Last weekend Laura and I made a trip into town and found a whole whack of citrus on sale. We decided to make a mess of marmalade mainly because of the sale on citrus, the fact that Laura and I both like it but also because our Gran love love loves it.
Note: On Day 2, Laura and I pureed a quarter of the citrus mixture so that it would be less jelly like and have a little more texture. This is totally optional and not necessary if you like jellyness.
2.5 lbs. Meyer Lemons, Grapefruit and Oranges
8 cups Water
6-6.5 Cups Sugar
- Halve the lemons crosswise and cut out the centers.
- Holding the citrus over a bowl, run your finger down the middle of the lemon to remove all the seeds. Do this for each fruit. Retain the juice and seeds and set aside.
- Slice the citrus into thin slices.
- Strain the retained juice and seeds from #3 and add to a large bowl.
- Combine the juice and the lemons into the large bowl, cover them with the 8 cups of water, and let stand overnight in a cool place (refrigerator, garage, etc).
- Wash the jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water.
- Sterilize. Place the jars upright in the canner, cover them with hot water 2” above the top of the jars, and boil vigorously for 10 minutes. (Add one additional minute for each 1,000 feet you are higher than sea level.) I generally place my rings and all other utensils in the bath as well – doesn’t hurt. Just don’t boil the lids as the rubber may melt. Leave them in the hot water until you’re ready to use them.
- Simmer the citrus and water in a large pot until the peels are tender. A good test is to try to cut them with a wooden or plastic spoon: if they break apart effortlessly, it’s done. This takes me about 20-25 minutes.
- Add the sugar (6 cups for a little less sweet, 6.5 for a little more sweet).
- Boil rapidly, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches the jelling point.
- Skim off any foam.
- Ladle into hot, sterile jars. Use the funnel so that you avoid getting marmalade on the rim of the jar. Fill to 1/4” below the top of the jar (ie, 1/4” headspace).
- Before putting on the lids, stir slowly and push the liquid down to remove any air pockets. Then carefully wipe the top of the jars with a clean towel. (I dip the towel in the boiling water first, as the liquid can be sticky.)
- Dunk the lids into the boiling water, or pour boiling water over them in a bowl to soften and sterilize them. Set the lids on the jars, and screw on the rings firmly, but stop when you feel resistance.
- Place each of the jars into the jar rack in the water canner. Make sure they have at least 2” between one another so that water can circulate between them.
- Lower the rack into the canner. Top the water in the canner so that water is at least 2” above the top jar. Cover, and boil.
- After it reaches a full boil, set a timer and boil the jars in the water for 10 minutes. (At 1,000-3,000’ above sea level, add 5 minutes; at 3,001-6,000’ add 10 minutes, and so on.)
- Immediately remove jars with a jar lifter, and place them on a drying rack or clean towel. Make sure they are spaced at least 1” apart for air circulation, but don’t put them in front of an open window or in any kind of draft. Also don’t tighten the metal rings. Very soon you’ll hear a popping sound as the jars cool.
- Cool the jars at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
- Test the Seals. Remove the metal rings and check to see that the lids have curved down slightly in the center. Then press the center of the lid. It should not move.
- Jars that did not seal properly should be reprocessed (within 24 hours), frozen, or used in the next few days.
- With metal rings still removed, wipe the jars clean with a damp cloth. If you see food caught between the lid and the rim, note this on the jar and use this jar soon. Replace the metal ring.
- Label your jars with the contents and date. You can do this with a label or mark the top of the lid with a Sharpie.
- Store in a cool, dark place between 45F and 60F. Use within one year.