January Can Jam

Slicing the blood oranges on the mandolin.

Citrus is not something that you can get locally around here.  We are just a little too far north.  I am planning on planting a satsuma tree in my yard in the spring, but after this January in Georgia, I am not counting on global warming to do me any favors anytime soon.  I hope that I can keep the little orange tree alive but if next winter is like this one, I don’t know if I have a chance.  Anyway, I have been curious about blood oranges  since seeing them when I visited Rome several years ago.  They just happened to have some at the Kroger the other day when I was trying to decide on what citrus I would can.  They were from Melissa’s.  They  did not say that they were organic and neither were they local, but I promise I will do better on that front next month. 

So I brought them home, 6 little blood oranges in a bag and ate one, just to see what they tasted like.  To my surprise, these were a little sour.  But considering how much sugar it takes to make marmalade, that wasn’t a serious problem.  I had never eaten marmalade before, but it seemed like the only logical thing to do with them.  So I sliced them up on our newly acquired mandoline last night, and put them in a pot, covered with water.  I added the juice of one large lemon, made a jelly bag containing the peel and seeds of the lemon, and the ends of the peeling of the oranges and tied it up with string.  I brought them all to a boil and then turned them off to set overnight.

I am somewhat concerned about the jelly bag.  It seems to be absorbing all the color from the oranges and it has somewhat of a laundry smell about it.  I hope that will not translate to my marmalade.  I have cobbled together a recipe from several websites.  The main source of my method is from a blog called Lindsey’s Luscious.  She describes making marmalade in the style of June Taylor.  I also found a recipe on the bon appetit website.  I have sliced them as described in the bon appetit recipe and a couple others, but the rest is done by the blog recipe. 
This morning I am performing the next step, which is to bring the whole concoction to a boil and let it cook vigorously for 30 minutes to evaporate the water and release the pectin in the seeds and skin in the jelly bag.  Next I will measure to see how much I have left and then put in an equal amount of sugar and cook it off.  The problem now is I don’t have enough sugar.  We have cut back so much since I have changed my eating habits that I have not bought sugar lately.  So now, while the marmalade waits, I have to run out to the store in the freezing cold to buy sugar. 
I will post again when I have it all in the jars.

The fruit and jelly bag, just before boiling this morning.



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