Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Orange Vanilla Marmalade

Alright, so I'm totally jumping off from Myrnie's Meyer Lemon Marmalade, but I thought this warranted its own post.

Why? Because my version uses two oranges, makes two quarts of marmalade, and was so dead simple...that's why!

Orange Vanilla Marmalade
2 naval oranges, washed and sliced into 1/8ths (remove any seeds you find)

1) Put your oranges (yes, peel and all) into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (about pea sized chunks). This takes about 12 pulses.

2. Remove chopped oranges to a non-reactive (I used stainless steel) bowl and add enough water to cover them. Add just enough if you like a really chunky marmalade, or more water if you like to have more jelly in your marmalade.

3. Cover with a tea towel, and walk away. Don't come back for 8-24 hours. (Honestly, I left mine a night, and a day, and a night. Oops.)

4. When you do come back, put your orange/water mixture into a heavy-bottomed pot, one cup at a time. You need to measure how many cups of liquid you have so you can...

5. ...add 3/4 cups sugar per cup of liquid. (I added 1 cup of sugar per cup of liquid, and it turned out a bit too sweet.) You can also add a split vanilla bean at this point, or a healthy dollop of vanilla extract.

6. It's time to cook! Break out your candy thermometer if you have one. Stick a small saucer and a spoon in the freezer, too. Bring it all to a simmer - watch it carefully. High pectin fruits like oranges tend to foam up a lot at the beginning. Watch your candy thermometer - you want to cook your mixture until it reaches about 220 F. When it starts to get close, occasionally remove from heat and scoop out a little marmalade with your frozen spoon, onto your frozen plate - this will show you exactly how hard your finished product will be.

7. When your marmalade is as thick as you like it, you can pour it into your prepared jars.

I didn't want to can mine, so I just screwed the lids on and left them to cool on the counter before storing them in the fridge. These will store for about 2 months that way. (In the picture, you can see I had one full quarter jar. There are two other jars, each half full, as I wanted to give part of this endeavor to some friends of mine.)

Alternately, you can sterilize your jars, pour the marmalade in (leaving a headspace of 1/4") and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

My batch, with two good sized oranges made nearly two quarts of marmalade. Not bad for such a small investment! Next time, I'll find smaller jars, can them properly...and hand them out at Christmastime as gifts.

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