Thursday, February 23, 2012

Double Batch Navel Orange Marmalade


Well, I did it. I finally made some marmalade. You see, last year I went a little overboard with the citrus, and I still have it hanging around even though I try determinedly to use it up. So, this year I disallowed myself shipments of expensive fruit, and instead enjoyed some calamondins sent to me from my mother. She also sent me some Florida sour oranges, which I haven't gotten around to using yet. But the other day I saw a pretty bag of organic navel oranges at the store and my compulsions got the better of me. That four pounds of fruit yielded almost a case of marmalade, and that's plenty for my household, including gift giving. 

This recipe is pretty easy, even though it takes three days. I'm not going to say I'm a marmalade expert; go visit Hitchhiking to Heaven for that. This is a homey kind of marmalade. I always used to be scared of doing two batches at once, but it's really very easy. What's nicest about it is that you can have two different flavors. I had been eyeing this King's Ginger liqueur for a while for a marmalade, and who isn't a sucker for a creamsicle?

Double Batch Navel Orange Marmalade
(yields about 10-12 eight-ounce jars)

Day One:

4 pounds of organic navel oranges, gently scrubbed and rinsed

The oranges should be in the fridge, maybe overnight, so that when you work with them they are chilled. I use my food processor for slicing the oranges.  Although many may scorn my callous handling of the mighty orange, it's a technique not to be overlooked. I do believe hand cutting is superior, but the food processor takes no time at all, and is uniformly thin. In the case of navels, or clementines, which generally don't have seeds, it's quite helpful. With seedy fruit, you can halve them, remove the seeds, and then slice. I like to cut off the ends, quarter the fruit vertically, and neatly process them "standing up" so that the orange slices are (for the most part) perfect pie shapes.

Put the slices in a large ceramic bowl, and cover with water. I used 7 cups of water. You want to fruit to be comfortable to swim around. I used a bit less than normal, because I like a firmer marmalade. Let the mixture sit over night, not refrigerated, with a piece of wax paper over it.

Day Two:

The next day, put the oranges and water in your jam pot, bring to a simmer until the peel is soft. Mine took no time at all. Put it back in the bowl (or leave it in the pot if you prefer) and cover, leaving again until the next day.

Day Three:


Divide the mixture into two different batches. Don't make it one batch, you'll be bummed because it'll take forever. Really, it's not recommended. Mine yielded two batches of orange slices and water that were six cups each.

Add 4 cups of sugar to each batch. For my two batches this is what I added:

The King's Ginger Marm: 


2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of peeled, grated ginger
1/4 cup of The King's Ginger Liqueur (not to be added until the very end)

Creamsicle Marmalade:


2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (though I'm sure a vanilla bean would be exemplary--I didn't have any on hand)

Bring each mixture to a boil and let it cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, which depends on everything from the weather, your preferred brand of sugar or to the pot you used. I like a firm marmalade, so I let it go to the sheeting stage, but you may want to pull it earlier. I like to add my booze just as the gel stage is reached. I pour it in, turn off the heat, and gently stir while it simmers down.

Ladle into eight ounce jars, and process for ten minutes in a boiling water bath.

An antique Fire King sugar bowl is my refrigerator jam pot.

20 comments:

  1. I'd never have considered the food pro for slicing citrus - but mine is old and not so sharp I think. Maybe I'll try it sometime, but I suspect that I probably will be better off with a knife. I love these marms, but I have to reel myself in already - I fear I love making them more than eating them and my jam shelf is full in the basement. And, Summer is not even here yet!

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    1. I just got a new one, actually, and it's SHARP! It can cut salami, or so they say, I haven't tried it yet. Marmalade really turns into an obsession, doesn't it? I wonder if it's the smell, that it cheers you in a way that you need more and more. When, of course, you don't need more. Or at least on your shelf!

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  2. I like this! (And not just because you say something nice about my marmalading, though I do very much thank you for that.) Some of the things I like are these: That you go ahead and use the food processor (I have been all about ease this winter. Some may call it lazy, but I am preferring to think of it as rustic.) That you make a ginormous prepped batch but cook it off as two different flavors. (I very much want to try the King's Ginger.) That I now have something so nice to come back to when my neighbors great big navel orange tree comes around in a month or so. I'm so glad you got to the citrus and shared it with us.

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    1. Thanks, Shae! I certainly don't condone it for all marmalades, but like I said, it shouldn't be pooh-poohed entirely. Rustic is nice, and it's totally my style, but truly: using the food pro is lazy! ; )

      I know navels aren't very exotic, but I really love their orange-ness, don't you?

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  3. You're making it even harder not to cave in and buy citrus for preserving! I made so much marmalade last year I had to give over half of it away (my friends probably starting pretending to not be home) and I'm still working through what I have left. But I just love the idea of two batches of marmalade from one prep . . . and ginger booze . . . MUST. STAY. STRONG.

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    1. I know all too well what you are saying!! What was nice about this one (not that I'm trying to make you cave) was that it was relatively inexpensive. It scratched the itch, as it were...; )

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  4. We get a navel called "cara cara" which is a beauty to behold with pink-orange flesh. I am so making the creamsicle marm. Thanks for posting it.

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    1. I love cara caras! They are beautiful aren't they? Though, you probably get perfectly gorgeous specimens, don't you....

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  5. Just got 12 pounds of blood oranges in the mail and am inspired to get to work--thanks for the guidelines and permission to take shortcuts!

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    1. I can't wait to hear what you make! Where did you get them??

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  6. Lol, its so hard to not give in and make just one more batch....but the cara cara, moro and meyers that have been showing up lately are so lackluster I just pet my filled jars instead.

    I made a vanilla bean cara cara marm as I am a sucker for vanilla in anything. I diced the peel into tiny squares. Vanilla Cara Cara Confetti is what I'm calling it. All the tiny seeds from the vanilla bean and the tiny citrus peel bits are super happy.

    AS for being lazy with chopping....if it works its better than struggling with things that don't. Making marmalade inspired me to finally replace my knife set, which was never as sharp as I liked. Rustic is still yummy.

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    1. Vanilla Cara Cara Confetti sounds luscious. I really wish I had had some vanilla bean for this one...Sigh.

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  7. Man, I am glad you told us to chill first. I ended up having to chop by hand (couldn't find the piece for the processor, not because I'm oh-so-artisan) and between this tip and shae's how to chop citrus, I was saved from going nuts! And now, I wait.

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    1. Chilling is key! And Shae's chipping citrus tips are also key!

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  8. In the waiting zone.... so grateful I stumbled upon this recipe. Julia, you're a complete life-saver, as I literally finished my last jar of marmalade this morning and was already craving more.
    Thanks to you, I'll be making two batches, one Creamsicle Marmalade Explosion, and Marnier Marm.... yummmmmmmmmm

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    1. Krisit - Yay! I hope they came out great.

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  9. I put it in the refrigerator on the first day (I wasn't paying attention on the instruction and put it in the fridge). Will that effect the outcome? -Nathan

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    1. Hi Nathan- I'm sure it won't make a huge difference. Hope it goes well!

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    2. It's done. Mine took longer because i accidentaly put more water and i want a thick marmalade. Now i'm streilizing some mason jar to put it into. -Nathan

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