The Food in Jars Mastery Challenge 2017
had me at their first deliverable … Marmalade
2 oranges/2 lemons
1-1/4 cups of water
1-1/4 cups of organic sugar
Boil for 1 hour and 45 minutes
This was my first time making it and I’m quite happy with the results. My absolute favourite is the Bon Maman Whole Slice Orange Marmalade which I first discovered in Paris … later I found some at the Atwater Market in Montreal, Quebec. There were no recipes I could find using whole orange slices so I’ve patched together a few recipes .
I started off using two medium-sized organic oranges …
Then I sliced them about 1/4″ thick and found that about 2 and a quarter cups of water was enough to cover them in the pot I used.
After googling a few recipes, I discovered the reason many people boil their citrus first is to get rid of bitterness and since it’s the the bittersweetness of marmalade I love so much … what a win-win when I discovered what must be the simplest recipe on the entire internet. Basically you just use enough water to cover however much chopped citrus you’re using …
then add the same amount of organic sugar as water (be sure to measure that H2O)!
and boil it all for as long as it takes … to pass the wrinkle test. My batch took 1 hour and 45 minutes exactly until the surface of my last sample wrinkled … see Note on Setting Point by Christopher Robbins (no not that one – different spelling Pooh).
What you need to know is at about 10 minutes in, I took the best orange slices out … I did this to stiffen them up so they could be standup bits for the sides of the jar while I poured the jam rather than having it all be one floppy-ploppy marmalade mess.
Leave it to Rachel Koo, one of my favourite chefs, to not only have a video using dehydrated orange slices because I’m using this part from her Orange Marmalade Tartlets recipe; but also she’s got one masterfully layered recipe using these and slices of fresh citrus and marmalade for tartlets – garnished with double cream and yogourt.
And yes, Rachel pulled her slices out after 5 minutes, but because I wanted to make sure they were really sweet, I gave mine twice as long in the boiling sugar water before placing them on parchment paper and into my toaster oven for about half an hour at about 200°F. I turned them over twice (and I know Rachel used a silpat baking mat and she didn’t flip hers but I was pretty sure they would surface dry faster if I did).
When I took the best orange slices out, I realized I didn’t have a whole lot left in the pot of boiling sugar water so I thinly cut and peeled 2 lemons I had on hand to toss into the mix.
So here we are – ta da!
Since taking this photo, I topped the jar up with more syrup and it’s produced a nice layer of gel on top … sweet!
This is the most fun I’ve had since the holidays … plus all the running back and forth to the stove every 5 minutes doing patch taste tests (and no Mr. Robbins didn’t suggest taste tests to go with the wrinkle tests … but heck I do)!
and there’s lots left over on the chef’s plate …
and so I powdered up some of the organic sugar and covered some of the remaining slices to use someday as garnish on that tartlet of Rachel’s.
One of my favourite ways to use citrus marmalade is in a crepe suzettes flambe´. In this video, where the chef uses raspberry puree, I’d use one of the sliced oranges as a garnish on top rather than as a base. I also think rather than straight up whipped cream, I’d use Rachel’s double cream and yogourt combo, if anything … it really does stand on it’s own. Stay tuned for that recipe!
Here’s where and how to submit your marmalade (just remember to do it before 25 January). There’s also a closed FaceBook support group to cheer you on. If there hadn’t been, I’m not so sure I would have been as cool, calm and collected doing this my first time … who am I kidding, there wouldn’t have been a first time probably 😉
Here is the Food in Jars List of Challenges by Month
And last but not least, Food in Jars has an amazing post on Trouble Shooting your Marmalade Making should things go sideways!