I guess it’s because it brings back memories of childhood. My daddy loved orange marmalade. To be honest, as a kid I didn’t get it. I preferred grape. Sweet and simple, less complex. It must have been my immature palette.
Now that I’m grown, it’s a whole new game. Whenever we go out for breakfast I dig through the basket of little jam packets, hoping for orange marmalade! In the rare event when I find one, (and it’s usually only in the fancier places that we visit every blue moon or so), I call dibs on it and hide it til our order arrives. Then, I slather it thick on an English muffin and take a big bite! My mouth does a little happy dance and I lick all ten fingers to make sure I get every last bit!
So, Wednesday afternoon about 4:00, I decided to give marmalade-making a try! Why not?
I think there’s an unwritten rule somewhere that says we should never try a new recipe when we’re having company. Play it safe, stick with the tried and true, amiright? Probably should stick to the same rule when blogging. Like, don’t use your first attempt as a blog post. Ha! I recklessly began my first-ever batch of marmalade, snapping pictures as I went along. Here we go!
There’s something deeply soul-satisfying about any kind of canning and a huge sense of accomplisment! It’s fun to line up the jars and count them. In today’s world we rarely have a chance to relish a visual of “the fruits of our labors.” (Every pun intended!)
I started with the beautiful naval oranges.
Important note. Use only the colored part of the peel. Don’t include any of the white “pith” between the fruit and the peel.
Moved on to the lemons
Cut up the fruit
From there, I just followed the directions for cooking and before long, the fruit and sugar had been transformed into marmalade!
Ladled it into jars, screwed on the lids and gave it a 10 minute bath in boiling water…..
Lined up the beautiful jars and admired the results!
When my husband walked in he immediately remarked, “The whole house smells amazing!” And it did! That fresh, clean, citrusey fragrance was everywhere and made it seem as if summer isn’t so far away. I’d captured sunshine in jars!
Beautiful and sunny, sweet and tangy marmalade with bits of citrus peel. Bright and fresh. Great on English muffins or toast!
This recipe made about 7 half pint (one cup) jars.
- 4 average size oranges
- 2 average size lemons
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp butter
- 1 box powdered pection such as SURE JELL
- 5 1/2 cups sugar measured and set aside
Before you begin, fill boiling-water canner half full with water and bring to a simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling. I add a tablespoon or so of white vinegar to the water bath. Helps minimize hard water deposits on finished jars.
Remove only the colored part of peel from oranges and lemons using vegetable peeler. Do NOT use the white "pith" between the peel and the fruit! Cut peel into thin slivers. I did this step in my food processor, pulsing and stopping until the pieces were the right size, it should look like confetti.
Mix the peels, water and baking soda in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 20 min., stirring occasionally. Add the cut-up fruit with juice. Cover and simmer an additional 10 min. I used a masher to break up the fruit as it cooked.
Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot.
Stir pectin into prepared fruit in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. THE MARMALADE WILL BE VERY HOT! I used a LONG wooden spoon to stir it. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches; add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min.
Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
To be honest, orange marmalade is a bit more time-consuming than the strawberry-rhubarb jam I make every fall but it was not at all hard to do! Any citrus fruit can be made into marmalade and it makes a great glaze for pork or chicken or ham! Get creative with it! I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know how it goes!
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