Happy Monday! Not much brings me more excitement than churning out a successful, delicious recipe. This weekend, I tried out Ina Garten’s “Anna’s Orange Marmalade” recipe. Not only was this my first marmalade attempt, it was also my first canning experience. If you’ve shied away from making your own jam, jelly, preserves, etc. – fear not! This marmalade – while time-consuming – requires no advanced cooking skills, and produces scrumptious results.
Since I knew I’d be utilizing the outer portion of zest and pith (the white portion between the zest and flesh), I chose a particularly thin-skinned, sweet, seedless orange. The flesh of the CaraCaras has a deeper hue than navels, which yields a gorgeous burnt orange-colored marmalade. Although not instructed in the recipe, I suggest peeling two of the four oranges, removing the pith from the rind, and then julienning the rind to add to the fruit. If you choose to use the pith of all of the oranges, your results may be unpleasantly bitter.
The recipe is a two-day process. On the first day, you thinly slice your oranges and lemons, combine with water and sugar, and bring to a boil. This mixture sits at room temperature overnight. The next day, the marmalade is brought back up to a boil, simmered for a couple hours, and cooked until it reaches 220 degrees. Really, a very simple process! After it reaches the proper consistency and temperature, you can then ladle it into your sanitized, hot jars. (The glass jars MUST be hot, as cool glass will crack when the hot marmalade is poured into them.)
I found Ball brand wide-mouth pint jars at Target, and they’re the perfect size for gift-giving. They’re squat, little jars that would look perfect finished off with some rafia. After you’ve sealed the jars, unless you’re planning to eat the marmalade in a short period of time, you will need to submerge them into a canner (or large pot) of boiling water and boil them for about 15 minutes. If using a pot, make sure that it’s large enough for water to cover the jars by two inches. When you remove them, some of the lids may be loosened by the boiling action. Simply grip the jar with a towel and tighten the rim.
This recipe made enough marmalade for four pints. I’ll probably double the recipe next time since it’s a lengthy process, and canning allows for extended pantry storage. If you’re a marmalade fan, I highly recommend Ina’s recipe. My household will no longer be buying ours!
- 4 large seedless oranges
- 2 lemons
- 8 cups sugar
Cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. (If you have a mandoline, this will be quite fast.) Discard any seeds. Place the sliced fruit and their juices into a stainless-steel pot. Add 8 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.
The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. Turn the heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer. If you want to be doubly sure it’s ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it’s cool but not cold. If it’s firm — neither runny nor too hard — it’s done. It will be a golden orange color. (If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it and if it’s too hard, add more water.)
Pour the marmalade into clean, hot Mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Store in the pantry for up to a year.