Friday, August 11, 2017

Orange Marmalade

Orange Marmalade
There are so many blessings in my life, not the least of which is my big sister, Rene. Our telephone conversations always end up on the topic of food and she's a fountain of information and wisdom on the subject. Mandarin oranges are in season in the summer in Darjeeling, India. I grew up and went to school there and one of my fondest memories was of Mum making orange marmalade. Mandarin oranges were sold in big baskets for a very cheap price and they had to be consumed in a short time so they didn't spoil.

Marmlade Using Just Two Ingredients
So, during one of our marathon calls between Rene and me, these memories surfaced and we reminisced about the steps Mum went through to make marmalade. We would have to peel all the oranges, remove the skin around each segment and collect just the pulp. The peels were set aside to make the rinds in the jam and the orange pulp with sugar was cooked on the stovetop until they reached jam consistency. The result was a clear jelly-like marmarlade with strips of rind floating in suspension.

Fast & Easy Marmalade
That's when Rene mentioned watching a food show that reduced the tedium to nil by introducing the food processor. This process produces a marmalade that is thick and rustic and oh so flavorful! The aroma that permeates through our home is heavenly! The pith just under the peel is usually removed because it's so bitter, but that's what I love about marmalade so I leave it in.

A No-Fail Method
Once I tried this no-fail method of making marmalade, I've never looked back. It's quick and easy, aromatic and full of flavor. Use it on toasted bread, English muffins or waffles. I've also wrapped cream cheese and marmalade in crescent dough to make a marmalade danish. Yumm! 

8-10 mandarin oranges, washed, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
1/2 cup water

  1. Remove the peels from half the oranges and boil with water until translucent.
  2. Drain orange peels, slice thinly and set aside, reserving liquid for later.
  3. Process chopped orange along with remaining peel until reduced to a thick pulp.
  4. Place processed orange in a saucepan along with sugar and reserved liquid.
  5. Simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  6. When the liquid evaporates and the marmalade turns syrupy,  remove a teaspoonful in a small dish and freeze for 2 minutes.
  7. The marmalade is ready when the juices stop running after freezing.
  8. Stir in the strips of peel that were cooked earlier and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  9. Transfer jam to hot, sterilized glass jars and store in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or freeze indefinitely.
  10. Place a frozen jar of marmalade in the refrigerator overnight to thaw naturally.
Serve with toasted bread, English muffins or waffles for a breakfast treat.

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