, and mandarins, and grapefruit and lemons in abundance. My favorite. And just let me state right here and now, if you don't already know this, listen carefully, marmalade recipes should not be doubled. Just take my word for it, and stick to small batches. I've doubled and tripled batches and while they turned out (sometimes) after some t-w-e-a-k-i-n-g, it NEVER tastes as good. Small batch is best. Small batch is best. Just say it out loud, "small batch is best". There ya go. Now you have got it. Let's get small batchin' (Scroll past recipe for kitchen reno update+photos)
What you will need:
1 lb and 12 oz of oranges (I used 9 mandarins and half of a grapefruit)
1 lemon, zest and juice
6 cups of water
3 lbs and 12 oz of sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
canning jars with rings and lids (I used seven 4oz jars and six 8oz jars, but you can use all 8oz if you'd like, you'll need 10 of them)
What you will do:
Wash your oranges and lemon thoroughly. Slice off the ends of each and discard. Now slice oranges (peel and all) as thinly as possible, around 1/8in. I don't use any one technique to do this, mostly because I like different sized candied peels in my marmalade but if you like precision, do as Alton Brown suggests and use a mandolin. Once your oranges are sliced, halve and quarter them, then set in a bowl.
Now zest and juice your lemon and place in bowl of oranges.
Place jars and lids and rings into your dishwasher and run a "quick wash" or "sanitize" load, making sure to have the "heated dry" on so that the jars are washed and remain hot in the dishwasher until you need them.
Place oranges and lemon zest and juice into an 8qt stainless steel pot and add the water. Set to high heat and bring it to boil. Once the fruit has come to a boil turn heat to medium high to maintain a rapid simmer. Continue to cook for 40 minutes, or until the fruit is very soft, stirring frequently.
While the fruit is cooking fill your canner pot with water and place on stove, bring to boil. Once water is boiling, turn heat down and allow to simmer until you need to use for water bath.
Place a small plate in freezer, you'll use this to test your marmalade in a little bit.
Once the fruit is very soft turn burner to high and return to boil. Now add the sugar and stir continuously until temperature reaches 222/223f on a candy thermometer and mixture darkens, this can take up to 10 minutes, or as little as 6 minutes. You may need to adjust heat to keep it from boiling over. I found medium heat worked best on my stove. Once sugar is completely incorporated add the dried cranberries.
Test to see if your marmalade is ready by placing a teaspoon of the hot mixture onto the plate you placed in the freezer earlier and allowing it to sit for 30 seconds untouched. Once 30 seconds have passed, tilt plate to the side. The marmalade should be a soft gel, that slowly moves. If it is dripping and fast, the marmalade is not yet ready. Continue to cook the until it forms a soft gel.
If you have turned the water down on your canner, return to boil.
Once the marmalade is ready remove 2-3 jars from the dishwasher at a time and fill with marmalade leaving 1/4 to a 1/2in room at the top. Wipe rims with a wet rag and place lids and rings on, securing tightly. Be careful as they are hot!
Repeat process until all jars are filled and fitted with rings and lids.
Using canning tongs carefully place jars in boiling water and make sure they do not touch the bottom of the pan or each other. Boil for ten minutes and then carefully remove from canner and place upside-down on the counter. After ten minutes flip over and allow to cool for 24hrs before using. You will hear the tops popping every now again. This is good! It means the jars have sealed. Once opened marmalade keeps for up to 6 months, refrigerated.
recipe adapted from here.
Last year (May!!) we moved into a 'fixer upper". It's been a journey...to say the least...but I thought I'd share a picture from my kitchen since the marmalade is looking so nice on the shelf.
Just a little run down on what we have done in the kitchen...sanded and repainted all of the cabinets, ripped out and replaced all of the appliances, ripped up and replaced tile floor (we planned on hardwood...but let's not start down that road right now...), ripped out counter tops, sink and backsplash and put new in. And then 1986 called and asked for their lighting and ceiling fan back so we obliged and put in new recessed lighting, had the ceilings retextured, removed wallpaper, put in new trim, frames and doors and painted all of them, and the walls! All while the twins napped :o The pictures to the left are when we moved in and in the middle of the renovation. You can guess how many times we went to The Home Depot...