Making marmalade

Marmalade jars. (File)

Marmalade jars. (File)

Elizabeth Baird, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:29 PM ET

Every fruit has its season, and the winter belongs to citrus, with lemons, oranges, all manner or mandarins and grapefruit at their peak. With this zesty bounty, it’s the perfect time to make marmalade. No sales figures, but my eyes tell me that the zipper-skin mandarin family that includes the clementines, tangerines, and of course, mandarins is even more abundant this year. That’s why I’ve focused on these small easy-to-peel fruit.

Meyer Lemon and Clementine Marmalade

It’s the arrival of clementines in the late fall that opens the glories of the citrus season. Here they combine with another early arrival, the tangy (but not sour) golden, smooth-skinned Meyer lemon.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Meyer lemons (2 1/2 lb./1.150 kg)
  • 2 clementines (8 oz./250 g)
  • 8 cups (2 L) water
  • 8 cups (2 L) granulated sugar

Directions:

Cut 9-inch (23 cm) square of double thickness fine cheesecloth; set aside.Scrub lemons and clementines gently in warm sudsy water; rinse well. Trim out stem ends and blemishes. Cut in half crosswise. Squeeze out juice, dislodging any seeds. Strain juice into large Dutch oven or saucepan. Using spoon or fingers, pull membranes from skins. Place seeds and membranes in centre of prepared cheesecloth. Bring up sides loosely but completely enclosing contents and tie top with string. Add to Dutch oven with water.

Cut lemon and clementine halves into quarters. Stacking a few pieces at a time, cut very thinly crosswise.

Add to Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often; reduce heat to low and simmer very gently, stirring and periodically pressing cheesecloth bag to release pectin, until peel is soft enough to mush between fingers, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Transfer seed bag to sieve.

Firmly press its juices back into pan. Measure peel mixture. There should be 8 cups (2 L). If less, add water to make up difference, if more, boil until reduced to this amount. Divide mixture into half.

For each batch, combine 4 cups (1 L) of peel mixture with 4 cups (1 L) of sugar in a large Dutch oven or wide heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Stirring, bring to boil over high heat. Boil vigorously, stirring constantly, until marmalade clears, thickens and reaches setting point, about 6 to 10 minutes.

Pour into preserving jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Seal with prepared discs, and bands.

Boil in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Uncover; let boiling subside. Transfer jars to rack to cool. Repeat with remaining fruit mixture and sugar.

Makes about 8 (1 cup/250 ml) jars plus a taster jar for the cook.

 

Honey Tangerine Shred Marmalade

Honey tangerines, of the mandarin family, are particularly prized for their bright orange peel and generous quantity of seeds, a bother when you’re eating them, but prized for their pectin when preserving.

Ingredients:

  • 8 to 9 large honey tangerines or other tangerines, 3 lb. (1.5 kg)
  • 4 medium lemons (1 ½ lb/750 g)
  • 10 cups (2.5 L) water
  • 10 cups (2.5 L) granulated sugar

Directions:

Cut 9-inch (23 cm) square of double thickness fine cheesecloth; set aside.Scrub tangerines and lemons gently in warm sudsy water; rinse well. Trim out stem ends and blemishes. Cut in half crosswise. Squeeze out juice, dislodging any seeds.

Strain juice into large Dutch oven or saucepan. Using spoon or fingers, pull membranes from skins. Place seeds and membranes in centre of prepared cheesecloth. Bring up sides loosely but completely enclosing the contents and tie top with string. Add to Dutch oven with water. Cut tangerine and lemon peel into quarters. Cut very thinly crosswise.

Add to Dutch oven and cover. Bring to simmer over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer very gently, stirring and periodically pressing seed cheesecloth bag to release pectin until peel is soft enough to mush when pressed with fingers, about 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Transfer bag to sieve. Firmly press its juices back into the pan.

Measure peel mixture. There should be 10 cups (2.5 L). If less, add water to make up difference, if more, boil uncovered until reduced to this amount. Divide mixture in half.

For each batch, combine 5 cups (1.25 L) of peel mixture with 5 cups (1.25 L) of sugar in a large Dutch oven or wide heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Stirring, bring to boil over high heat. Boil vigorously, stirring constantly, until marmalade clears, thickens and reaches setting point, about 10 minutes. Pour into preserving jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Seal with prepared discs, and bands.

Boil in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Uncover; let boiling subside. Transfer jars to rack to cool. Repeat with remaining fruit mixture and sugar.

Makes about 10 (1 cup/250 ml) jars.

Three Fruit Marmalade

Instead of grapefruit, lemon and oranges, the citrus trio is ruby grapefruit, lemon and clementines.

Ingredients:

  • 5 clementines (1 lb/500 g)
  • 2 ½ lemons (1 lb)
  • 1 large ruby red grapefruit (1 lb 6 oz./875 g)
  • 10 cups (2.5 L) water
  • 8 cups (2 L) granulated sugar

Directions:

Cut 9-inch (23 cm) square of double thickness fine cheesecloth; set aside. Scrub clementines, lemons and grapefruit gently in warm sudsy water; rinse well. Trim out stem ends and blemishes. Cut in half crosswise. Squeeze out juice, dislodging any seeds. Strain juice into large Dutch oven or saucepan. Using spoon or fingers, pull membranes from skins.

Place seeds and membranes in centre of prepared cheesecloth. Bring up sides loosely but completely enclosing contents and tie top with string. Add to Dutch oven with water.Cut clementine, and lemon peel into quarters, grapefruit peel into eighths. Cut very thinly crosswise. Add to Dutch oven and cover.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer very gently, stirring and periodically pressing cheesecloth bag until peel is soft enough to mush when pressed with fingers, about 2-1/2 hours.

Transfer seed bag to sieve. Firmly press its juices back into the pan. Measure peel mixture. There should be 8 cups (2 L). If less, add water to make up difference, if more, boil uncovered until reduced to this amount.

Divide mixture into half. For each batch, combine 4 cups (1 L) of peel mixture with 4 cups (1 L) of sugar in a large Dutch oven or wide heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Stirring, bring to boil over high heat. Boil vigorously, stirring constantly, until marmalade clears, thickens and reaches setting point, about 10 minutes. Pour into preserving jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Seal with prepared discs, and bands.

Boil in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Uncover; let boiling subside. Transfer jars to rack to cool. Repeat with remaining fruit mixture and sugar.

Makes about 8 (1 cup/250 ml) jars.


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