One of my favorite things to make (and EAT) is homemade jams and marmalade. There is just something about the flavor and color that homemade jams and marmalade has that is NEVER found in a store bought variety. Also, I think homemade recipes use more fruit than commercially made products. Maybe it is the fact that I pick the ripest fruit possible? Maybe it is because I go to the farmer market and only purchase in season and organic ripe fruit? Maybe it is the love that I put into it? Whatever the secret ingredient is, homemade jam and marmalade is hands down the best, I think.
Marmalade is a little different from jam in the taste, ingredients, and process. Marmalade tends to be not as sweet and slightly bitter. Marmalade only uses the natural pectin from the fruit you use to make it; you do not add additional pectin like in jam. The cooking process takes longer but it it is still pretty simple to create great marmalade, even if you are a beginner. I think it is intimidating to beginners because of the unknown. It is really hard to mess up marmalade if just follow the simple directions and take the time required to properly make it. Like most things, using quality materials and taking your time to process it, this will show in the end result. I recommend only doing this if you actually have the time to do it (DO NOT MULTITASK) and the desire to do it. These two items are key next to the best ingredients you can get… Have fun with it and just think, you get to eat the results….
This recipe is a basic European (chunky and rustic) style SMALL batch– you can multiply the recipe but I have found when I do this in separate small batches, the results are better. You can have multiple batches going at the same time; I normally spread each batch apart by 1 hour to give me time to do the process correctly and jar the final product without rushing…
makes about 2 cups
6 ripe organic clementines (cuties), wash well and cut lengthwise
1/2 ripe medium organic lemon, cut lengthwise reserve other half for another batch or recipe
2 cups water
2 cups organic sugar
3 to 4 recycled small glass jars with fitting lids
With a very sharp knife or mandoline, slice the fruit into half moons as thin as you can, discard any seeds you may find. Placeany juice collected from slicing and sliced fruit into a large pot. Add the water and bring to a boil on high heat, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in your sugar until completely dissolved. Cover tightly and allow to set overnight or for 12 hours at room temperature. Bring the mixture back to a boil on high heat stirring often, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stir occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to set for 10 minutes. In a food processor, place mix in and lightly pulse the mix to rough chop the peels DO NOT OVER CHOP you want to still see the partial strips of the peels. Return to the pot and turn the heat up to medium and bring to a gentle boil while stirring often and skim off any foam that may be collecting on the top for 30 minutes. Test the marmalade’s set by placing a small dab on a plate and allow to cool down in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes. It should feel almost thicker than honey but looser than jam. If too runny, continue to cook for 5 minutes at a time and test again, repeat until desired consistency. If too hard then add 1 TBSP of warm water to the mix, stir well and test again, repeat this until desired consistency is achieved.
Once desired consistency is achieved, it is time to jar your marmalade. With my large batches, I formally can all but a couple of jars. The formally canned jars last about 1 year when properly sealed; I keep a jar or two in the refrigerator for immediate use. Now go slather a toasted and buttered crumpet or toast…