Sunday, May 12, 2013

Orange marmalade

In all the varieties that are available in jam/jelly/preserves, orange marmalade is 'the one' for me! I don't have any favourites when it comes to store bought one, so making it myself is the only way. It is rather simple to make. Oranges have ton of pectin in them, so no need to buy any.
                  There are many varieties of oranges available in farmers market. Navels being most common of them. Cara-Cara oranges are my favourite. They are sweeter than usual oranges and don't have thick pith. A perfect choice for marmalade.However, if you don't get Cara Cara oranges, make it with regular ones, just adjust the amount of sugar!
                  The marmalade is a bread spread. You won't have a thick jam like consistency when done.

2 lbs oranges (5 cups when sliced) 
1/2 cup orange zest (use zest of all the oranges)
3 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tb spoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar (adjust to taste)
small piece of cheesecloth

Wash the oranges thoroughly. Zest all the oranges. Remove both ends with thick pith (do not throw it away).Remove any pith/skin left on oranges after zesting and slice oranges into about 1/4 inch thick slices, removing seeds as you go. Stack the slices and cut into the quarters. Transfer quartered orange slices,lemon zest and orange zest, lemon juice and water into a heavy bottom stainless steel pan. In a cheesecloth, take half of end parts with thick pith and make a pouch. Throw this in the mixture along with everything else.  Bring the mixture to boil and let it boil for 7-8 minutes stirring in between. Lower the heat to medium, add sugar and keep cooking until the mixture starts to thicken . It will take about 30-35 minutes. Stir every now and then to prevent burning.
           Meanwhile, place couple of spoons in the freezer to taste if the marmalade is ready. Dip 1 cold spoon in to the hot mixture, remove from mixture and let cool for half  a minute. Draw a line with your finger on the spoon. If the mixture sets up in 2 parts and you can see the line clearly, it is ready. If not keep cooking for few more minutes.
            Remove cheesecloth pouch and throw it away.Cool the marmalade down to room temperature. Pour marmalade into clean jars and seal with the lids. It will last for about a month in the refrigerator.

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