Thursday, July 14, 2011
Mr K likes Marmalade. A creature of habit, he has a selection of breads every morning for breakfast, spread lovingly with promite, nut butter (usually ABC spread) and some kind of sticky jam-like marmaladey substance (on separate pieces, not the same bit of bread).
He likes jam too - apricot, peach... But at the moment oranges are in season so I decided to tackle marmalade, having successfully conquered jam earlier this year. I made commercial quantities of apricot jam with the almost 10 kilos of apricots we purchased at the markets and a smaller quantity of subtle yet delicious peach jam which has a rosy tint and a floral nose. It's by far and away my favourite of the preserves we have made.
But back to today's activity: Marmalade! It's trickier than jam in the sense that it takes quite a bit longer to make - normal jam netts you 6-8 jars in about an hour. This takes more like 2 and a half hours. But it's really not that hard - you just need to keep an eye on it.
1.5kg oranges (I used ruby red oranges from Harris Farm) or other citrus fruit - a mixture of grapefruits, oranges and lemons would work well
25g Jamsetta (available at supermarket near the sugar)
Juice from one lemon (optional - see below)
Scrub oranges well, cut into quarters removing the endy bits and the pips. Slice thinly - about 3-5mm wide strips. Place in preserving pan or very large saucepan with the water and cook gently uncovered until the fruit is soft (1-2 hours, this batch took almost 2 hours).
Warm sugar in a large ovenproof bowl in an oven preheated to 150 degrees for 10 minutes. Stir sugar and Jamsetta into orange mixture and heat gently until dissolved. Bring to the boil for at least 10 minutes.
To check if the jam is set, spoon a small amount of jam onto a saucer that has been in the freezer for a few minutes. Let to sit for 3 or more minutes - set jam should crinkle when you run your finger through it. If it doesn't, boil for an additional 3-5 minutes and test again. Add the lemon juice to taste - the marmalade shouldn't be too sweet and you can use the lemon juice to temper some of the sweetness. You won't need this if you use sour fruit like grapefruits. My oranges were really sweet so I used the lemon.
This batch of marmalade took about 20 minutes to reach setting point. It won't set stiff like store bought jam, but that's a good thing. Remove jam from heat, let sit for 5-10 minutes and pour into sterilised warm dry jars. Seal immediately with lids and turn upside down for a few minutes.
To sterilise jars: wash in warm soapy water, rinse with hot clean water and place on a tray upside down in a preheated 150 degree oven until the jars are dry. Remove the jars from the oven and allow to cool slightly before pouring in the marmalade. The jars should be warm, not molten hot! Wash the lids thoroughly and dry but do not put them in the oven.
This batch made 10 decent sized jars of sticky yummy marmalade. Total cost - $5.65 in total (plus jars). Bargain!