The excellence of this recipe depends on a secret that a few of us have know for years: the ornamental orange trees that grow in Arizona and some other warm states are really the Seville Orange of marmalade making fame. They are also known as sour oranges, and are also the oranges that are used extensively in Latin American cooking. The first recipe below is my own, and the second was created by my old friend Tom Hornaday of Phoenix. Tom claims that it is now a "perfect recipe".
To do Marmalade:
9 Seville Oranges
2 quarts water
Place in a stainless steel or glass pot. Bring slowly to a simmer and simmer a couple hours. Let cool. Do the same thing the next day. On the third day simmer until very tender then let cool until they can be handled. Drain the oranges and save the liquid. Scrape the pulp from the oranges leaving the orange shell. Add the pulp to the saved liquid and simmer for about an hour. Drain well and let liquid settle until clear. Slice the oranges into thin, 1/8 inch threads, about 3/4 inch long. Decant the liquid, leaving the sediment behind. Add the orange shreds to the liquid.
Measure six cups of the peel mixture back into the pot. Stir in one package SureJel, and bring to a full rolling boil. Add six cups sugar all at once and return to a full boil. Boil until the mixture is 8 degrees above the ambient boiling point. Up here, at 7000 feet, water boils at 196 degrees. Add 8 degrees, and the marmalade is ready up here when it reaches 204 degrees. Can and sterilize the marmalade per the directions in the SureJel package. Makes about 8 half pints.
TOM'S SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE
14 medium to large Seville (also known as “ornamental” or “sour”) oranges
½ package of pectin
12 cups of sugar
Place oranges and lemons in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, put a lid on the pot, and simmer for up to three hours, until fruit is quite soft. Let fruit remain in pot overnight. Remove fruit from water and peel. Save pulp. Force pulp though a food mill or colander and save. Discard seeds and stringy residue. Slice peels into strips about 1/8” wide, cut into ½"± lengths, combine with pulp. You should have 8 to 10 cups of fruit mixture.
Put fruit mixture into large pot with 12 cups of sugar and the pectin. Bring to a boil. Stir. Nearly constant stirring is necessary in order to avoid boil-over and/or burning the mixture. Continue to cook at a high simmer until marmalade reaches a temperature of 7º above ambient boiling. You can determine ambient boiling by putting your candy thermometer into boiling water. Ambient boiling temperature will vary based on atmospheric pressure. It is a good idea to check it each time you are going to make a batch of marmalade.
Remove pot from heat and let the mixture cool. Bottle the marmalade in sterilized jars. Seal with paraffin.
Since this represents a good deal of work, you may want to cook a double batch which will get you through the year and still provide a few extra jars to give away.
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