Citrus Marmalades and Preserves
Inspired by fellow Truckee canner-put’ter-uppers, Bill and Rich (who make beautiful marmalades from Placer County’s mountain mandarins), my parents overloaded tangerine tree was an easy target.
Adapting Alton Brown’s marmalade recipe, we made tangerine and tangerine-orange marmalades. Hmmm…what to do with the fruit from the over-producing orange tree? Hey! There’s a bag of fresh cranberries from the holidays! We now have jars and jars of cranberry-orange preserves.
In both recipes, the process for sterilizing the jars and lids, and packing the jars is standard as is the water bath for 10 minutes. There are many web sites detailing this process.
1 ¾ lbs. fresh tangerines, mandarins or oranges in any combination (equivalent to 4-5 medium oranges)
1 lemon, zest and juice, strained
6 cups water
6 ½ cups granulated sugar
Slice fruit 1/8” thick. Using a mandolin makes the job easier but hand-cutting the fruit makes the marmalade look more “small-batch” (okay, enough of that). Cut larger slices into quarters; remove seeds. Put sliced fruit, lemon zest and juices into a large non-aluminum preserving pot or pan that is wider than it is high. Bring to a hard boil (takes 7-10 minutes) and then simmer for about 40 minutes until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally.
While the fruit is cooking, start process for sterilizing the canning jars. Place 2 small plates or saucers in the freezer.
Return the fruit to a hard boil. Remove pan from heat and add sugar. Stir well. Return to heat bringing mixture to a hard boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat to prevent mixture from boiling over, all the while stirring constantly. When the mixture has reached the gel stage, approximately 222-223º F, do the test. Take a frozen plate out of the freezer and place a teaspoon of marmalade on it; let sit for 30 seconds. Run a 3/8” path through the marmalade. If the jam comes back together, it’s not ready. Keep cooking and retest with other frozen plate.
When marmalade is ready, pack into jars. Follow standard directions for safe canning.
Yields about 5-6 ½ pints. Allow marmalade to meld about a month before using.
4 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over (if using frozen berries, no need to thaw)
1 orange, peel zest with vegetable peeler and slice fine, chop pulp; don’t use pith
3 cups granulated sugar
1/8” tsp. ground cardamom
¼ Cup water
Combine all ingredients into a large preserving pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Pack into jars using safe canning techniques.
Makes about 5 1/2 pints.