Friday, November 7, 2014

Just call me Lady Marmalade

The very first fruit tree I planted in our backyard was a Satsuma Mandarin orange tree.  We've only gotten 2-3 oranges the past couple of years, but this year we are up to our eyeballs in oranges!
 I thought a great way to preserve them would be in a batch of marmalade.

About 9 medium sized Mandarin oranges
Juice of two lemons
Approx 2 cups of water
3 cups of sugar

Peel oranges. Scrape the white pith off the peels using a butter knife or edge of a spoon. Cut the peel into fine strips. The amount of peel depends on whether you'd like more or less of it. I used almost 2 cups of cut peel. Place cut peel into a large pot and add the 2 cups of water. (If you're using more peel, add enough water to cover the contents of the pot).

Boil peel until soft, about 10 minutes. Measure out the liquid that's left (I had about 1 cup) and replace with the same amount of fresh water. Do this to lessen the bitterness, you can always omit this step if you like your marmalade more bitter. 
While the peel is boiling, pick off as much of the white pith and membranes of the oranges segments as you can. Also remove any seeds. Place fruit and lemon juice in a food processor and puree til an almost smooth consistency. Add this mixture together with peel and water into a large stainless steel pot and bring to a boil.

Add sugar. Stir often until consistency thickens, about 30 mins. depending on how juicy the fruits are, or until a candy thermometer reaches 220˚F (104˚C), that's the gelling stage.

In my batch below, I decided to just thinly slice my lemon instead of juicing it.  I like the look of "slices" in the marmalade and it also added a nice texture.

Fill into sterilized jars, seal with their lids and allow the jars to sit in a hot water bath for 10 mins. Remove and let cool at room temperature until you hear the "pop" of the button on the lid.  That means it's sealed properly and those jars will keep on the shelves for months. Those that don't seal properly can be kept in the fridge.

This is seriously good stuff!

It might even make you sing, 
"Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da!"

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