Friday, January 6, 2012
Last year I added some booze to my marmalade which was a fun, easy way to step up a classic preserve, but in the process of consuming those jars I learned something important about myself. I am a bit of a marmalade wimp. I can't handle the thick cut rind found in most marmalade and I found myself picking around it. This year I played it safe, turning back to my favorite (and first) marmalade recipe from Marisa at Food in Jars. This style of marmalade only uses the zest of the fruit sliced in very thin strips which give the marmalade great texture and cuts back on some of the bitterness of the thick cut varieties. It takes a bit of time to prepare the fruit, but I can't think of a nicer way to spend a dark winter afternoon than to dive into a big pile of sunny citrus.
Mixed Citrus Marmalade
adapted from Food in Jars
yield about 24oz of finished marmalade
40oz (2.5lbs) mixed citrus fruit, I used 1 grapefruit, 2 tangelos, 1 tangerine and 2 meyer lemons (It was a real clean out the fruit bowl affair)
2c zest poaching liquid (you will make this in Step 1)
clean, sterilized canning jars and lids
1. Remove the peels from your citrus using a vegetable peeler, careful not to get any of the white pith. Cut the peels into thin strips with a sharp knife. The peels wil not reduce in size after you cook them so make sure to cut them very fine, 1/8''-1/4'' depending on your preference. I like to cut them as fine as possible. Combine your zest strips with about 4 cups of cold water in a medium sized saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook the zest strips until they are very soft, about 30min.
2. While the zest is boiling away, get to supreming. Cut away the tops and bottoms of the fruit, then with a very sharp knife, cut the white pith away from the outside of the fruit and discard it. Over a bowl, carefully cut the wedges of fruit away from the membrane letting the fruit and juices fall into the bowl. Save the membrane and seeds and place them in a cheesecloth bundle. You will use this bundle to add some natural pectin while cooking the marmalade.
3. When the zest is finished, strain it over a large bowl, making sure to reserve 2c of the poaching liquid.
4. Grab your (non reactive) canning pot and dump in the fruit segments and juice, poached zest, poaching liquid, sugar, and the cheesecloth bag. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook the hell out of it until it reaches 220º and passes the wrinkle test. You may have to cook the jam for a few minutes after it reaches 220º, it all depends on the mixture of fruit you use. I ended up cooking my marmalade for about 50min, but I would start checking it for doneness at about 30min. When the marmalade is finished, give the cheesecloth bag a good squeeze and discard it.
5. Ladle into clean, sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
- Some folks say that the wrinkle test is unreliable for marmalade, so if you are concerned I suggest you cook the mixture until it reaches 220º then ladle it into jars without testing.
- This recipe can easily be doubled
- If you'd like to add any flavorings to the marmalade, like some booze or vanilla, add it in the last five minutes of cooking.