Sunday, April 19

Orange Marmalade

Yesterday I tried my hand at orange marmalade. Orange marmalade was always one of those scary jams as a kid...pieces of peel floating in the jar...will it be sour?...who in their right mind would want to eat orange peels? But then, one day I tried it and I liked it! Now, I wouldn't consider it my favorite but I can and do enjoy it occasionally, especially when I'm in the mood for crumpets (aka English muffin) and find myself muttering in an "English" accent.

Anyhow, for some reason, I got a hankering for making some (I'm really wanting to become more prolific in canning/preserves). So I found myself a recipe and gave it a go! From start to finish, the entire project took about three hours however after the main part is over, the rest is pretty easy and gave me time to get some other stuff done. Like most recipes, I usually follow the recipe the first time and then tweak it the next time. This is no exception.

First of all, the marmalade turned out yummy and is a beautiful presentation of color and rinds but here is what I'd change.
--It should be noted that I used naval oranges, not seville as the recipe requests...turned out good.
--When slicing the peels, the recipe calls for julienned slices. Do that but then turn the peels and cut them either in halves or thirds. Otherwise you have long orange peels when spreading the goodness on your toast, english muffin or bisquits.
--The recipe calls for 4 cups of peel...a bit much perhaps. I think 3 cups would be sufficient!
--In the final stage, when the pan is on the oven for the last time, the recipe does not tell you to "stir regularly." Do it! Do-it! Stir that marmalade regularly. I only stirred it occasionally and ended burning some orange peels...thankfully, the taste was not jeopardized, only the presentation.
--I used a candy themometer and took the pan off when I believed it to be at 220F. My marmalade, although yummy, is a bit thick...partly because of the huge amount of peel versus jelly but I'm also wondering if I left it on a bit too long. Maybe take it off around 215-220...but I'm no expert.

Now since the presentation of my marmalade has been compromised a bit, maybe I'll try my hand next at an Orange Marmalade Cake! Doesn't that sound jolly good?

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