Comforting and Easy Three-Citrus Kitchen Marmalade

Warm, cozy blanket-comfort food to me is toasted bread with a smear of butter melted down into the nooks and crannies with a spoonful of homemade marmalade.

A large bowl of citrus, Blood Oranges, Tangelos and Red Grapefruit, about to go south quickly, was sitting on my kitchen counter this past week. Most was left over from my last photo shoot which now seems ages ago.  During “normal life” I cannot bear wasting food, so the peeling and slicing began. I find the making of marmalade as comforting as the eating of it.

Beautiful day, warm and breezy, windows open….Tulip and Honeysuckle blooms catching the breeze by the kitchen door. A good day for marmalade.

After rescuing all the good rind and flesh from each orange and grapefruit, I squeezed all of the leftover pieces for the juice adding it to the bowl.

I learned a few years ago that it is not necessary to be a totally crazy person when peeling the rind from the citrus to make sure none of the pith is left. My marmalade is still very tasty and not bitter with a little pith still attached. The slow simmer in the sugar-liquid mixture takes care of it.

Hot, thick, wonderful marmalade ready to be jarred and eaten.

What are you making to comfort yourself while being sequestered at home? I bet something cozy and delicious. Dishes that make you feel wrapped in a soft blanket? I hope so. Stay home, stay safe. This too will pass.

Comforting and Easy Three-Citrus Kitchen Marmalade

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs of citrus rind thinly sliced,  and flesh, seeded (Grapefruit, Blood Oranges, Tangelos are what I had on hand, but any combination works)
  • any leftover juice from citrus
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup St. Germain Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 cups natural apple juice

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a non-reactive cooking pan…stainless steel or enamel works great. Stir ingredients well to blend.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring every now and then.
  3. The citrus rind should begin to look transparent after 45 minutes.  Mixture will thicken as it cooks so keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t scorch or burn. You can add a splash more juice or water if need be.
  4. Wash 4 small half-pint canning jars and rims in hot soapy water and rinse well. Drain dry on a clean dish towel.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  5. Fill clean, dry jars with hot marmalade mixture leaving 1/2 inch unfilled at the top of each. Wipe drips from jar edges.  Add rims, and screw lids on firmly, but not too tight yet.
  6. Place filled jars on a baking tray and put in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Remove jars and let cool on a wire rack. Lids will “pop or ping” to seal as they cool down. Lids should be “concave”. When jars are totally cool, tighten screw lids. If any jars fail to seal, then store in the refrigerator.

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Adios, Adieu, Goodbye for Now, “Pear, Blueberry Jam with St. Germain”

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September crept in right on top of the last days of August…it has been tropical…. rainy and humid and hot, windy with bouts of unusually cool days scattered in between. Most of the local fruit is gone…the peaches, berries…plums and now my pears….adieu, adios and goodbye until next year sweet ones.

In the early dark days of fall and winter I will have my consolations on a shelf in my kitchen. A few jars of preserves…peach and plum. Jars of jam…pear and blueberry with a splash of St. Germain will be there, ready to comfort me.

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Ripe and Ready.

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The evening before I made this jam I cored, peeled and roughly chopped the pears and tossed them in a bowl with some raw sugar and lemon juice, covered the bowl and refrigerated the fruit overnight.  The sugar and lemon juice help to pull some of the juices from the fruit, breaking the fruit down naturally which shortens the cooking process.

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Do you know about “Pomona’s Universal Pectin”? I like to use this brand as the recipes for  jams, jellies & preserves can be made with less sugar. I do not like cloying sweet preserved fruit so this pectin is just right. The instructions are easy to follow and there are plenty of recipes inside the package. It is preservative free, kosher, vegan, gluten-free and non-gmo. I usually buy it a Whole Foods, but it is available online at their site as well. DSC_1363

I had la few cartons of fresh blueberries left over from a photo shoot so I tossed them in with the peeled and chunked pears. The blueberries gave the finished jam a lovely soft color. A generous splash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur added another layer of goodness.

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You always want to “test” your jam or jelly after cooking to make sure it “sets up”. I do this by spooning some of the mixture out onto a chilled plate. Leave it to sit a few minutes and then check the consistency. This batch “jammed” to perfection.

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Every time I begin to can I feel like a novice….no matter how many times I have done it. This is where I am my most careful-self in the kitchen. I read the instructions, reread and double-check before starting. I gather all my canning supplies, pans, jars, ladles before hand and get everything cleaned, sterilized & all lined up ready to go. My best advice is just do what the recipe & canning instructions say…verbatim…all will be well.

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Pears, Blueberries Jam with St. Germain

  • Servings: 6-8 half pints
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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups cored, peeled & chopped pears
  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups raw/turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup Elderflower Liqueur/St. Germain
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • Pkg of Pomona’s Universal Pectin (or other pectin if you prefer, most have easy, simple canning instructions inside the box. I used the directions for canning pears.
  • Equipment: clean 1/2 pint glass canning jars & lids, canning equipment (or if you prefer you can do this jam for the freezer…no hot water bath canning processing required.)

Directions:

  1. The night before you plan to can, mix the pears, sugar & lemon juice in a mixing bowl, cover & refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day put the pear mixture in a large saucepan. Add 1 cup of water. Bring to a low boil. Add the pectin according to the package directions, turn stove to low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes stirring often.
  3. The last 10 minutes of cook time add the blueberries & St. Germain. Stir gently.
  4. While fruit is cooking, wash & rinse canning jars in hot water. Set aside to drain on a very clean dish towel. Use new lids & rings. Put these in a pan of hot water until ready to use on low heat. There are many, many methods for hot water bath canning  so use one that works for you.
  5. When jam is almost finished cooking test the jell by spooning some jam mixture onto a chilled saucer, refrigerate for a few minutes. Test to see if the jam is the consistency you prefer. If not continue cooking another 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  6. Fill glass jars with hot jam mixture to within 1/4 inch from the top of the glass rim for hot water bath canning process, 1/2 inch for freezer jam. Wipe each jar rim clean before adding lids. When all jars are filled & wiped clean, top with lid and ring.
  7. For hot water bath place filled jars into your canner rack, lower into the canning pan, cover jars with warm water covering by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, process for 10-15 minutes. Turn heat off. Raise jar rack out of the water bath & place jars on a cooling rack. As jam cools you should hear a soft “pop” as each jar seals. If some jars do not seal then refrigerate to use immediately.
  8. For freezer jam after #6 let jars cool down completely & store in the freezer until ready to eat. Remove jars from freezer a few hours before using.