Showing posts with label Jam jelly and marmalade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jam jelly and marmalade. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Strawberry Jam with a kick

  I bought a huge box of strawberries last week ... finally teen loves strawberries, but I think it was a bit too much for her to finish and you know it does not have a long shelf life. Well, instead of freezing them for smoothies in summer, I thought I should make strawberry jam, strawberry jam is not on our list of most desired, we don't dislike it but you know what I mean. Am into bulk buying for some reason. I think it was last month, I bought a huge box of oranges from Costco to make marmalade and then we ate it all up, then it was persimmon and one by one it was gone. Got these strawberries, was planning to eat them not cook with them, ended up making jam and am so glad I did. :))  Just before bottling the jam on a spur of the moment  I added  a couple of tbsp of smoked paprika. That's the climax of the story and things change from here. From the not desired list we have moved THE jam to 'we love this' list. It's been  a week since I made this jam, 2 jars are polished clean and we are currently working on the third. A spoonful of the jam goes into the mouth, you smell the strawberries, taste the sweetness with a hint of tartness (just a mild aftertaste) you think - it's good and you are almost done eating it..... you get a kick from the pepper and you wonder, what was that ....awesome, let me get another spoonful to relive that...and the cycle continues. We love this jam and looking forward to making a big batch in spring summer.

Finally teen came up with a signature snack -  cracker, jam generously used  & some pepper jack.....hmmm yum! . We have run out of it's on pancakes, ice cream and just spoonfuls to make sure the flavor is balanced ;) It's always good to indulge once a while. What's your favorite preserve? And btw if you love orange marmalade, like I do you might want to click here.

Thank you Daily Meal for featuring this post on your home page. (under Culinary Content Network ) :)) Yeah !! 
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Orange Marmalade

Procrastination can be my middle name. I love to sit on an idea for days, weeks and sometime even months, even though I know it is a great idea and I should implement it.  I have been thinking forever to make marmalade - I really don't know what took me so long. I Just love the outcome - it's exactly what I had hoped for and I enjoyed the process. A great gift idea too - made some extra for some special friends.  :)  

If you live in Florida this might be the best time of the year to pic some fresh oranges, if not,  like me your best bet is the local grocery store- pick firm, not discolored or moldy fruit.

4 fresh oranges
2 fresh lemons
51/2 cups sugar
21/2 cups water or orange juice
1/8 tsp baking soda
pectin - 1 pack

Wash the fruits and pat dry. Remove only colored part of the peel from the oranges and lemon with the help of a vegetable peeler. The peel is what gives the marmalade its bitter taste. Chop it finely and keep it aside. If you don't like the bitterness, you can reduce the amount of peel that goes into the marmalade.

Using your fingers, peel off the remaining white portion of the rind, discard this.

Cut the fruit in half.  The tough, white part in the center must be cut out and discarded - it's too tough and tasteless. Save any juice that leaks out! Cut the fruit into pieces and remove the seeds. Save the juice.

In the meantime prepare the jars. You will need ball jars. The purpose of ball jar  is to preserve the food from natural spoilage.
Canning is new to me. It opens doors to so many more possibilities. Canning is really one step beyond cooking. It is a method that applies heat  to stop the natural spoilage that would otherwise take place, and removes air from the jar to create a seal. There are two home canning methods - Water bath Canning and Pressure Canning. I used the water bath method, since it was recommended in the recipes.

For more information go to

Preparing the jars -
The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Get the dishwasher going while  preparing the marmalade, so the jars are clean and hot and ready to use.
Lids: Put the lids into a pan of hot water for at least several minutes; to soften up the gummed surface and clean the lids.

Now for the fun stuff you will need to follow the direction that came with the pectin.

Mix the dry pectin with about 1/4 cup of sugar and mix it with the cut fruits. Keep aside. Place the peel in 2 1/2 cup water or orange juice ( I prefer orange juice for the added flavor) and 1/8th tsp of baking soda in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for about 20 min, stir occasionally. Add the fruit and juice and let it simmer for 10 more min. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a full boil for a min. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, leaving 1/8th inch on top. Wipe jar rims and thread. Seat the lid and tighten the ring.Screw the bands tightly.

Note : do not alter the amount of sugar, if you do your marmalade will not set. If you want to make low sugar marmalade, you will have to use a different proportion for that.

For canning : Fill the canner (or a huge pot to  sanitize the jars) with 2 inch water. Put the jars (with marmalade and lid tightly screwed) into the boiling water.Boil for 15 min.Use the altitude chart for boiling time. This is the water bath method. Boil them for 15 min. This really helps to reduce spoilage - make sure you follow instruction to the t :) Lift the jars out of the water with the help of a pair of jar tongs and let them cool without touching -usually takes overnight. It takes about 2 weeks to the marmalade to set and thicken up.

Altitude effects canning just like it does when you bake. Recipes are written for altitudes up to 1,000 feet above sea level. Be sure to check the chart below for adjustments for your altitude.

Altitude-(ft) 1,001 - 3,000 - increase processing time 5 minutes
Altitude-(ft) 3,001 - 6,000 - increase processing time 10 minutes
Altitude-(ft) 6,001 - 8,000 - increase processing time 15 minutes
Altitude-(ft) 8,001 - 10,000- increase processing time  20 minutes

Source :

You need to pop test in the morning to ensure the jars are sealed. If the lid flexes making a 'pop' sound the jar did not seal properly. You may refrigerate for immediate use or re-process the jar. Am going to do a different blog post on re -processing of jars.

Remember the marmalade takes 2 weeks to set, if you remove the seal - refrigerate immediately. Unopened marmalade stays good for an year, it will darken in color . Store the unopened jars in a cool dry place. Check out for more inputs.

Makes 7 cups of marmalade!! Enjoy with toast, as topping for ice-cream, baked apples or fruits. Mix the marmalade with some hot and spicy sauce  and you got a tangy chutney for your spring rolls. Use it to marinate your chicken or topping for ginger snaps....endless possibilities !

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