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
- 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
- Add all of the ingredients to a non-reactive cooking pan…stainless steel or enamel works great. Stir ingredients well to blend.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
It’s great to have “friends-with-figs” I always say. Friends who go away on vacation leaving a tree laden with figs and share are even better. Having a friend who bakes great bread is “icing on the cake”.
Finishing a photo shoot and having lots of fresh oranges left over is another good thing.
Very ripe figs, juicy oranges and lemon grass paste cooked down with sugar and lemon juice makes a mighty tasty batch of marmalade.
Yes, it is hot work. The kitchen gets all steamy, as do I, but as I’m stirring I think of my Grandmother Kenny Mae, who canned all summer with hardly a window fan to cool her down and she managed without complaint. She loved the process more than the discomfort I suppose. Jars of jam and preserves made in the summer were all the more tasty during the winter months.
Random glass jars with new lids and rings gathered from my stash. Everything sterilized…jars filled…lids on. This marmalade can be refrigerated or even frozen. I can a few jars and give most away to friends who don’t have figs, some who do, some who just love marmalade like I do, and I save a few jars for later. This is such as easy recipe that I make it often throughout the year.
With so much citric acid I also oven-canned some jars. For a how-to on this method check out an earlier marmalade post here.
Friends-with-Figs, Lemon Grass and Orange Marmalade
- 6 oranges, thinly sliced, cut into quarters, seeded
- 2 tablespoon lemon grass paste
- 24 small figs, or 12 larger ones – stemmed & cut in half
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- Put all ingredients into a stainless steel or enamel stockpot. Place over medium low heat and stir to combine ingredients until sugar begins to melt. Turn heat to medium high, stirring every so often, cooking for about 30 minutes. You want the mixture to bubble and reduce and thicken, but not get scorched on the bottom.
- Turn heat to medium low while you get jars and lids ready. Again stir often.
- Wash jars and rims in hot soapy water, rinse well and let drain on a clean dish towel. Use new lids whenever you can so the rubbery rim seals well.
- Fill clean jars to within about 1/2 inch of the top edge. Wipe edges clean of any spills. Place new lids on top of each jar. If giving away, or refrigerating, then tighten lids and leave to cool on a rack. This marmalade will keeps chilled for up to 2 months just fine.
- Oven canning method: Turn oven to 250 degrees. Spoon hot marmalade into sterilized glass jars leaving a 1/2 inch at top of each one unfilled. Wipe jar mouths clean and top with new lids. Place filled jars, not touching, in a baking pan and put in oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven to cool on a wire rack. Listen for the “ping” or suction sound as the lids seal tightly to the jars. Lids will go from being a bit convex to concave. Store in a cool place for up to 12 months. If any jars do not seal, then you can refrigerate for up to 2 months.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com
“I came all the way in a lifeboat, and ate marmalade. Bears like marmalade.” quote: Paddington Bear.
I, too, like marmalade. And it’s such a pretty word as well. It sounds like it tastes. I’ve posted other marmalade recipes...”Maple-Kumquat Marmalade”…“Meyer Lemon Marmalade” and my most popular “Buddha’s Hand Good Luck Marmalade”. They are all tasty and I do think Paddington might like them very much. But…..
…this week I chose the imposingly large Pomelo citrus for making marmalade. You may have seen them in the grocery. They look like a giant grapefruit, but are about the size of your head…really, truly…unless you have a very small head. They aren’t hard to find in January and February in most supermarkets or import groceries. Pomelos are tangy like a lemon mixed with the sweetness of an orange. A complex tasting citrus. Full of Vitamin C they can be juiced like most citrus of course. These Pomelos were so large I only needed two for 4 pints of marmalade! If you want to know a bit more about the Pomelo click here.
The pith is very thick and when cut away leaves a round fruit about the size of a large grapefruit…they are from the same family of citrus by the way.
Rind is cut away and into thin strips. Pith is removed. Fruit is then cut into sections. Scraps and seeds are gathered into a cheesecloth bundle to flavor the marmalade.
Cooked down for a few hours with sugar in the final stage, then poured into clean, sterilized glass jars with lids. The recipe is easy and you can substitute Grapefruits if you like.
A new-old trick I recently learned about is to seal jars in a low temp oven! Works like a charm and no hot water bath. This doesn’t work for all canning, but is particularly good for high pectin fruits.
Thick sliced whole grain bread toasted with a slather of softened butter, topped with “Pomelo Marmalade”. Perfect for me and perfect for Paddington!
Pomelo Marmalade for Paddington
- 2 Pomelos (or four grapefruit if you must)
- 6 cups white sugar
- 2 1/5 cups water
Equipment: cheesecloth and twine, enamel or stainless pot, 4 pint canning jars with new lids
- Slice off the tops and bottoms of the Pomelos and discard.
- Peel the rind/skin away from each using a sharp knife or peeler, trying to get as little white pith as you can. Cut into thin strips. Set aside.
- Cut away as much of the pith from each Pomelo as you can. Discard.
- Slice the flesh of each Pomelo away from the center core. The center is where the seeds are. Tie the seedy cores up in cheesecloth and twine making a sachet. Set aside.
- Section the flesh and put into a food processor, pulsing until finely ground up. Pour all the juice and flesh into a non-reactive pot…enamel or stainless steel. Add 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then turn to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the sachet to the pot, submerging down into the hot liquid. Refrigerate this mixture overnight. (The seeds are soft and contain pectin which will help the marmalade set up naturally.)
- The next day, squeeze the sachet out very well into the Pomelo mixture. Discard sachet.
- Add 6 cups of sugar to the mix and while stirring, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often for about 1 hr. until reduced and thickened.
- Turn oven to 250 degrees.
- Spoon hot marmalade into sterilized glass jars leaving 1/2 inch at top of each unfilled. Wipe mouths of jars clean and top with lids.
- Place filled jars, not touching, in a baking pan and put in oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let jars cool on a wire rack. Listen for the “ping” or suction sound as the lids seal to the jars. Lids will go from being a bit concave right out of the oven to convex after cooling. Store in a dark cabinet for up to 12 months. (If jars do not seal then refrigerate for up to 2 months or give away as gifts!)