Welcome to Day 9 of the #365daysofbaking: Cranberry Marmalade – the lusty joys of the citrus season 🙂
A day of canning. This is a new one for me, given that I generally can in the Hell fires of summer. Seriously, I’m the bozo who’ll fire up the stove on the hottest days of summer to make jam. People think I’m crazy. They’re partially right. But then, they’re begging like paupers at my feet come Christmas for my goodies. Who’s crazy now?
Marmalades are a new one for this seasoned canner… seriously, I’ve never made marmalade before. It always seemed so, well, intimidating. And as I learned today, intimidating isn’t the word. Time consuming is the word… holy mother of all prep jobs. But, as I said in my New Year’s resolutions, learn is my key word this year. And I learned on the canning job. I’m glad I did, even though my kitchen looks like a bomb went off.
Cranberries are underrated. We put them on the table at Thanksgiving, oftentimes in the blasphemous form of that nasty gelatinous shit that comes from a tin can, and call it a year for the cranberry. Boo. Hiss.
My neighbor goes to the Brimfield Antique Fair every year (you should go if you ever have the chance), and found a vendor out of Maine who harvests these gorgeous cranberries. Don’t ask me the name. My neighbor tells me every year, and I forget. Every year. Suffice it to say, the berries are bright, crimson red, firm, and put Ocean Spray to shame.
Imagine that… a small company that cares about quality produces a better product than a mass corporation.
NH is one of the few states who will allow a residential kitchen to become licensed for food sale, but there are a ton of caveats, such as if canned goods are to be sold from said kitchen, then they need to use a certain government website, or else all recipes need to be submitted. I shall be submitting all my recipes… should anyone be surprised when I tell you that this government site had spelling errors and the directions were not clear at all.
Since some poorly written government site told me there was a cranberry marmalade recipe, I knew the Internet must have a better one. Alas, I found this simple Cranberry Marmalade recipe that was the destiny of my bursting cranberries.
As with most recipes that are online, take the time to read the reviews. It is here, just like with the Ghirardelli cookies, that you will learn how much pectin to use in this recipe – in this case, 1 pouch of liquid pectin; although, several of the reviewers stated they only used 1/2 a pouch. I think either would work; the 1/2 pouch would just be a loser set marmalade.
You can see above how bright and full those luscious berries are. How pretty is this orange cranberry mixture in the pan?!
People who’re new to canning always ask, “How do I know the mixture has come to a full rolling boil?” Easy. You cannot stir the mixture down, and you fear for your limbs because it’s popping up so badly and about to boil your face off if you’re not careful. Be prepared to say ouch multiple times as your skin is splattered. It’s frothy. It can be scary. See the video below.
One of my favorite stages of any jam making is when you’ve added the sugar and it’s boiled down. The color of the fruit changes, the liquid looks like velvet, and honestly, I could craw in at this point. Suffice it to say I value not getting 3rd degree burns, so I don’t.
In the end, I was rewarded with 16 half pint jars of deliciousness. I generally double my canning recipes with little fail, and this was an easy one to double. If you’ve never canned before, don’t double anything until you’re familiar with the process. Just do yourself that favor.
I’ll be making this gorgeous recipe again, and submitting it to show that it’s better than the government’s.