When life gives you a 20-pound crate of Sicilian oranges, make orange marmalade!
As many of you many already know, I am a jam fiend. Though I usually tend to skip the balanced breakfast, I’m obsessed with slathering jam in between a sandwich layered with all kinds of flavours and textures. I also love a sweet and fruity jam to create balance on my charcuterie boards. Plus, having a jar of homemade jam is also handy whenever I want to make an impromptu layer cake!
When I found myself writing the name of this recipe, one thing came across my mind… What's the difference between a jam and a marmalade? Though I have always heard marmalade as a term reserved for this specific fruit, what’s the distinguishing factor that designates oranges to be classified as a marmalade, but blueberries as a jam.
Essentially, jam is made with pieces of fruit that are boiled with sugar. Jelly, however, is made with only fruit juice and sugar. Marmalade is like a jam in that it combines both sugar and pieces of fruit, but it typically accounts for citrus and uses the whole fruit, rind included. Basically a preserve, marmalade tends to be more bitter in flavour and can be made with lemons, limes, grapefruits…any kind of citrus, really!
I must admit, this marmalade is more of a jam in its characteristics since not a lot of rind was added to the recipe. By making sure to limit the amount of white rind, this makes for a significantly less bitter jam, leaving a sweet and vibrant taste on the palate.
Though my friends and neighbours were all skeptical of how the marmalade would taste, imagining something quite sour, it actually ended up having rave reviews! People have been slathering it on their morning cookies, using it to dress cheesecakes, and (of course!) serving it up on charcuterie boards.
Though you probably want to scale this recipe back a touch, given that you might not have a crate of oranges laying around, the recipe still works in smaller quantities. Also, although I used Sicilian oranges which are so juicy, sugary and full of bright and tangy flavour, any orange will work. I do feel blessed that I have access to great citrus in Italy, though!
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*Makes 10 mason jars*
10 mason jars, sterilized
30 oranges, peeled (about 18 cups)
2 oranges, whole
9 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Sterilize your jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Set aside.
Wash and dry all the oranges.
Cut and discard the ends of two oranges. Slice and then cut into small triangular pieces. Add to a gallon-sized pot.
Peel the remaining oranges, ensuring to remove all of the white membrane. Roughly chop and add to the pot.
Add sugar and let sit for 1 hour to macerate.
Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Make sure to stir continuously so that the jam doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour until the mixture has thickened and all the liquid has essentially evaporated. Remove from heat.
Pour the marmalade inside your sterilized jar and seal. Add the jar to a pot of boiling water once again and boil for 15 minutes to finish the preservation process.
Remove from water and let cool on a countertop. Store in a cool place until ready to enjoy!