When I saw blood oranges hit the shelves a few weeks ago, all I could think about was making marmalade. Since I became addicted to canning last year, I like to make at least one batch of preserves every month so that I have lots of goodies both to last us through the winter and for Christmas gift baskets for family and friends. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that’s in season right now, so I usually stick with citrus preserves in January and February since there’s an always abundance of all things citrus at the grocery store. I used the recipe for blood orange marmalade straight out of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and now I have a new favorite marmalade. I hope it becomes one of your favorites, too!
- 3 lbs blood oranges (about 8 oranges)
- 6 cups granulated sugar
Cut off the tops and bottoms of the oranges and score the peel of each orange lengthwise into quarters.
Remove the peel and set aside the fruit. Place the pieces of peel into a large sauce pan and fill with water until covered. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and boil for 10 minutes. Cover with cold water again and return to a boil for another 10 minutes or until the peel is softened. Drain.
Using a spoon, scrape the pith (the white stuff) from the peel.
Cut the peel into very thin strips. Using a knife, cut the membrane off of the orange segments. Place the fruit in a sauce pan and then squeeze the membrane over the pan to extract as much juice as possible before discarding the membrane.
Add the cooked peel and 4 cups of water to the fruit, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and boil gently for about a half hour or until the peel is very soft. Remove from the heat and measure 6 cups of the fruit mixture, adding water if necessary.
When ready to can, prepare your supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes. Heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids. Add in the 6 cups of sugar gradually, maintaining the boil. Boil hard, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches the gel stage, 25-30 minutes. When you reach the gel stage, skim off the foam and ladle the hot marmalade into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and boil 10 minutes. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel, and let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you’ll hear a popping noise as they do). Makes 5-6 eight-ounce jars.