One of my friends here has to go into Missoula several times a week for physical therapy and since she can now drive herself she has invited me to accompany her whenever I would like.
Oh, the excitement!
You have no idea the fun of going down to “the big city” almost any time I want. Wheeeee!
Such is the state of my life on the farm.
So into Missoula I went and Costco was waiting for me.
I came home with blackberries, strawberries, lemons and a big, whomping box of oranges.
The hubby takes yogurt to work every day for his lunch (goat’s milk yogurt, of course) and he adds a bit of my homemade jam to brighten it. He was not doing this last year and I did not make that much jam and I was about out. I made blackberry jam, strawberry jam and for the first time in my life orange marmalade.
I had no idea how time consuming the marmalade would be – but I must admit it was really worth it. The finished product is delightfully full flavored, nice and tart and the hubby loves it.
Since I had no clue how to make it and all of the recipes in my canning books were for marmalades with chilies or other ingredients I didn’t have or didn’t want to add I went to the internet. Most of the recipes I found there were old fashioned with more sugar than fruit and I knew I didn’t want to go there. So I went with a low sugar recipe that came with the pectin.
You will need:
4 cups of sugar
1 box Sure Jell low sugar pectin
2 1/2 cups of water
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp butter
pinch of salt ( I always add a pinch of salt to my jams. It is not necessary, I just think it helps the taste.)
half pint jars, lids and water bath canner
Have your jars hot and ready to go
Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel the citrus fruits. Be sure to only take the peel and not the bitter white pith.
Set the peels aside.
The instructions just tell you the chop up the fruit. Not very helpful if one has never really cut up an orange or lemon. I trimmed the rest of the peel off of the fruit and cut the oranges and lemons into supremes. After the supremes were cut I squeezed what was left to be sure to get all of the juice out.
I then went through and cut all of the supremes into fourths.
I chopped the peels into small pieces.
The kitchen smelled like summer.
The chopped peel gets put in a large pot with the 2 1/2 cups of water and the 1/8 tsp of baking soda. Bring it to a boil, cover it and let it simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Next add the fruit and its juice, return to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
While the fruit is cooking get the sugar and pectin ready. Put the pectin and 1/4 cup of sugar in one bowl and the 3 3/4 cups of sugar in another bowl.
|The butter is in there, it’s just buried|
Once the fruit has simmered for 10 minutes add the sugar/pectin mixture and the 1 tsp butter to the pot. Mix well and bring to a ROLLING BOIL – a boil you cannot stir down. When that happens add the rest of the sugar and return to a rolling boil FOR EXACTLY ONE MINUTE. Turn off the heat.
Ladle the marmalade into the half pint jars leaving 1/2″ headspace. Wipe the rims and add the lids. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. I process for 20 minutes as I am over 3,000ft. Turn off the heat and let them sit in the canner for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the canner and let them sit overnight.
Aren’t they pretty?
I had enough oranges to make two batches. The second batch I played around with a little – I know, SHOCKING! I added some chopped strawberries at the very end of processing to make strawberry orange marmalade. It was REALLY good. I don’t have photos of it….oh well.
Even though this took a while to make hubby LOVES it and that is all that matters to me. If presented with lots o’oranges I will make it for him again. Citrus in these parts is scary expensive and the 13lb box of oranges was $9 so that made me happy. Lemons are NEVER cheap; when I can find them for 30 cents each I do the dance of joy.
Now my jam cupboard is overflowing for the hubby. He has a world of choice and I’ll make cherry jam when they come in. Hopefully I’ll get some apples this year and I can try my hand at apple jelly.