During the summer and autumn months, you can find me stirring, boiling, filling and jarring some sort of canned good just about every week. A profusion of jams, preserves, pickles and more come out of my kitchen, owing largely to the abundance of produce available. When winter rolls around, however, my output slows. Area farmers’ markets are closed until April, my own garden is dormant until spring and there’s simply much less seasonally available for canning.
That’s where citrus comes in. Citrus fruits truly shine during colder weather. From kumquats and clementines to Meyer lemons and ruby red grapefruits, citrus fruits allow me to keep canning even when the mercury dips. Curds, sauces and marmalades all showcase citrus flavors exquisitely. Accordingly, today’s Small Measures offers my recipe for Orange & Vanilla Marmalade. This marmalade is absolute heaven slathered over fresh-from-the-oven scones (I used the Dorie Greenspan-variation provided by Marisa of Food In Jars) and paired with a hot mug of Earl Grey tea. It’s also a fantastic at-the-ready item for birthdays, host gifts, housewarmings or any celebration where a bit of homemade marmalade will be welcome. And, best of all, it makes your house smell like an orange creamsicle while you’re cooking it. Seasonal. Tasty. Creamsicle. What’s not to love? — Ashley
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
- 3 pounds oranges*
- 4 cups water
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 vanilla beans
- 4 cups granulated sugar
*I used “Honeybell” oranges (my Florida-based in-laws send us a shipment of these juicy beauties every January), but really, any variety will work well.
1. Place two small plates in the freezer (these will be used later to test for gelling).
2. Quarter the oranges. Once quartered, separate the peel from the flesh. Chop the flesh up into small pieces, removing seeds as you see them. Place the seeds in a muslin tea bag (they contain a good deal of pectin and will aid in thickening the marmalade). Thinly slice the peel into long strips, then cut the strips into smaller, 1/2-inch pieces.
3. Put the seed bag, fruit flesh, sliced peel and water in a heavy, large stainless-steel soup or stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, cover, and remove from heat. Allow to cool at room temperature overnight or for at least 8 hours.
4. Remove lid from pot and place over medium heat. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
5. Slice the vanilla beans open and, using the tip of a paring knife, scrape out the seeds within. Add the seeds to the pot. Add sugar and lemon juice and stir. Continue cooking over low heat for 45 minutes or until mixture reaches 220ºF on a candy thermometer.
6. About 30 minutes into the cooking time, you’ll want to begin prepping the canner, jars and lids. Sterilize 6 half-pint mason jars, lids and screw bands. Fill a canner or large stockpot with water and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to boiling point. Place lids in a small saucepan and fill with water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, remove from stovetop and set aside.
7. Test for gelling. Remove one plate from the freezer and spoon about 1 tsp. of the marmalade on to it. Place back in the freezer and wait two minutes. Remove the plate from the freezer and push the edge of the marmalade with your fingertip. If it is gelled properly, the surface will wrinkle a bit. If it fails to wrinkle, or is obviously still runny, continue cooking the marmalade for 5 minutes longer and then repeat the test.
8. Place hot jars on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. Remove seed bag from the marmalade, squeezing to remove any juices. With the help of a canning funnel, pack marmalade into jars, reserving 1/2-inch headspace. Use a non-metallic spatula to remove any trapped air bubbles and wipe rims clean with a damp cloth. Put on lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.
9. Using a jar lifter, place jars in canner. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Remember to adjust for altitude. Check to ensure that the jars have sealed properly, label and store in a cool, dark area.
What about you? Got any marmalade recipes you churn out come wintertime? I’d love to hear about them. Otherwise, there’s a scone on my kitchen counter just begging to be adorned!