‘Tis the season for gifts from my kitchen – and what could be more welcome than a little jar o’ sunshine to brighten up a winter’s breakfast?
Traditionally, I make clementine marmalade, which is as tasty on toast as it is in cookies; but I found myself with a big bowl o’ oranges that weren’t quite sweet enough to eat, but had been too costly to just let slouch around as a seasonal decoration or stud with cloves and stash in a cupboard.
I pretty much have my clementine marmalade recipe and method down, but since I don’t think I’ve ever made plain old orange marmalade, I went back to my books for guidance, and, once again, the contessa did not disappoint. This recipe is based on Anna’s Orange Marmalade, from barefoot contessa at home. All told it’ll take a couple of days to make – but most of that is just the pot hanging around.
•5 medium oranges
•5 clementines (I had a few in the bowl and figured it couldn’t hurt to add them)
•6 cups sugar
•8 cups water
Cut the fruit in half and then into very thin slices, discarding any seeds or large bits of pith you may come across.
Pour the water over all in a tall pot, cover, and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar (it’ll quickly dissolve), cover, and set the pot aside to rest overnight.
Next day, bring the mixture back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Skim off any foam that may develop on the top.
OK, marmalade simmered, now’s the time for jelling.
Turn up the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until a candy thermometer reads 220º. Don’t freak out if your thermometer doesn’t quite get to 220º – mine hit something like 218º and wouldn’t budge any higher. I pulled the pot off the flame after 30 minutes, allowed it to cool down, and then stashed it in the fridge overnight.
Voila – thick, rich, tasty marmalade!
If it hadn’t set overnight, I could’ve simply simmered it some more until that thermometer hits 220º, or until it passes the spoon test.
I ended up with a touch over 4 pints, which will keep in the fridge for a good long time – certainly long enough to spread some holiday cheer!