You don’t have to baby-sit this process but it takes time for the pectin to set up. It’s not difficult you just need to make it fit into your schedule. The first half of the recipe only takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. Then it needs to sit overnight. The next day it needs only about 2-3 hours to cook. You can do a lot of chores around the house while it’s cooking. And then it’s done. Easy!
I was watching a Barefoot Contessa episode in which Ina made marmalade and it definitely looked like a no-brainer. I decided this was the time to try it.
After researching recipes a few days ago I found that they were all basically the same except some recipes called for putting the pith, seeds and skins in cheese cloth and adding it to the oranges while it cooks. I didn’t have cheese cloth so I chose to use Ina’s “Anna’s Orange Marmalade” recipe.
She added everything to one pot. I read all the reviews and made some notes and changes to the recipe based on the reviewers comments.
I like sweets, but I have a limit on the level of sweetness so I reduced the amount of sugar. Since I was reducing the sugar I figured I would need to use less water. Some reviewers said their results were bitter from the pith, so I peeled the skins and julienned them and then removed about 1/2 of the pith from the oranges. This worked for me as the result was a perfect tasting (for my palate) marmalade.
- 3 large naval oranges
- 2 cups sugar – (use a little more or less
- 1 TBLS. Grand Marnier or Cointreau (optional)
- Use a vegetable peeler and peel the skin from the oranges and julienne – to about ⅓ to ¼ inch slices. Zest the lemon and set aside with the orange slices.
- Cut away about ½ of the white pith.
- Cut the oranges in half and then slice them in ¼ inch slices.
- Place the cut oranges, julienne slices and lemon zest in a stainless steel pot and then add the 3 cups of water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. When the mixture comes to a full boil remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and set aside. Let it sit overnight at room temperature.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for approximately 2 hours.
- After the 2 hours turn the heat to medium/high and bring to a gentle boil for another 30 minutes, stirring often and add the cointreau or grand marnier at this point. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- I didn’t use a candy thermometer, but you can test if it is done by placing a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it is cool (approx. 10 min.) It’s done if it is firm — if it is neither runny or too hard. If it is still a little runny (or watery) cook for a few more minutes depending on how runny it is.
- The color will be a golden orange color or maybe a little darker, depending on how much the sugar caramelizes.
- If you want to preserve the marmalade, use Mason jars and follow the directions for making preserves.
This recipe made about 10 oz. of marmalade. You can use this up quickly if you have a family and enjoy marmalade on toast, pancakes, waffles, marinades, and salad dressing and even as a topping on vanilla ice cream.