Friday, January 29, 2010

Dance of the Jelly Jars

Making Marmalade!

Step 1: Naked Grapefruit
             Carefully pare the orange peel, trying not to get the bitter white pith, off your oranges and grapefruit. Today it was about 5 small grapefruit and 3 oranges.
             Pile up the peelings and julienne: cut into matchsticks. This batch gave me 2 cups of peel.
Step 2: Boil the peel
             combine 6 cups water and the 2 cups peel matchsticks in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Then strain the peel, discarding the water. Peels can go back in the pot.
Step 3: A pulpy mess
            Now you have all those naked fruit. you want the pulp, in other words the part you usually eat. I got fancy and cut out each section, after slicing off all the white pith. I got 4 cups of fruit in the time it took to boil and strain the peel.
Step 4: All together now!
            Add the pulp to the pot with the peel, and another 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and boil 5 minutes. Now turn off the heat and let the pot sit 12 hours, or overnight.

( I took all the parings, and membranes and pressed out a cup of juice!)

Next day:
Step 5: Jelly jar round up.
            Dig in the basement, garage, cupboards, or where ever you keep your empty jelly jars. I gathered at least 8 half-pints. At the same time make sure you have new lids and clean rings for all the jars. Pull out your canner, and accessories,  like funnel, jar-lifter, lid magnet, dancing music.
Step 6: Sterilize.
             This is important! Place all the empty jars, the funnel, your ladle, and the rings in the dishwasher and start a hot wash cycle. The flat lids do not go in the dishwasher.
Step 7: Prep work. ( the part they don't put in the Ball Blue Book)
             You'll want a space next to your stove to place the jars once they are ready to fill. I like having a towel, then a cookie sheet, and another towel. Get a couple clean dishcloths, and put that music on.
              Fill your canner with about 4 inches of water, and set it on the back burner. If you have a jar rack, set it aside, and your jar lifter too. (if you are like me and store it in the canner) Find your potholders, and something for the kids to do while you are canning.
Step 8: Boiling, Boiling, Boiling, keep that jelly boiling!
             I like to get my water bath up to boiling, then turn it of and keep it ready.
             Next, heat up that pot of pulp-peel-water and boil a bit more until the peel is as tender as you want it. Take it off the heat, and measure how much is in your pot. This time I had 8 cups, so I added 8 cups of sugar.
             Now comes the hard part. Bring the whole mess to a boil, and stand there stirring until the mixture almost sheets off a spoon. This took almost an hour today, and I got impatient. You are boiling off enough water to form a jelly. You know it's ready when it gets a bit thick on the spoon, and a bit put on a cool saucer and chilled to room temp in the freezer gets thick. Take the pot off the stove.
Step 9: Canning, or actually Jarring!
            Those clean, sterile jars should be ready. get them out of the dishwasher and place them somewhere so you can ladle the marmalade. The rings need to be clean, and the lids need to be in boiling water.
            Using a funnel if you have it, fill the jars, wipe the top of each jar with a clean damp cloth, place a lid on it and then the ring.
            Hot Water Process 10 Minutes! That's another blog entry!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Get out the english muffins and enjoy! Love Mom