Sunday, February 3, 2013

Preservation: Orange-Ginger Marmalade

Orange-Ginger Marmalade

I tried canning in November of 2011 for the first time when I made Chili Piquin Jelly.  It turned out well and gave me some confidence to try new things.  Up to that time, preservation for me was the freezer.  It turns out, that if you follow directions, things work out pretty well!  Who knew?

I saw Ina Garten make Orange Marmalade on The Barefoot Contessa.  I have modified her recipe here and added a few slices of fresh ginger to the mix as a tasty little top note!

So here we go:

4 large seedless oranges
2 lemons
4 Slices fresh ginger 1/4" thick, peeled (half dollar sized)
8 cups sugar 
8 cups water
Zest the fruit and discard the pith for the best tasting marmalade.

Use a vegetable peeler to take the zest from the oranges and lemons. I used a paring knife to remove the thicker white pith (it is bitter so discard this). 
Julienne the zest

Stack the zest strips together and finely julienne.

Everything in the pot!

I cut the oranges in half, then into six (6) wedges, finally chopping them up.  For the lemons, discard the seeds and finely chop; they are optional, but they gave the recipe a little nice bite.

Add 8 cups 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 2 hours. Turn the heat up to medium and boil gently for another 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees. This could take another 30-45 minutes.  I used a candy thermometer to be sure. If you want to be doubly sure it’s ready, try my frozen spoon method:  put two tablespoons in the freezer and use a small amount of the juice to see if it is ready.  It cools FAST. If it’s firm -- neither runny nor too hard -- it’s done. It will be a golden orange color. (If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it and if it’s too hard, add more water.)

Using a wide mouth funnel, ladle 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 refrigerator or, you can water process the jars for ten minutes and store in the pantry for up to a year.

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