This is my first attempt at marmalade. Jackie over at Auburn Meadow Farm posted the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge on her Facebook page a few days ago. I’ve made lots of jams and jellies but was never a fan of marmalade until a friend gifted me a jar of her homemade orange marmalade. That was a totally unexpected treat, so I’d been thinking I should try it when this challenge appeared. Bright but cold January day, time on my hands, oranges in the fridge. Why not today? Being a novice to the process, I picked one of the suggested blogs for the recipe here. The link leads to detailed instructions, one of which entailed a fair amount of time. I used a curved granny knife to peel the zest from the oranges, being careful not to get any of the bitter white pith, then cut off all of that pith and sectioned the oranges to get just the pulp, no membranes. Save the membranes and seeds because that’s where the pectin is that will make your marmalade gel. I didn’t have quite 5 pounds of fruit so had to adjust the recipe down a little and ended up with just 2 pints, which can be stored in the freezer or fridge. You can process jars if you want shelf-stable.
Check out Food in Jars on Facebook and join the group. The marmalade challenge is the first this year, followed by new ones every month — salt preserving, jelly, quick pickles, fermentation, etc. Sounds like a good way to master some new skills.
— Joan, 7 January 2017
- 5 pounds of citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit or any combination)
- 6 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
Wash the fruit thoroughly. Peel carefully, just down to but not including the white pith. Cut the zest into thin strips and set aside. After peeling cut away all of the pith and discard it. Holding the peeled fruit over a bowl to catch any juices, cut out the sections. Save the membrane and seeds in a separate bowl.
Place the sections and zest in a large, wide, heavy pot. Add the water and sugar and bring to a boil. While the mixture is heating, place the reserved membranes and seeds into a jelly bag or double cheesecloth and tie closed. When the citrus-water-sugar mix comes to a boil, add the bag to the pot and continue to boil till it reaches 220°F. If you don’t have a thermometer you can use the cold plate gel test described on the referenced site, but a candy or probe thermometer is easier to track. Hold 220°F for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the seeds and membrane bag, and let the marmalade sit for a few minutes before ladling into jars for processing or freezer containers.