I have a confession to make... I had never eaten marmalade. Until yesterday.
Marmalade? Isn't it a European thing? What is marmalade anyway? Apparently it is a fruit preserve made with any citrus fruits, sugar and water. I am not a huge citrus fan, probably because I do not enjoy peeling the fruit and smelling like it for hours after. Incidently, my kids love oranges, clementines and mandarins and you can guess who gets to peel. That said, I love good grapefruit when I can get it and I also enjoy a glass of pulp-free orange juice every month or so.
In the new bread book I am working my way through, I came across a recipe for "Laura's Three-Citrus Marmalade". It looked intriguing and, as we are in the inexpensive throes of citrus season, I decided it would be a prudent and timely project that would also incorporate my ongoing love affair with canning jars. The recipe in the book was an adaptation of a recipe found on Sure-Jell pectin boxes, but had the added flavor of grapefruit in the mix. I adapted it further to use what I had on hand and to suit my anti-pulp taste. So what I made might not be real marmalade because it doesn't have fruit or rind chunks in it, but it was everything I could have wanted and more. My only complaint is that it set hard... next time I will dilute it more or use less pectin for a more jammy consistency.
Here's what I used:
1 grapefruitHere's what I did:
3 navel oranges
1 clementine (I couldn't resist)
2.5 cups water
1/8 tsp baking soda
5.5 cups sugar
1.75 oz box Ball pectin
Peel the zest from all the fruit with vegetable peeler. Toss in pot with water and baking soda. Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, remove (and discard) white pith from fruit, chop fruit into smaller pieces and reserve any juice. Add fruit to the water/zest mixture, bring back to a full boil and simmer again for another 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, removing all pulp and zest. Squeeze pulp to conserve as much liquid as possible, then discard pulp. Add 1 to 2 cups water to the liquid and bring back to a full boil. Add pectin and dissolve completely. Add sugar, dissolve and bring back to a full boil. Cook 1 minute longer. Skim foam, if necessary, and pour hot marmalade into pre-cleaned canning jars and process to seal.
Not-too-long story short, after a comparatively brief stint in the kitchen, I had three beautiful pint jars to show for my labor. It was too aromatic not to scrape up the leftover sugary coating in the pot and spread it generously over a chunk of bread (incidentally, the master recipe from the same book). My 3 year old helper said "Mom, I'm getting hungry just looking at that." So I had to share, but I got a little unexpected help with the photography in exchange.
Happiness can be many things, but enjoying your own marmalade on your own bread with your own little helper... now that's a very special kind of domestic bliss :)