Can Jam #1: “Citrus” – Citrus Marmalade

I seem to have way too much time because I have signed up for another challenge  – the Tigress’ Can Jam: it’s all about canning. Every month we’ll focus on a given fruit or vegetable to preserve and blog about the result.

This month’s focus is citrus which includes fruit like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kumquats, limes, clementines etc. I surfed the internet and found a really interesting recipe for a three-citrus marmalade that caught my eye. I bought all the ingredients  – 3 organic oranges, 3 grapefruits, 7 kumquats and 1 carambola (star fruit) – and started preparing the fruit.  The recipe called for sectioning the oranges and grapefruit: this is when I thought the directions in the recipe were way too time-consuming for me (I was baking a bread parallelly and taking care of 3 little kids… you get the idea ;-)). So I decided to adapt Eugenia Bone’s directions she gives for a three-citrus marmalade in her book “Well Preserved” (she uses grapefruit, oranges and Meyer lemons – this marmalade sounds yummy, too, but as far as I know my friend Sara wants to submit this marmalade to the Can Jam; also, I think we don’t have Meyer lemons here in Germany).

Ok, so this is what I did. I cut the kumquats in halves and blanched them, peeled 2 grapefruits and 2 oranges and diced them. I grated the zest of 1 orange and cooked it in some water for about 20 minutes. Then I juiced this orange and the 3rd grapefruit. I sliced the carambola and diced the slices.

I added the cooked zest (not drained), the fruit dice and the juice to a pot, puréed everything and let it rest for 2 hours. Then I measured it: I got 4 1/2 cups. According to Eugenia Bone you need 1 cup of sugar for every 1 cup of pulp (aka purée), thus I added 4 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of butter (this helps keep the marmalade from foaming up) to the purée and cooked it over medium heat for about 30 minutes until the temperature reached 220°F (thanks to my excessive bread baking I own a food thermometer ;-))

I sterilized five 0,42-pint jars, poured in the marmalade without leaving any headspace at the top of each jar, wiped the rims and screwed on the lids. Then I placed the jars in my electric waterbath canner, set the thermostat to 90°C (194°F) and processed them for 10 minutes (the processing time starts when the red lamp goes out).

I removed the jars from the canner and let them sit on the counter overnight. There was a little bit of marmalade left that wouldn’t fit in the jars – this I put in a little bowl and it got eaten the same evening and the next day. At first I thought I didn’t like the marmalade because it was kind of bitter, but the more I eat the more I like it. And I must admit, I’ve become pretty fond of my citrus marmalade by now🙂. First challenge – first success. Looking forward to reading all the other citrus posts and waiting for the next fruit to be revealed.

Check out what some other fellow canners have produced:

30 responses to “Can Jam #1: “Citrus” – Citrus Marmalade

  1. Your marmalde looks amazing! I’ve enjoyed reading your post and some of your other posts as well!! I like making bread too!! I’ve been trying my hand a artisan breads!! I look forward to our next challange!

  2. thecosmiccowgirl

    looks delicious! i love ruby reds so i had no problem with the grapefruit flavor for my marmalade. the kumquats are a great addition!

  3. Bread? Canning? 3 Kids? That would be a recipe for disaster at my house! Looks like you were able to pull it off beautifully~

  4. Looks good! Love your blog…

  5. Wow, that sounds fantastic! I see already the problem with the Can Jam – I want to try everything!

    (PS Thanks for mentioning my jelly, too!)

  6. That looks delicious and a great combination of fruits. I’d better get my skates on – my citrus fruits are in the kitchen waiting for attention and the clock is ticking. Tigresscanjam will mean we all have plenty of jam on our bread.

  7. Looks yummy- I have to admit I didn’t think I liked marmalade until I made some for Christmas basket goodies- then I was upset I didn’t make more.
    Bread challenge huh? I need more details on that one- I’m teaching myself to bake a better bread not using the bread machine….we made potato bread Sunday and it was very yummy toasted with my orange marmalade….

    Wonder what I’ll next challenge will be……

    • As to the bread challenge… Just check out my bread posts – you’ll find all the information and the link to the “main” challenge website there. I still use my bread machine (sometimes during the work week when there isn’t enough time and I want the bread to be ready by 6 p.m.). But I have to admit, non-bread-machine bread is WAY better!!!!

  8. Your recipe looks great. I’m also intrigued to hear about electric canners; I just have a pot on the stove.

    You suggested I should just zest rather than julienne my rind. It would save time, but I really like the texture of the jellied pith; I think I’d miss it in the finished product. Still, maybe I should try the zest sometime – I have a zester I never seem to use.

    • no, I didn’t really mean the zest. I used the coarse grating surface of my 4-sided grater to “peel” the oranges so the rinds were still kind of “big”, not as fine as zests… I didn’t even have to peel the pith off because that was still on the orange and it was easier to remove it from the orange than from the rinds.

  9. I love the canning jars. Who makesthem- where do you get them? Welcome to the Foodie BlogRoll!
    Andrea from http://www.rockthatplate.blogspot.com

  10. Mmmm yummy! That looks so good! I’ve never tried a kumquat, but they look neat. And the starfruit? Amazing!
    P.S. Love your jar tops – where do you get those?

  11. That looks great! So impressive! I am really eager to try canning . . . I think it will be my summer project! What’s the electric canner? Do you need/have/use any other special equipment?

    • The electric waterbath canner is basically a big pot that you use for processing the jars. You can put the canner everywhere where there is an outlet, so you’re not limited to your kitchen stovetop. Another advantage of an electric canner is that it comes with an adjustable thermostat that lets you choose the temperature you need: the temperature varies for different kinds of canning goods. Here in Germany it’s more common to use electric waterbath canners, I think. It seems to me that in the US preserving canners for the stovetop are more common. When you really want to get into canning, you might want to get a canning kit from amazon.com, p.e. The Ball Home canning kit (http://springhin.de/eUeJD). Be aware, though, that these kits include really big canners (22 quarts) which you most likely won’t need. So you might wanna go for the smaller version (11 quarts) and buy everything separately (you would need a canner, a rack, canning jars and lids – most common in the US are Mason jars, I think). Everything else is optional, but a jar lifter and a funnel are helpful. A book about canning I really like is “Well preserved” by Eugenia Bone. I’ve heard that the “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving” was also good. You should also check out the USDA Canning Guide (http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/index.html). Hope I could help you a little bit!

  12. I too am intrigued by this electric water bath canner. Looks like we’re all in for a fun – jam and pickle filled – 2010. Cheers.

  13. Your marmalade looks fabulous! I love the color. I would never have thought to use star fruit. Sounds delicious!

    I may have to get me one of those electric water bath canners. I like that idea!

  14. I love that electric water bath canner! So cool to see different equipment. And those jars are pretty cool, too. I’ll bet it has been said, but: you don’t sleep much, do you?? Your marmalade looks gorgeous and I bet it tastes great on some fresh bread.

  15. @all: It’s so funny that so many people fell in love with my electric waterbath canner. This confirms my impression that these canners are not really common in the US. As far as I know, they are pretty expensive there, though. The brand name one (Weck) is expensive here, too, but you can get much cheaper versions. I’d love to have the Weck canner, though😦.

  16. I too am intrigued by the electric canner and the single piece lids. Also by the fact that you didn’t leave any headspace.

    I know that the USDA is really militant about the two piece lids and the boiling water bath to the extent that they say any other methods are unsafe. But I am guessing that all y’all Europeans aren’t falling over dead from your canning.

    Are there any European canning “Bibles” that you could recommend?

    • I guess, you are always intrigued by the things you don’t have, because I really love the design of the Mason jars and would like to use those instead of my common ones. Not because of the 2-piece-lid, just because I think they are so pretty🙂. Yes, I’ve heard about the USDA being so militant about the two-piece lids and waterbath canning. WECK (the WECK canning jar people) also say, only their system with the glas lid, rubber seals and metal clamps is safe – I guess, they want to promote their jars😉. Anyway, there actually is a European canning “bible” that I could recommend: the German title is “WECK-Einkochbuch”, but it’s also available in English (it’s hard to find, though): “The WECK Home-Canning Book”. I own the German version and really like it because it has all the basics. Here you find an English review and the possibility to buy it: http://www.vigopresses.co.uk/store/pages.php?page=weck_book.

      • How funny, I think that y’alls jars are much cooler. The Weck stuff intimidates me though. The gaskets and clamps and all – loads of pieces.

        I am going to check out that book – maybe see if I can find a Library that carries it.

  17. Pingback: Lemon & Lime Syrup with Mint and Lemon Balm « Family & Food

  18. Wow! This looks great! I love your choices – I’ll bet the carambola is amazing in this. I think that now I must get the Ball canning book, although courtesy of my husband and his favorite used-book store, I now have several other resources, including an old copy of the USDA book.

    Thanks for visiting mine!

  19. This looks like a great combination of fruit!

    I have been thinking about buying some jars with one-piece lids, but the USDA recommendations have scared me away from them. The bad part about two-piece lids is that they are messier/more inconvenient to store in the fridge once opened. The good part is that you can reuse the band and just have to buy new flat lids.

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