I’ve only dabbled a bit in canning. A jam here and there and a batch of salsa. But I am mad for marmalade. I have made marmalade 3 weeks in a row. I think it’s the process of learning and trying to get it down pat that has led to this obsession. To be honest, I don’t even intend to eat all of what I made, I just like making it. If this obsession doesn’t stop soon, I will be a perfect candidate for Intervention and Hoarders.
The last time I had marmalade was so long ago I couldn’t remember the taste of it. I just thought it was a different name for jam. What makes it interesting is the chewy peels and that bit of bitterness that offsets the sweetness. There isn’t really a “right” way to make marmalade, it’s about preferences. I like cutting my peels as mere wisps while others prefer a chunky cut. I’d like a marmalade that’s soft and spreadable, some like a more firmer set. There are just so many variables involved that it makes my head spin.
I’m not going to lie. This is a process. Be prepared to put some good time in the kitchen for this. I can only handle making small batches, so if this is your first time, make a small batch before you over-commit to canning 24 jars.
The colour of your marmalade depends on your oranges. My first batch had a lovely deep hue which gave a darker tone compared to my second batch which wasn’t dark at all.
I recommend rolling the oranges around with firm pressure on the counter so that the peels will slip right off when you scoop out the fleshy fruit. I just dug my thumb in there:
The chopping of the peels is the most time consuming process for me as I like mine very thin. I place two peels on top of each other to speed up the work. Instead of squeezing it over a strainer, I took the lazy route and used my Hurom Slow Juicer.
The peels need to soften and has to be simmered for a couple of hours. My mixture had a sludgy grey look to it. Yum!
After the sugar is added (a lot of sugar) it turns to a more appetizing shade.
Once your mixture comes to 220F, it’s ready to pour into the jars. You can also put a dollop on a plate that’s been sitting in the freezer to check for doneness. If you push up on it and it wrinkles, it’s done. So far, my marmalades end up on the thicker side. I’m still trying to figure out how to get the perfect consistency.
You can find the Seville Orange Marmalade recipe on Sarah’s blog (I substituted blood oranges instead of the sevilles). Sarah was also kind enough to answer a few of my newbie questions which I’ll post up shortly.by