A world away from commercial marmalade in fresh, bright clarity of flavor, this conserve (pictured) is a pleasure to make because the entire house is filled with the perfume of oranges. It is not all that time-consuming either. The most labor-intensive part is slicing the fruit, which takes about an hour.
Seville oranges from California are available for only a short period of time, from January through March. They are very high in acidity, which aids in gelling, and have the most intensely true orange flavor.
Plan Ahead The orange and lemon slices must soak for a combined 48 hours before you proceed with the marmalade.
|lemon juice, freshly squeezed|
Wash the oranges and lemon with dish detergent and a scrubbing pad. Slice the Seville oranges, navel orange, and lemon as thinly as possible, removing and reserving all of the seeds. You should have about
Place the orange and lemon slices in a large nonreactive pot, at least
Place the pot over medium heat and bring the fruit to a boil. Let it boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove it from the heat, cover, and let it sit for another 24 hours.
Measure the fruit and liquid. You should have about 8 cups. Add an equal volume of sugar. (If there is less fruit mixture, add less sugar.)
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until thickened, about 35 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer should read 221° to 225°F/105° to 107°C.) To test the thickness of the mixture without a thermometer, pour a teaspoon of the mixture onto a small plate and place it in the freezer for 2 minutes. It should wrinkle slightly when gently pushed with a fingertip. It will thicken considerably upon cooling. With a small spoon, lift out any seeds you may have missed that rise to the surface.
While the mixture is boiling, sterilize the canning jars by filling them with boiling water. Also pour boiling water over the inside of the lids.
In a microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the seeds to melt the liquid, which will have hardened to a gel. Place the mixture in a strainer suspended over a small bowl and let it drain. This jellied liquid is natural pectin. When the fruit mixture is cooked, add this pectin and the lemon juice to it and boil for another 10 minutes, stirring often. Set the rack in the bottom of the canning pot. Bring enough water to a boil to cover the jars by
Pour the hot marmalade into the sterilized jars, leaving
In a dark area: cool room temperature, at least 2 years.
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