I was hoping to do a post today on how I ventured out to make a marmalade and succeeded.
Uhhmm.. not exactly.
As with most of my cooking/baking adventures, it started pretty well.
I borrowed 6 canning/jam making books from the library. Poured over them and decided to make orange marmalade. Orange ginger marmalade is one of my favorite jam but I thought I should just stick to utilizing one-type of ingredient so orange marmalade it is.
There is a recipe for orange marmalade in 3 of the cookbooks I borrowed. I decided to make the one in Food In Jars. Mainly because the author, Marisa McClellan, also happens to have a blog, and she posted the Three Citrus Marmalade recipe, as well as step-by-step instructions.
I figured this being the first time I make marmalade, pictures would help.
My trip to the grocery store to get 3 different citrus was somewhat successful. I found pink grapefruit and lemons but no navel oranges. I found tangerines instead. Not sure whether this was the right decision but I was determined.
I also halved the recipe, in case I fail, my $ damage would be less.
Then remove the peel with a vegetable peeler. I don't have a serrated peeler like Marisa. Actually, only have 1 peeler but it did the job pretty well.
Then chop the peel into ribbons, cook them in 3 cups of water.
Chopping the peel into ribbons was much harder than I thought. I am usually a fan of chopping, having had my share of chopping onions, carrots, and celery every week but citrus peel is a completely different experience.
Add to that I have a small cut that I thought healed already on one of my fingers. Apparently it has not healed all that well because it zinged when I started cutting into the flesh of the citrus.
While the zest was boiling, remove the white pith of the fruit. Then cut into the membrane, removing the fruit flesh. This technique is supreming (see pictorial at Coconut & Lime).
Collect the membrane and seeds and bundle them in a piece of cheesecloth.
All the fruit flesh and the juice gets to go to a pot. Joined by the strained liquid from the cooked zest, and all the zest.
I am also supposed to add 3 cups of sugar but since tangerines are sweeter than navel oranges, I reduced the sugar to 2 1/4 cup.
The cheesecloth bundle containing the membrane and seeds also goes into the pot. They contain a lot of pectin that will help the marmalade get into that jelly-like texture.
So this is what they look like when they were crazy bubbling boiling.
Marisa said to boil for 30-40 minutes or until it reached 220 degrees and stayed there for a minute. I set my timer to 30 minutes first, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes as instructed.
After 30 minutes it had a temperature of 200 degrees.
10 more minutes and it reached 220 degrees.
Doesn't it look yummy?
I poured them into 4 4-oz canning jars and process in the water-bath canner for 20 minutes.
We opened the pot the next day and...
...they were really bitter and really sweet at the same time.
Verdict: not edible.
And at the time of writing this post, they have all ended up in trash (I did save the jars for future use).
So that's #1 attempt at making marmalade.
Will there be #2?
I think I will try using less zest and play with the sugar amount. I know sugar also plays a role in making the marmalade jelly-like so I probably would have to add pectin.
Have you guys made marmalade or jam? What was your experience like?