Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Orange Jam/Marmalade


Growing up in North Indian and in an Air Force Family, Bread, Butter & Jam was a usual breakfast at home.  I remember my school starts early and I barely eat any breakfast as I was never a morning person.  Since Elementary school had only classes till noon, Mom knows that we would come home hungry and eat a lunch.  So she used to pack light food for me.  My mom usually packs bread and jam in my lunch box.  So the recess at 10 would be the actual breakfast time for me.  


We always had a bottle of some kind of homemade jam in our pantry all the time.  Mixed fruit jam, pineapple jam are the ones I remember.  Mom would diligently make a bottle of jam whenever the previous batch finishes, as it was one thing we loved to eat with the mildly sweet and soft wonder bread and butter.



When we moved back to Kerala, Mom switched the gears and completely adapted to South Indian tastes.  I don't remember her making Chapatis or Pooris in the morning anymore.  Slowly she stopped making jams as well.  She experimented with more Keralite dishes and snacks.  As kids, we slowly started liking the new breakfast options and the South Indian varieties of dishes.


I got that trait from my Mom of experimenting with jams.  I make fruit jams based on their season.  Beginning of the year till summer is the best season here in US to get some good quality Citrus and I love making jam out of it.  I save some to use them in the Kerala Plum Cake later in December for Christmas too.  This jam is so flavorful and the golden yellow color from the orange is so refreshing and is a perfect jam to welcome spring.  We use them for pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, yogurt and in cakes.  Hope you will give this recipe a try.


Yields - 16 oz jar


Prep Time:10 minsCook Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups - Fresh Orange pulp from 2 or more big Navel Oranges
  • 1 tbsp - orange rind sliced into thin pieces
  • 3/4 cup - sugar
  • 1/2 cup - water
  • 1 tbsp - fresh lemon juice


Directions:

  • Peel the orange and remove all the white pith and if any seeds.  Cut them into pieces and make a pulp in the blender.  Don't over blend.  We need some chunks, it makes the thickening process faster.
  • Take 2 pieces of the orange peel and slice to remove the white pith as much as possible using a sharp knife.  
  • Slice the rind into thin strips and collect 1 tbsp of the sliced rind.
  • Take a wide heavy bottom steel sauce pan. Add the orange pulp, orange rind, sugar and water and lemon juice.  Cook on low to medium heat for 20 - 25 minutes till the water is evaporated and the rind is cooked completely.  Use a wooden spoon to stir in between.  Once the mix attains a thick consistency, turn off the burner and transfer the hot jam/marmalade into a sterilized glass/mason jar.  Let it cool; cover it and refrigerate.  If you are making a big batch for canning purpose use boiling water canning method to sterilize the jars.

Notes:
  • You can add 1 - 2 tbsp of rind to the marmalade.  If you add more than that the marmalade gets bitter.  I personally prefer only 1 tbsp for 2 cups of puree.  It gives enough flavor.
  • Its important to take the pith off from the rind completely to avoid bitterness.
  • Don't use high heat while cooking the marmalade, otherwise the marmalade will get dark in color.
  • Use low to medium heat to avoid splutter.
  • A wide mouth heavy bottom pan helps to remove the moisture quickly and fastens the pectin jelling process in the citrus.
  • Make sure to pick well ripen Oranges for the jam to get the natural sweetness and flavor.  I make the orange jam when they are in season to get the best flavor out of it.

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