This weekend I got to check something off my long running list of things I want to make.
I’m still new enough at hot water bath canning that I don’t feel a real ease and rhythm with it, and the preparation for marmalade is fairly tedious, so I kind of understand now why it took me so long. But now that I have done it once, I will definitely do it again!
I used Marisa McClellan of Food In Jars recipe for Three-Citrus Marmalade, but since I didn’t have grapefruit I used the lemons and oranges I had on hand, which happened to be exactly the amount of fruit called for. I also ran out of sugar right away, so I substituted some honey which worked out great. I cut the sweetener down by a fair bit – using a total of about 3 cups instead of the 6 called for (I used about 1.5 cups of honey, 1.5 cups sugar). It is plenty sweet – not too sweet, and maybe could do with even a little bit less. I love the bitter of the peel, but the right balance of sweet is important.
It seemed like it took forever to cook, and I didn’t reach a steady 220 until later in the cook time. I ended up with quite a thick jam though, and 1/2 pint less than the recipe estimated, so maybe I cooked a bit longer than necessary.
The result is the best marmalade I’ve ever had. This is the first time I’ve ever had home made marmalade though, so not to toot my own horn too much ;) Tonight we had biscuits with brie and marmalade and Steven busted out with some crazy analogy to quality speakers… like how the specs on a speaker are conveyed in a range… Tweeters cover a certain upper range, midrange covers a certain range in the middle, bass a certain part of the low range… and so with a nice 20hz/20khz speaker it would cover a range from low to high that goes beyond human hearing, making it sound spectacular. By this point I was looking at him like, “huh?” And then he finished up by saying, well this marmalade goes outside of the range of normal human taste. Uhhh, yeah!
On my list for tomorrow is a loaf of bread, so we can butter some marmalade toast. Mmmm.