Nope, still not done canning. I can go on marathon sprees that last up to a week, but then I’m canned out for a while. Now I’m back at it. Those grapefruit and oranges need a home in my belly or a jar.
Too much citrus in my belly, and I’ll politely say I pay for it. When it goes in a jar, someone gives me a hug when I give it to them.
I’ll take hugs over the porcelain goddess, thank you very much.
Annnndddd, it’s still winter. Bless you lucky souls who think March is actually the beginning of Spring. Bless you souls who live somewhere where the sun shines warmly upon your backs through the glorious spring-like days of early March. We here in northern New England just got whooped with another Nor’Easter, dumping about 15 inches of snow. Again, and again, and again, the snow keeps coming.
Spring? Hah. It doesn’t warm up round these parts some years until July. So, a spot of tea and scones, muffins, or homemade bread with marmalade is my sunshine this time of year. I think my first go round with marmalade this season has been a success. Let me rephrase, my first go round with marmalade using commercial pectin has been a success. You can check out the Cranberry Marmalade, the Grapefruit Marmalade (perhaps my favorite so far), or the Orange Vanilla Bean Marmalade for the success stories and links to recipes. You can also learn about my failures with traditional marmalade (made using the fruit’s natural pectin) by checking out Meyer Lemon marmalade and Blood Orange Marmalade. I will figure these out from my mistakes next season when Meyer lemons and blood oranges come back in – both of these recipes are worthy of remake.
But today, we’re off to try a Triple Citrus Marmalade – grapefruit, lemon, and orange – happiness in a jar.
What You Need:
4 cups prepared fruit (buy 1 medium orange, 1 lime and 1 medium pink grapefruit)
3-1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
5 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.
Remove colored part of peel from half each of the orange and lime using a vegetable peeler. Cut removed peels into thin slivers. Place in 4-qt. saucepan. Add water and baking soda; mix well. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 20 min. Remove and discard remaining colored and white parts of peels from the orange and lime. Finely chop the fruit, reserving any juice; set aside.
Remove and discard colored and white parts of peel from the grapefruit; finely chop the fruit, reserving any juice. Add chopped grapefruit, orange and lime to peels in saucepan; cover and simmer 10 min. Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot.
Stir pectin into fruit mixture in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
My Thoughts After Making:
While the Kraft recipe calls for limes, I didn’t have limes, so lemons it was – cause that’s what I had. Besides, if it failed, I was only out a lemon, an orange, and a grapefruit…and time. But it didn’t fail! Hooray for a good day! Limes would add a fun color and unique flavor pop. Maybe I’ll try this next year.
I realized a mistake I made in one of my prior canning projects where I said there wasn’t enough fruit… I needed to add the chopped fruit to the water, peels, and soda, and then measure out the “prepared fruit.” Sometimes, the recipes aren’t too clearly written in my mind; but then, it’s likely why I don’t write recipes. Just sayin’.
Having said that, if you come up short on the “prepared fruit,” like I did here, just add water to get the needed amount of prepared fruit. Adding up to 1/2 cup/per recipe won’t hurt your outcome. TRUST ME. If you haven’t figured out one of my intents with this blog is for you to learn from my mistakes – cause I make a friggin’ lot of them. If you read my notes, you won’t make my mistakes.
I doubled the recipe, so I needed 8 cups prepared fruit. I was about 1/2 cup short of the total 8 cups needed. I just added water, and the end result was perfect 🙂
Mise en place (basically, get your shit together and have all ingredients measured out in individual containers before starting) is important in canning. Take it from the gal who learned this the hard way years ago…get all your ingredients in place and put them near your canning pot because timing is critical in canning. Let something boil a bit too long, and you’ve got a hard set on the final outcome.
Seriously, the part after the first rolling boil where you add sugar is my favorite part. During the first roiling boil, the fruit seems to dull in color, but when you add the sugar, pure beauty blooms; the color blossoms, and you know the end result will be near perfection. Damn I sound poetic. Besides, look at the color… yellow, pink, and orange. Just happiness on a cold winter day.
I had a lot of questions when I first started canning about what a rolling boil was. How would I know when to add the sugar and start the timer for the final minute?? Well, take a look at the video below. Angry pot, angry pot, boils awful hot. See, poetic shit again.
Seriously, though, it boils – pun intended – down to a mixture where the boiling cannot be stirred down. See the white bubbles that keep rising back up, even though I’m clearly stirring the mixture? That’s a rolling boil. Truth is, you’ll feel like the pot is trying to boil your face off.
Now, a note on the actual process of sealing your canned goods. Everyone says the boil-bath method is the way to seal. Yep, and it’s the standard for most recipes. And it takes for-ev-ver because only a few jars can fit in any given canning pot. I’ve had a lobster pot, a canning pot, and another stock pot going all at one time on my stove, and I’m telling you…not fun. Then I learned about a new and approved method for sealing jars from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by
I give you the Amazon link for the book simply because it will give you some intel on the content of the book; shop around for the best price, or consider keeping your local small bookstore in business and getting it from them. Especially if you are a traditionalist who likes old fashioned recipes, and if you live in a place where you can get curious fruits, I highly recommend her book – chocked full of beautiful pictures, stories, and recipes. Me? None of the above, but I like her cookbook, regardless. I schlepped this bad boy back from the Culinary Institute of America in Cali…it’s heavy, to say the least, when you’re carrying it in your carry-on for flight across the US.
The method she uses is “baking” the cans to seal them. Long and short goes like this:
1. Wash your jars.
2. Put jars and lids in a 250F oven for a minimum of 30 minutes to sterilize them. Plan this accordingly to the point when you’re ready to pull the jam off the heat after the final rolling boil. You can have the jars out of the oven for a few minutes before you put the scolding hot jam into them. I usually take the pan of jars out after I’ve added the sugar and the jam is starting to bubble around the edges.
3. Pour the jam into the jars, and then cap them with the lids. Put a pan of them back into the 250F oven for about 15 minutes, and violà! Sealed jars. Not steamy kitchen. No messy boiling pots (even though it’s just water, it’s still messy). I’ve sealed 20 jars at a singular time… thank you Rachel!
4. If you can, you’re welcome. I just saved you hours and hours and hours of time.
Now, I still think my fav is the Grapefruit Marmalade with it’s bright, clear grapefruit taste and pop of tart-sweet finish. However, this Triple Citrus Marmalade is amazing… each of the 3 fruits – grapefruit, lemon, and orange – has its moment in the flavor profile. It’s a mellow, not overly sweet or tart, marmalade.
If you’re not one who enjoys the tartness of marmalades, this might be what turns you to the other side. You know, the dark side. Wait…?? Star Wars references don’t really work here.