With everything going on in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had a lot more time on my hands at home to try out new things that interest me.
Having extra oranges on hand that may or may not get eaten before they got hard, the idea of trying to make my own marmalade so they didn’t go to waste came to mind. Also, a bit of extra vitamin C in my diet wouldn’t hurt, right?
I personally do not like overly sweet food, so I adjusted the recipe I found to have less sugar than called for by about half.
First, I washed my oranges and lemon, cut the ends off, then cut them into quarters and then into thin strips. Next time I would try cutting them into thin rounds first and then into quarters to see which method is easiest to get the thinnest strips.
Make sure there are no seeds before adding the orange and lemon to the pot. (I saved the cut off the ends of the oranges to make a vinegar cleaner later).
Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
I let the batch set overnight as this gives the orange’s natural pectin time to set. Some recipes called for pectin, which I did not have on hand, so I chose this method rather than wait until the next time I made it to the grocery store (which wouldn’t be for a while given the government’s strong recommendation to stay home unless absolutely necessary).
The next day, I brought the batch back up to a boil, then turned it down to a simmer for 2 hours.
The next step was to bring it to a gentle boil for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid burning. The recipe said to use a candy thermometer and bring the temperature to 220 Degrees F – I actually whipped out my candy thermometer, despite my temptation to “wing it!”
That being said… My batch only made it to about 210 Degrees before it started looking gelled enough, so I took a spoonful of the marmalade out and put it in the fridge for a minute to test how it set up.
It was the consistency I wanted, so I took my marmalade off the heat and put it into 3 clean, sanitized pint jars and sealed.
Of course my spoonful to test it was tasty, but I still HAD to try the marmalade with fresh, homemade sourdough bread for my final rating – and let me tell you, this will not be the last time I make this recipe!
It makes for a great breakfast when slathered on top of sourdough English muffins.
I had a friend joke that they call marmalade “old people jam” and it made me laugh; Pinterest already thinks I am an older lady, so why not just embrace it? Haha
4 Medium Oranges, sliced thinly
1 Lemon, sliced thinly
6 Cups Water
4 Cups Sugar (if you like it sweeter you can add another 4 cups of sugar)
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat, cover, and leave overnight.
Bring to a boil the next day, reduce heat to a simmer for 2 hours.
Bring to a gentle boil for 20 – 30 minutes. Target heat using your candy thermometer is 220 Degrees F. Test thickness by taking a spoonful and placing in the fridge for a minute; if it is watery, continue to cook. If it gels well, your batch is done.
Fill clean, sanitized jars and seal with hot water bath.
Makes about 3 pints.
Have you made marmalade? Do you plan to give it a try? I would love to hear from you below!
(Published April 2020)