Did you know that making marmalade is a very (very) extensive thing to do? I think that I did, but I hadn’t really thought about it, you know? I had gotten this idea about making orange marmalade while watching one of my countless cooking shows and couldn’t really shake it, now that it had gotten to my head. So, cumbersome or not, I simply had to make orange marmalade.
That’s one of my most common mistakes. I don’t really think my recipe ideas through before its too late. This time around I had bought all of my ingredients for making my marmalade – I had even gone to the trouble of buying some new and very handsome marmalade jars for this very purpose. But it wasn’t until I sat down by the computer to research marmalade making that I realized that it takes a great deal of effort to make marmalade.
I made this stunt last year as well. I had decided that I wanted to make my own marshmallows. Easy breezy, would any skilled food blogger say. But the thing is that I didn’t have a stand mixer (*screaming in the distance*). And as you might know, this is a very essential piece of equipment when making marshmallows. So there I was, already halfway through melting the sugar and mixing the gelatin, slowly realizing that this would make a much greater amount of marshmallow than I had previously anticipated. For what I hadn’t really thought about was how fluffy (and sticky!) this stuff would get. I started mixing in the sugar with my – not very large – hand-held mixer and the mixture just kept on expanding and expanding, and before I could even think about stopping, the entire bottom of my mixer had been emerged in extremely sticky marshmallow. Yeah, not the best idea I have ever had, but I managed to get them thoroughly whipped and transferred to a tin – and they turned out pretty damn good, after all!
But, it turned out that making marmalade wasn’t that difficult after all! After doing some extensive research (I thought that my head would explode from all of the information) I just jumped right into it -and when I first got the whole process going, I found out that the hardest part was all of the waiting. The process itself wasn’t really a big deal. So I had made such a great fuss over nothing! Same thing I did the first time I made caramels – which turned out to be incredibly easy.
The thing about recipes involving a great deal of sugar is, that people ofter over-complicate things. There are so many different opinions on how to do things. It is hard to work with sugar, yes, but if you’ve got a basic knowledge of how sugar works, it’s really not that hard to figure out. My experience tells me that whenever I do thorough research on a recipe I tend to over think it and end up worrying about it way too much, and in the end I learn that it was super simple and nothing to fret. So, for all of you out there who’s too afraid to jump into marmalade making, let this be a sign: it really is very, very simple! Trust me, I’ve definitely done my research. So much that this recipe is one hundred percent my own!
On another note, did you know that almost all recipes for orange marmalade makes like a billion pints? Who even needs 13 jars of marmalade? I will never get a use of this much marmalade, ever. Maybe if I started handing it out to all of the costumers I might get rid of half, but it is just a ridiculous amount. In my household we are but two people and neither of us really get that many guests or attend that many house parties (as this would make a sweet ass hostess gift), so I think that it would be a shame to waste half of our pantry space on orange marmalade, when I would rather use it for my 10 different kinds of flour (a very important part of any pantry stock).
So this recipe is for a charming little batch of orange marmalade. Nothing that will make the children cry at night because mommy had to use the pantry for marmalade, so there wasn’t really room for dinner supplies. You won’t even have to worry about the tedious sanitizing process (ugh) because this batch will be gone long before the idea of it turning bad will have even occurred to you.
With that said, all that is left to do is for you to get into the kitchen to make this way easy marmalade for a few special someones or just you. You can definitely eat the whole thing, I believe in you!
Orange and ginger marmalade with almonds
Makes: Two jars of 1/2 l
The amount of ingredients in this recipe is very much up to you. I used what I had, which were 4 medium-sized oranges, but you could easily halve, double or increase tenfold, that’s all up to you. Just remember the golden rule of marmalade making: 1:1:1. One part fruit to one part water, and when it has boiled use the same amount of sugar as you have fruit/water. If the fruit has a lot of pectin in it (which oranges have) you could even reduce the sugar a bit. My marmalade turned out pretty sweet, so I should probably have reduced the sugar by maybe 2 dl. I would also recommend swapping one of the oranges for a lemon, both for more tang, but also for the extra pectin so you can reduce the sugar.
In this recipe I’m also using the pith of the orange to get good use of as much of their pectin as possible. The pith is famous for its bitter taste which is not what we want in a marmalade, but don’t fret, you won’t even taste it.
3 dl orange peel, sliced (3-4 oranges)
6 dl orange flesh (3-4 oranges)
9 dl water
9 dl sugar
2 dl orange pith
1,5 dl juice of a ginger/grated ginger
Two handfuls or blanched, slivered almonds
Scrub the oranges under water, even if they are organic (which I recommend that they are). Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, remove the peel from the oranges. Be careful not to get too much pith with the peel. Scrape off any pith and save it in a bowl. Cut the peel into thin slices. Mine were very thin (1mm), but if you like it a bit chunkier that’s up to you. Measure them out and put them in a big pot with the same amount of water as there is peel. Set them over a low heat, covered.
Peel the rest of the pith from the oranges and save it. Cut the oranges in halves and then in fine slices. Measure the orange flesh and plop it on top of the peel. Measure the same amount of water as there was orange flesh and add it to the pot. Take the pith that you put aside and put it in a muslin bag. I did not have one on hand, so I just used a couple of disposable tea filters. Plop them into the pot. Let everything boil away, covered, until the peel is so soft that you can squish it between two fingers – this can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your oranges.
While the oranges are boiling you can prepare your almonds and ginger. For the almonds I made the slivers myself, but you can buy them pre-slivered. To make them yourself you just have to boil the almonds in a pot of hot water until the skin comes loose. Then you can just pop them out of the skin and cut them into pretty slivers.
For the ginger: Peel the ginger with a spoon and grate it into a bowl. Take the gratings and squeeze them as much as you can into another bowl. Measure the juice. I like a kick from my ginger, but if that’s not really your thing, I would recommend just using 1 dl, instead of 1,5.
When the orange peel is soft, remove the pith bags and add the ginger. Measure the mix into a larger pot and add the same amount of sugar as there is orange mixture. Heat it over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Grab your sugar thermometer and whack the heat up to full. It will begin to boil vigorously. Boil it, stirring, until it reaches 220 degrees F (104,5 degrees C). Turn off the heat and add the almonds. Let it stand in the pot for 10-15 minutes to set a little, so the almonds and orange peel won’t float to the top in the jars.
Transfer the marmalade to two 1/2 l jars. You could sterilize the jars and seal them properly if you wish. I didn’t as I know everything will be gone before it turns bad and I find the job of sterilizing and sealing very tedious.
I enjoyed this marmalade on top of a toasted croissant with a nice amount of brie. The strong taste of the ginger and the sweetness of the oranges perfectly matches the rich flavor of the brie, and on top of a croissant it is simply divine.