Thursday, February 23, 2012

Experimenting with Citrus: oberservations so far

*ugh, blood orange marmalade with the whole peel is WAY too bitter, some people may like it but its a bit much for me. It set without pectin very well, but the flavor is not what I wanted. Going to can it and use it to make an asian orange chicken sauce later, oh well. Learn from experience! Next time I'll peel zest off and supreme the fruit before chopping it up.

EDIT: 2nd and 3rd batches turned out way better! theres still a lingering note of bitterness, but its only really noticeable straight from the jar, I don't notice it on toast.

*satsumas make lousy marmalade so far, not enough flavor there after (gently) cooking, and the fruit just stays floating as the little juice sacs, had to mix in some pulp from the murcott tangerines and add some TJs tangerine juice to up the flavor. They are great for eating fresh, but after trying to cut them with a mandoline slicerr the skin separated off instantly ( they are so easy to peel) and there was a whole lot of 'pith' to clean off the fruit before chopping it up and adding it to the thinly sliced peels to simmer.

*Kumquats are a huge pain in the ass to cut up, but they make the most awesome, INTENSE citrus spread, ever! I don't know how a fruit so tiny could have 3-5 seeds in each, makes the food processor or mandoline useless and gives the wrists a ton of exercise cutting them by hand.

*cara caras, limes, and mayer lemons make good "whole fruit" marmalade, whole peel and all (sliced thin with a mandoline) after simmering and leaving to sit overnight so the pectin can dissolve into the juice/water.

EDIT: Huzzah! I realized that letting the fruit/sugar mixture come to a boil for a bit, then let sit overnight (again) seems to fix the floating fruit bits issue.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Citrus marmalade recipe (without added pectin)

I've had alot of people ask me how I make marmalade, so I wanted to write it out. I'll work on adding step by step pictures later. This has worked for me using limes, lemons, kumquats, and cara cara oranges. You could probably also mix any combination of citrus too.

Recipe for (any) citrus marmalade:

Remove zest/peel from fruit with either a vegetable peeler or a citrus tool , scrape away any white pith off the peels, set aside.

Take fruit and using a paring knife cut away any white pith on the outside of the fruit. I then cut the fruit into thin slices that look like wagon wheels. Remove any seeds, set aside ( we can use seeds for pectin later) and remove any tough white core from the center of the segments. Cut wheels into fourths. Cut up enough fruit to give about 4 cups of citrus slices/pieces.

Take reserved zest and slice into thin slices, like little ribbons. You can cut them thicker but I like the peel in thin slices in my marmalade.

In one pan add sliced zest, enough water to cover, and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, bring to a boil,turn off heat, and let sit for 15 minutes. drain off water, set aside.

To the other pan I add equal parts of the chopped fruit and water. ( about 4c fruit + 4 c water). If you have any seeds from the fruit place tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth or use a muslin teabag to hold them. Add reserved zest slices. Bring all to a low simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the fruit segments have fallen apart and the zest slices are soft ( a spoon should cut a piece easily against the side of the pot). Turn off heat, cover, and let sit overnight ( 12-18 hours)

The next day get your jars all clean, hot and ready to fill. Remove bag of fruit seeds ( if using), squeezing hard to get every last bit of pectin out of it. Discard seeds. Stir the fruit, and it should look a bit thickened form the pectin that seeped into the water overnight. You should now have a pot full of about 8c worth of prepared citrus. *Split this into 2 pots* ( I had problems getting it to set when cooked as such a big batch), Measure how much fruit is going into each pot, You should have about 4c in each pot. Add an equal amount of sugar ( 4c) and bring to a boil, and boil until it reaches about 215-220 degrees on a candy thermometer. A test sample on a cold spoon or saucer should firm up, showing you the marmalade is done.

Fill hot jars with marmalade, leaving a 1/4 in head space, add lids and rings, and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Variations: strawberry lemonade marmalade: before heating 4c citrus fruit + 4c sugar, add 1c finely chopped strawberries. If it doesn't want to gel add another 1/4 of fresh lemon juice.