It’s getting to be the end of citrus season, so I made a point of fitting a marmalade canning session into my February vacation schedule. My dad’s family has been making marmalade since the 50s, as proven by the old jar and handmade label that sits on one of our kitchen shelves. It is nice to have a canning project so far removed from the crazy late summer food preservation season. Here’s how we make a yummy fruity not-too-sweet marmalade:
Ingredients: 14 organic oranges, 2 organic lemons, 1 cup orange juice concentrate, 5 cups water, 3.5 cups fair trade organic sugar, 2 tablespoons Pomona’s Low Sugar Pectin and 8 tablespoons calcium solution (comes with the Pectin). Yield, approximately 22 pints.
1) Slice, chop, and slice. This is the labor intensive part… it’s vastly improved by dividing between multiple people and having good music on in the background! Wash oranges and lemons thoroughly (you’re eating the rind, after all). Slice into wedges. Cut peel off fruit (try to leave very little white pith on the fruit). Slice the remaining pith off of the rind (for the compost heap). Julienne the rind into thin matchstick pieces.
2) Cook Rinds. Simmer rinds in orange juice concentrate and water, along with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, for 20 minutes. We sometimes substitute fruit purées, such as peach, apricot, or mango, for some of the orange juice concentrate.
3) Sterilize Jars. We rinse our jars and microwave them for 5 or 6 minutes. We simmer the canning lids in water. You can do this prep now so that you’re all ready to can when your marmalade is ready.
4) Add in the Oranges. Bring your mixture back up to a boil.
5) Add Pectin and Sugar. Mix these two dry ingredients first in a bowl to avoid clumps of jelly-y pectin in your final product. Then add the powdery mixture to your pot and stir quickly. Simmer for 10 minutes.
6) Add Calcium Solution. This comes in the Pomona’s Pectin box and is part of the process of jelling your liquid. This is a good time to taste your marmalade and add more sugar if needed.
7) Pack and Lid. Using a funnel and ladle, fill each canning jar up to the little ridge (about 1/2 inch down from top). Screw on lids.
8) Can. Use a canner to submerge your jars in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. This increases the shelf life of your product and is not as necessary if you sterilized materials well and are planning to eat the marmalade right away.
9) Enjoy! We love this fruity marmalade on toast, mixed into plain yogurt, on top of ice cream, and sometimes by the spoonful.