Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cranberry-orange marmalade

Making marmalade is turning into a December tradition around here. Citrus and cranberries are one of my favorite parts of the season; a jammy combination of the two on some brown bread with a cup of tea completes the picture. Bonus: the smell that fills your house is glorious.

Cranberry-Orange Marmalade (adapted slightly from the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook)
Day 1: Quarter two large-ish navel oranges and slice thinly so you have pretty little quarter-circle pieces. Throw in a non-reactive pot with enough water to cover and let sit, covered, overnight.
Day 2: Boil the orange-water mix, then reduce to a lively simmer for about 45 minutes, until tender. Then cover and let sit overnight. In the meantime, place the contents of a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries in a non-reactive pot with enough water to cover by about half- to three-quarters of an inch. Bring to a boil and let simmer vigorously for an hour or two, until it just starts to look a little syrupy. Strain into a bowl and let the cooked berries sit in the strainer over the bowl overnight, the whole shebang covered in plastic.
Day 3: Place a saucer and 5 metal teaspoons in the freezer. Discard the cranberries and add the juice to the cooked orange-water mix, along with a little more than a pound of sugar and the juice of one lemon. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a lively simmer for at least half an hour, stirring now and then to prevent burning. When the marmalade starts to look thick and jammy and the bubbles are small, drop about half a teaspoon into one of the frozen spoons and put back in the freezer for 3 minutes. If the jam runs, let it cook a few more minutes. Keep this up until your tester doesn't run and the top gels. Then ladle into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes; be sure the water reaching at least 2 inches above the jars. As the jars cool, the lids should pop down, confirming that you've got a good seal. If it doesn't seal, stick it in the fridge and enjoy soon. This recipe made 3.5 8-ounce jars for me.

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