What do you do when your oranges on your tree aren’t quite sweet enough? This happened to me this year when our Valencia tree fruited a little early in the season. I see new budding fruit, so I’m crossing my fingers that the new oranges are sweet like they have been in the past. But in the meantime, I have a tree full of oranges that aren’t quite good enough to juice. Hmmm…. why not make marmalade?
Making marmalade is actually lots of fun. It’s not too difficult and my kids really enjoyed being part of the process. Since I have orange-mint growing, it seemed like the perfect addition to my marmalade. Fresh mint mixed in with sweet marmalade makes bread and butter a real treat.
I’m a little new in the making of preserves, and I must admit I was a little nervous about getting the whole process right and sterilizing the jars and creating a seal. But, it’s really quite simple. Follow the directions below and I promise, you’ll be making marmalade with ease.
- 7 – 8 oz. Canning glass jars (you must use new lids, but can re-use the screw part of the lid)
- Mandolin (not necessary, but makes for much thinner orange slices)
- Large pot tall enough to cover the 8 oz jars with 1 inch of water
- Large pot or sauce pan to simmer lids for sterilization
- Large pot to cook the marmalade
- Canning Kit (not necessary, but highly recommended): Canning Funnel, Magnetic Lid Lifter & Jar Lifter
- 2 LBS ORANGES
- 6 CUPS OF ORGANIC SUGAR
- 2 CUPS OF FRESH SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE
- ½ CUP OF FRESH SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE
- 8 CUPS OF WATER
- Place 3 small plates in the freezer
- Wash jars and lids with hot soapy water
- Sterilize the lids first (prepare 7 lids) by completely covering the lids with water and bringing them to a simmer. Maintain simmer until you are ready to use them. Do NOT boil lids because this can compromise the seal
- Wash oranges in hot Dr. Bronner’s soapy water or veggie wash, scrub and rinse well
- Slice 2 lbs of oranges as thinly as possible (remove each end of the orange and send them to the compost)
- Juice oranges (make 2 cups) and lemons (make ½ cup) and set aside
- Place orange slices in large pot with 8 oz. of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes stirring often. Leave uncovered.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly
- Measure orange slices and the liquid. For every 1 cup of liquid add ¾ cups of sugar (less if you prefer it to be less sweet)
- Stir in fresh orange juice and fresh lemon juice
- Stir in sugar
- Bring to a boil, boil rapidly for 10 minutes
- Reduce heat, cook over medium for 7 – 10 minutes
- Remove from heat.
- Test 1 teaspoon of marmalade on chilled plate. If the mixture wrinkles when nudged gently, it is ready. If not, cook for 1 or 2 minutes longer and then test again on another chilled plate
- Sterilize jars in boiling water for 10 minutes (OR pre-wash them in dish washer on hottest setting, keeping jars hot in the dishwasher until filling them with marmalade)
- Ladle marmalade into sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch from top of jar
- Remove air bubbles with chop stick
- Wipe rims clean.
- Tightly seal jars with lids
- Process jars
- Place jars in boiling water (making sure they are covered by 1 inch)
- Boil for 10 minutes
- Remove from boiling water and let cool
TEST THE SEAL:
- Once jar has cooled, lift the jar by the lid (screw part removed). If the jar can be lifted by the lid, the seal is complete. Marmalade will last up to 1 year with full seal. If seal fails, keep marmalade in refrigerator for up to 3 months.
When serving marmalade, chop up fresh orange mint (or any herb you’d like) and mix.
Option: Add fresh mint when jarring marmalade. Be sure to mix the mint thoroughly into the mixture.
Please write below if you have any questions or comments.