Canning and Preserving - The Winter Series: Orange Marmalade

Canning and Preserving - The Winter Series: Orange Marmalade

This recipe is from Alton Brown of the Food Network. What I love about it, is that it's not a multi-day affair like many of the English marmalade recipes, but it still has a nice bitter-sweet flavor. Zeke's Mom is English, and she told me of making marmalade with her Nanny when she was little. It took days to complete. They used only Seville oranges and even simmered the pits in cheesecloth in order to extract the natural pectin from them. That sounds exotic and lovely, but who's got the time?

I love adding this marmalade to marinades and dressings. It's also great whipped into cream to top brownies or chocolate mousse!

1 3/4 pounds oranges, 4 to 5 medium
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
6 cups water
3 pounds plus 12 ounces sugar
Special Equipment: 10 (8-ounce) canning jars with rings and lids, funnel, tongs, ladle, and 12-quart pot

Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly. Cut the oranges into 1/8-inch slices using a mandoline, removing the seeds as you go.

Stack the orange slices and cut them into quarters. Place the oranges into an 8-quart stainless steel pot. Add the lemon zest and juice and the water to the pot, set over high heat and bring to a boil, approximately 10 minutes. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.

While the fruit is cooking, fill a large pot (at least 12-quart) 3/4 full with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Place 10 (8-ounce) jars and rings, canning funnel, ladle, and tongs into the boiling water and make sure the water covers the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lids and leave everything in the pot until the marmalade is ready.

Remove jars from the water and drain on a clean towel. Place a canning funnel onto the top of 1 of the jars and ladle in the marmalade just to below the bottom of the threads of the jar. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. The amount of marmalade may vary by 1 to 2 jars. Wipe the rims and threads of the jars with a moist paper towel and top each with a lid. Place a ring on each jar and tighten.