Most of you that have followed me for awhile, know that my family was into canning and preserving food. Really, I couldn’t imagine a growing season without preserving something. Even if I don’t have access to growing my own food, we are very lucky to have access to farmer’s markets with fresh organic produce.
Right now, we are smack dab in the middle of citrus season and the farmer’s market is reflecting that with baskets upon baskets overflowing with the bright and sweet scents of citrus perfuming the stands. Of course, I would want to preserve the tart, fresh sweetness available to me. The marmalade that I make is really quite simple, but it is different than traditional marmalade. I use the rind and juice only, discarding the rest. This makes for a very clean but thick preserve, that is a hybrid of half candied peel, half marmalade.
Such a sinfully delicious treat with the concentrated flavors of sunshine, it is low brow enough to spread across toast and biscuits, but high brow enough to adorn cheese trays, sandwich cookies, pork, duck, or even tarts and cheescakes.
Candied Orange Marmalade
- 8 navel oranges
- 5 lemons (I used meyers)
- 3 cups sugar + more to taste
- Pinch of salt
Instructions: Wash oranges and lemons in hot water to remove any wax.
Juice the oranges and lemons (use a strainer to remove pulp and seeds), set the juice aside, keeping the rinds/peels. The citrus should yield 4 cups of juice. If the amount of juice falls short, add either lemon juice, orange juice or water to make up the difference. Set juice aside.
Scrape out 5-7 of the juiced orange and 2-3 lemon halves, throwing out any remaining orange and lemon sections. Don’t worry about removing the pith (the white part inside the peel).
Finely chop the peels into long, 1/4 inch-wide strips. Place the strips in a wide-bottomed stainless steel or copper saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to an energetic simmer and let the water and the peels boil for 10 minutes to remove the bitterness and soften the peel. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, then rinse the peels in cold running water.
Return the peels to the pot. Add the sugar and mix well and put the pot back onto the stove at medium-low heat, and let cook for 15 minutes, or until the peels have the texture of al dente pasta. Stir occasionally. Taste and adjust for sweetness.
Pour in the reserved 4 cups juice and 2 cups water. Mixture will soon begin to boil. Let it cook until the liquid is reduced by one-third. Stir frequently.
Run a spoon along the bottom of the pot. If the jam holds along the sides and you can see the bottom of the pot for a few seconds after the spoon is gone, then it’s just about done. Once the jam starts to thicken, add a pinch of salt and cook a minute or two longer.
Pour into jars sterilized according to manufacturer’s instructions and store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. For longer storage, process according to the instructions provided with home canning kit.