Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Old Fashioned Marmalade

It has been a slow news week. I've decided to make Marmalade. We have a huge, mature orchard behind our house. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins. Short of setting up a stand outside our front gate and selling lemonade, each citrus season season rolls around and I am at a loss as to how to use our masses of fruit. Not yet ready for canning and preserving, I am going to start with simple old fashioned marmalade. Love or hate it.

4 large seedless oranges
2 lemons
8 cups sugar

Cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. Discard any seeds. Place the sliced fruit and the juice into a stainless-steel pot. Add 8 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.
The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. Turn the heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer. If you want to be sure it's ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it's cool but not cold. If it's firm - neither runny nor too hard - it's done. It will be a golden orange colour. If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it and if it's too hard, add more water. Pour the marmalade into clean, hot Mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Store in the pantry for up to a year.