Traditional orange marmalade is fairly easy to make, and with its combination of sweet and bitter taste is perfect for that little bit of indulgence required for a Sunday brunch. It’s also a great way to preserve oranges so you can get that little boost of citrus flavor any time of year. In addition, this is a great gift because it’s loads better than what you can buy in the store and a lot more economical to produce.
How To Make and Can Orange Marmalade Step by Step:
adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown
You will need about 3lbs of navel oranges, the juice, and the zest of one lemon, 3lbs + 12oz sugar (about 9 cups), and 6 cups water. Makes about 10 half pints.
Wash all your oranges thoroughly.
Zest the lemon.
Juice the lemon.
Cut the ends off the oranges.
Using a mandolin slicer cut the oranges into 1/8in slices. This is an Oxo Good Grips slicer; you can find it here on Amazon. I highly recommend these cut resistant gloves. The hand guard on these kinds of slicers is pretty useless. The gloves do a nice job of protecting fingers.
Your oranges should look like this.
Slice them into fourths as best you can.
Then the oranges will look similar to this.
Wash your canning jars.
And wash your lids.
And your rings.
Sterilizing jars and lids are not necessary for processing times of 10 minutes or longer, I place them in the oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm.
Place your oranges and water in a pot.
Add the lemon juice.
Add the lemon zest.
Yup, that’s a lot of sugar! A little marmalade goes a long way.
Add the sugar.
Place all your lids and rings in a small pot. I bring this pot to a boil briefly and then turn it to low to keep it hot. This is to loosen the seal so you will have a good seal between the lid and the jar. (Update: Ball no longer recommends doing this. So after you’ve washed your lids just place them in a bowl and set them aside until your ready to use them)
Bring the oranges to a boil and then simmer until the fruit is soft about 40 minutes.
Bring your marmalade up to 222 degrees F. Love this thermometer! At this point, you can place a plate in the freezer and then place a small amount of marmalade on a plate to test for thickness.
Fill your jars with marmalade.
Marmalade needs 1/4 in. headspace. Headspace is the distance between the jar and the lid; this handy tool helps measure.
The other end removes the air bubbles from the jars. Although it seems I can never get them all out.
Wipe off the rims of the jars so you can get a good seal.
Remove the rings from the pot. This tool has a magnet on the end that makes it easier to grab the rings and the lids.
Place the lids on the jars.
Place the rings on the jars and tighten “finger tight.” Finger tight means not too tight and not too loose. Just tighten them as far as they will go without forcing them. Place the jars in the canner.
Here I have 10 half pint jars in my water bath canner. Bring the water to a boil and start the timer. Orange marmalade should be processed (boiled) for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. You can find adjustments for altitude here. To look up your altitude go here. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for about 5 minutes.
Then remove the jars from the canner. The jars will be hot!
Let your jars sit and cool for at least eight hours. Remove the rings. If the rings stay on and the lid fails (becomes unsealed) and the ring is still on, the lid may reseal itself. However, bacteria has already invaded the jar and the food should not be consumed, with the ring left on there is no way you will know about the resealing. If the rings are off the lid has no pressure to reseal itself so if the lid seal fails then you’ll know and you can throw that jar out. Label and put away.
Love the orange color!