I love Orange Marmalade. I have been craving some good homemade marmalade for some time now. I have good memories from childhood of eating the marmalade on just plain old white bread with homemade butter to memories of eating it every morning while in France on a Croissants or Baguette. “Good morning. Bonjour. S’il vous plaît, je vais prendre une tasse de chocolat chaud et un crossiant avec marmelade d’orange, je vous remercie beaucoup.’’ (‘’Good morning. Bonjour. Please, I will have a cup of hot chocolate and a croissant with orange marmalade, thank you very much.) For about two weeks, I did not tire of this as the beginning of my day. It had gotten to the point that the waitress would ask croissant or baguette as she approached to my table. ‘’Souhaitez-vous une crossiant ou de la baguette de ce matin?’’
Such memories, and who (in their right mind) could turn down a mix of Chocolate and orange? I must admit, I could not and would not turn down this combination at any time. I love to break off a single bite of bread and put a little butter and a dollop of the sweet tart mix of marmalade, it is incredible. Nothing can you compare it to.
Kevin, at Closet Cooking and I were on the same wave lengths here recently. I was catching up on emails and a he had posted the marmalade recipe and gave me the little push I needed to make my first ever orange marmalade. I too found he had done candied orange peels too, so I decided no better time to learn than when I make my first marmalade.
I love the tartness of marmalade, the subtle difference of the sweet and tart mix. I need a change once in a while from the sweet of normal jams and preserves, they are delicious, but every once in a while I love to wake up my taste buds and marmalade does just that. I noticed that Kevin had added a lemon to his mix, so I decided to add one lemon and two small Meyer Lemons to my batch. I too did not use the Seville Oranges that he did but instead use Minneola Organic Oranges (Kevin used Seville Oranges, which have seeds, so, will cook differently.) The skin of the Minneola Orange is a very bright deep color with the juice being of the same color; I could just see it in the jars. I had to add a box of pectin to my marmalade; my oranges came all but seedless. I still had plenty of pulp and extra bits and I tied them up in the cheesecloth. I waited to the last to make sure I needed the pectin and one box did just the trick.
I agree with Kevin, that the marmalade is really very simple with only a couple of simple ingredients: the oranges, added lemons, sugar and in my case one box of pectin and it was a lot easier to make than I had imagined. I defiantly will be making more. Next time I am already thinking about adding pineapple and maybe some other interesting combos? We’ll see, but I do adore good old plain marmalade. However after thinking about it there really is nothing plain about marmalade.
I too decided that I wanted some sweet bread to eat my marmalade on and made a batch of Brioche for just that purpose. There is enough Brioche now to make a good bread pudding here soon too.
Once I got the oranges and lemons washed I went to work juicing, scraping, and slicing, my homemade marmalade was one step closer, I could already taste it on my fresh Brioche. I did a couple of extra oranges and lemons for candied rinds. I was glad I had decided to do it all at one time. It went by pretty quickly.
I also prepared my jars and tops. I washed them thoroughly and then boiled them in water for ten minutes. I even went through my old scraps of material for quilting and found some cloth that had oranges on it, with a lime background, it was perfect. I was now ready for the end results.
- 1 pound of Minneola Oranges, about 4-5
- 1 Lemon – Yellow
- 2 Small Meyer Lemons
- 4 cups of water
- 4 cups of sugar
- 1 box of Pectin
- Cut the oranges and lemons in half cross wise.
- Squeeze the juice and pits out through a mesh sieve collecting the juice in a large sauce pan.
- Scrape all of the membranes and remaining pulp from inside of the oranges. This is not a hard as it sounds; at least I had no problems cleaning out everything to the rind.
- Collect the pit, membranes and any pulp that came out and place it in a double layer of 8 inch square cheese cloth and tie off.
- Slice the oranges and lemon peels into small thin pieces about 1/8 inch wide.
- Bring the juice, water, peels and cheesecloth to a simmer over medium heat and cook, covered, until the peel gets tender, about 2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes, squeezing the juices from the cheesecloth when you do.
- Remove the cheese cloth and squeeze out any liquid into the pot.
- At this point you should have about 4 cups of liquid. Add more water if you have less and simmer to reduce if you have more.
- Bring the liquid and sugar to a rolling boil, this is where I added my pectin and followed the box instructions. (If your marmalade is thickening on its own, then proceed like Kevin did – at rolling boil – until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes. To test, place a small spoonful on a plate that was in the freezer and run your finger through. If the path where your finger went through stays then it has set.
- Pour into your jars leaving ½ inch of space at the top. I took a damp clean cloth and went around all the rims to make sure they were clean so I would know they would seal. (This made me feel so grown up. I remember as a child watching my mother can everything that could be canned. She would always take a damp clean cloth and run the rims. We always had to stay at a distance when she was canning.) I then put the lids on and placed in a large pot and covered with boiling water. Once all of it got boiling again I boiled for twenty minutes with pot lid on and then put the half pints of marmalade on a large cutting board to cool. Be very careful, you could burn yourself very easily. They were all sealed. I was so proud of myself. (Kevin at the point of putting into the jars placed the tops on and refrigerated when cool.)
- So if you want to keep your in the refrig versus sealing for some length of time in your pantry, that is up to you. What I have will not last long enough to warrant the boiling water bath and such, but since I was sending part of the batch out, not knowing when they would use theirs, I decided it was best to just can to seal for later use.
I knew that a few of mine were going in the post to family. My mother, she will be so pleased to see that I took the time to finally make my own marmalade, and she loves marmalade as much as I do. I will be sending to family in Texas, Peggy who never forgets to send jams and such which she has made, and to my dear friend Sue. I hope they love them as much as I do.
It was hard to let the marmalade set until the next morning. But what did I have for breakfast, Brioche and Marmalade. I closed my eyes and took a trip to France. What nice memories from childhood, to France and back again and now I have joined the legends of those that have made their very own marmalade. It tastes just as good as that from my childhood to that which I had in France. How can something so simple be so good? ….