This month’s ingredient for the Can Jam is…
Despite my fervent prayers to whoever is in charge of Fruit Ripening, my very locally grown oranges are not quite ready for picking (as you can see above). I was really hoping citrus would be the February Flavor of the Month because, by then, my tree might look more like this:
And I can’t get too much more “local” than 12 inches to the right of my computer. On to Plan B – off to the store.
I was thinking about concocting some sort of sweet and sour sauce to use on chicken or duck anyway, so I decided I’d make Citrus Marmalade with Apricots from a recipe out of Madelaine Bullwinkel’s book, Gourmet Preserves Chez Madelaine. It’s a traditional “two-day” marmalade, and I liked the idea of adding the apricots. The ingredients are pretty simple:
- 6 ounces dried apricots
- 1 thin-skinned pink grapefruit (1 pound)
- 1 lemon (1/4 pound)
- 1 medium navel orange (1/2 pound)
- 5 cups sugar
Day One: Coarsely chop the apricots and reserve.
Scrub the citrus fruit and strip 15 pieces of peel from the grapefruit and lemon with a citrus stripper tool (I used a peeler and guess-timated at what 15 strips would look like). Remove the rest of the peel (you don’t need it for this recipe) and thinly slice the fruit.
Cut the orange, peel and all, into 8 pieces and finely chop in a food processor (I chopped mine by hand – I like marmalade a bit chunkier than most people).
Combine and measure the fruit slices, citrus peel strips, orange pieces and the apricots. Add an equal amount of water (I had a quart of fruit, so I added a quart of water). Place in a heavy non-reactive pan, cover and bring to a boil.
Uncover and simmer for 15 minutes. Smells heavenly so far.
Cool the mixture to room temperature, cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
Day Two: Measure the marmalade mixture and reduce to five cups. I had six, so I simmered the mixture for about 15 minutes. Measure out (and have handy) the five cups of sugar.
Begin adding sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, bringing the mixture back to a boil after each addition.
Continue cooking until it reaches the jell point (8 degrees above boiling – I’m at 500′ elevation, so my jell point is 212° + 8° = 220°.) This took about 10 minutes. It always seems to get “stuck” at 218°, but it finally got to 220°.
Pour the marmalade into a 2 quart measure and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Stir down the fruit pieces to suspend them in the marmalade. That helps the “floating fruit syndrome”.
Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ of headspace. Apply lids, rings and process in a BWB for 10 minutes. I got six half-pint jars and a wee bit extra in a 4 oz. jar. I had a feeling I should have simmered it for just a few more minutes.
Sometimes marmalade takes a long time to set up, so I’m not too worried (yet). If it doesn’t, I can always make more marmalade bread. I’ll post that recipe later this week for all the jammers that now have a surplus of marmalade.
As a reward for reading through this very long post, I’m giving away one new copy of Gourmet Preserves Chez Madelaine (not the one in the photo, which has a number of fruit stained/splattered pages). Leave a comment on this post telling me how many jars of citrusy goodness have been added to YOUR pantry this month! Deadline is 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on Friday, January 29.
And da winner is…
Daisy Mae! Congratulations – enjoy the book.