Updated: Feb 18
We inherited a beautiful blood orange tree when we moved into our house. This year I had so many oranges that I decided to try to make marmalade. This was my first time making marmalade so I needed to do some research.
Things I learned:
1)Marmalade is a big deal!
2)There are international marmalade rewards and Australia usually wins. Who knew??
I found this fantastic video Making Oxford Marmalade | Australian Marmalade Awards featuring Allison Reynolds and her method for making Oxford marmalade. With The Oxford Method, you steam the fruit whole and then process it as opposed to processing the fruit raw.
The verdict: Those who follow my Instagram stories, bless their hearts, saw how intense the process was! Making marmalade was definitely more laborious than preserves or jam but I also think the process was way more intense because instead I was watching a video over and over again rather than looking at a recipe and I was converting all measurements and temperatures.
That being said, after all was said and done, the question is, “Was it worth it?”
The answer is a definite “yes”!
The marmalade is so, so good! Not only is it beautiful with a gorgeous deep amber color but the taste is so much richer than store bought marmalade. The bright kick and the texture of the peel are delicious. We are loving it on toast with a cup of hot tea.
You should definitely try making it! To help you, though, I thought I would convert the video into a written recipe with all of the conversions done as well.
Recipe for Oxford Marmalade
10 medium oranges
9 cups of water
Equal parts processed juice and granulated sugar (we ended up with 7 cups of juice so we used 7 cups of sugar)
1 pat of very cold salted butter
1 Tablespoon molasses
Canning jars and lids
Wash your oranges and lemons Place your oranges and lemons in a dutch oven. Cover with the water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a low boil for 45 minutes. The peel is ready when a knife is inserted easily. Remove fruit and place in a container. Strain the liquid and put it into a separate container. Place containers of fruit and liquid into the fridge overnight.
The next day, put out three bowls: one for peel, one for the pith and pip and one for the fruit. Remove the fruit from its container, pull the lemons out and set aside. Cut away the fruit stems and place them in the trash. Cut the oranges in fourths, use a spoon to scrape the flesh away, making sure to remove all strings of pith from the peel. Place the peel in a bowl.Using a spoon, scrape the pith to separate the soft fruit from the segments. Place fruit in one bowl and pith and pits in another. Take the pieces of peel and cut them in half lengthwise. Stack four on top of each other and slice with a sharp knife into thin strips.You can keep going at this point or place your bowls in the fridge and take a break!
Take your cooked lemons that you set aside, cut them in half, scoop out the insides and add to your pith bowl. Discard the peel. The lemon pith provides more pectin so the marmalade will set but adding the peel would be too bitter. Cover the pith with some of your reserved orange juice, just enough to cover the pith mash. Microwave on high for five to six minutes or until it starts to boil. Strain the pith and juice in a fine mesh strainer, mashing out all of the juice back into the bowl. When all juice has been smashed out, discard the pith.
Take the juice and put it in a dutch oven. Turn heat to medium. However many cups of orange juice you have, you will need equal parts of sugar. Warm the sugar. Put the sugar in a long, flat pan and heat in a preheated 200 degree oven for ten minutes. Add warmed sugar to orange juice, stirring until sugar crystals dissolve. Take a pastry brush, dipped in water and brush the sides of the dutch oven (right above the juice line) to keep sugar crystals from reforming. Once the sugar dissolves, turn the heat as high as it will go and add your chopped peel and fruit. At the same time, get your water bath ready.
You are trying to get your liquid to 221 degrees fahrenheit. There are three methods to use to make sure you are at temperature
Place a candy thermometer on the side of dutch oven. As it starts to get to 221 degrees you
Stir with a spoon. Turn the spoon on its side and look for not one drop dripping down the middle but two drops that form
Place three saucers in the freezer. As you get to 221, pour a little of the liquid in a saucer pulled from the freezer, put the saucer in the fridge for five minutes. Push cooled liquid with your index finger across the saucer. If it wrinkles, its ready to put in jars. If it does not wrinkle, wait five more minutes and try again with the second saucer. Repeat until the liquid wrinkles.
When all three of these methods have been used, it's time to can your marmalade. Remove the marmalade from the heat. Add the cold pat of butter to the marmalade and gently slide it across the top of the marmalade (the butter will keep a skin from forming). Add 1 tablespoon of molasses to the marmalade and stir.
Pull a canning jar from the water bath, add marmalade to the hot jar, stopping when you reach the neck. Clean the neck with a wet kitchen towel and add a lid and screw top from the hot water bath. Screw on just a little but not all of the way. Let cool and when the lid pops, you’ll know the jar has sealed. Screw the cap all the way.
Yield: Three Jars
I hope that having a recipe makes you decide to go for it! You really should! Homemade Oxford Marmalade is amazing and worth the effort!