Everyone knows I love to put things into jars especially jam. The idea that you can make it at home without putting any of bad artificial stuff in it is great. Making anything in a jar may be time consuming but once you taste the difference you will never go back to the stuff.
It went will orange marmalade this time because I love to use it in many recipes especially in a salad with lemon and oil for a great dressing. And the ingredients are super cheap so you can make a ton and give some away. I used the preserving process as my blueberry jelly from a few weeks ago but with different ingredients.
The trick with the orange is to determine the level at tartness you would like before you start. Orange marmalade can be very tart or very sweet and it truly depends on your taste. I prefer more tart but I will explain how to adjust.
Four Large Seedless Oranges
2 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Water
Start by washing And drying oranges well. If you prefer a more tart result leave ALL the peels on which is what I prefer and more recipes recommend. But if you would prefer to take the peel of one or two then you can do it now. Next you slice the whole orange in super thin rounds. A mandolin whould be great I used a knife with no issues. Slice the rounds in to quarters and place in a bowl. Slice the lemon in half and remove seeds. Slice half the lemon the same way with peel on and add it to the bowl along with the juice of the other half of the lemon. The next step is the most IMPORTANT. Add the three cups of water to the bowl and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This will make the peel soft and more sweet. Believe me, I learned my lesson on this one.
The next day pour the oranges and all the water in a big pot, add the sugar and cook for about 45 minutes until it reduces and slowly runs off the back of spoon in large stain glass like clumps. Once finished allow it to cook for a few minutes before continuing the preserving process.
What I like about jelly making over pickling is that you can taste the final product while preparing. You can always adjust the sugar as you go to get it exactly where you would like.
I copy and pasted my preserving process below.
This recipe was a small batch and made 3 small jars worth. Start with the three pot set up below:
Pot 1 – Medium size pot non-reactive surface to make the jam. Continue to stir and watch the mixture so that it continues to bubble but not burn or boil over. You must stir it every few minutes. Your goal is for the mixture to become thick. It should get to the point that it wont create droplets or run easily off a cold spoon. You are looking for a consistency that slowly forms large clumps that look almost like glass forming on the spoon. Many recipes say this will take 10-15 minutes. It took me about 45 minutes but weather plays huge factor.
Pot 2- The next pot should be small with hot water for cleaning the lids. When you preserve anything in jars, the metal circle part of the lid is not re-usable. Each time you must use new lids.This is because they have a rubber lining that helps form a seal but it only works once. The jar and twisty top are good for many uses but not the flat part of the lid. In order to active the new flat top you must heat the lids to help soften the rubber. Do this by putting just the flat part of the lid in the pot with very hot water but not boiling and allow it to sit for about ten minutes before processing.
Pot 3 – Place water into the pot high enough to cover the jars with a little extra water because water will evaporate. You should use the biggest pot you own for this one like a lobster pot. Place a small towel in the bottom of the pot. This acts like a pillow to avoid the jars from breaking in the pot. Place the jars and lids in the pot and bring water to boil. Boil for ten minutes and then keep the jars in the hot water until your ready to fill.
Once the jelly cooks down and is ready to go, shut the heat off and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Remove jars from hot water and drip dry. Fill each jar with jelly about one half inch from top. Clean the tops of the jar well with a clean towel to insure that you will make a good seal between the jar and lid. Place the lids on jars. Its important not to twist the lid on to tight because you want air to escape. A good rule is to make it finger tight.
Next, place the complete jars in the big pot of water on high heat for ten minutes. Once the water is boiling you may want to lower it a bit to keep the jars from moving to much. After ten minutes CAREFULLY remove the the jars with tongs from pot and place on counter. Its important not to put the jars on a cold surface because the sudden change in temp from the hot water to the cold counter can break the glass.
The final step is my favorite. I call it the canning musical. Once jars are out of the water you want to hear each lid make a pop sound. This insures a good seal. The sound is like the what you hear when you open a glass juice bottle. This can take up to 15 minutes depending on room temp. If you don’t hear the pop or see an indent on the top of the lid then you should keep that jar in the fridge and use it first.
Jam can stay shelf stable for up to a year but once opened should be stored in fridge. Enjoy!!!
I re- made the recipe trying to make a double batch and a little less tart.
8 Seedless Oranges ( Cut like above but removing skin from two)
Juice of two lemons
6 Cups Water
4 Cups Sugar
Place oranges, lemon juice and water in big pot and bring to boil. Allow to simmer for 5 min and then shut of heat. Allow to sit for 18-24 hours preferable in the fridge. The next day bring to boil and add sugar. Boil for about 30 minutes until the correct constancy is achieved. Then follow the canning process the same way as before.
This recipe gave me 6+ 8oz jars.