Easy Citrus Marmalade

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You can make this marmalade with any citrus, any liquor and any spices. Here are some suggestion: grapefruit-brandy-ginger, orange-bourbon-vanilla. Let your palate be your guide.

Servings: 4 Cups

1 Pound Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, etc.)
1 Lemon
2 1/2 Cups Water
3 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Liquor (Brandy, Rum, Bourbon, etc.)
1 Teaspoon Spice (Ginger, Vanilla, Star Anise, etc.)

  • Cut citrus into large pieces.  Remove seeds and place in a tea ball or tie in a square of cheesecloth; set aside.  Place fruit in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  You should have ~2 1/2 C chopped fruit. 
  • Place fruit and seeds in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Add water, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 25 minutes.  Remove and discard seeds.
  • Add sugar and bring to a full boil, and boil rapidly, uncovered, until mixture will form a gel, ~20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in liquor and spice.
  • Ladle into sterilized jars and process as below.

To Determine if the Mixture Forms a Gel:

  1. Freezer Method:  Place 3 small plates in the freezer at start of cooking.  Put a spoonful of marmalade mixture on one of the plates and return to freezer for 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, remove the saucepan from the heat to prevent overcooking.   If the mixture is sufficiently cooked, it will form a gel that moves slowly as the plate is tilted.  If it runs off the plate, cook for another 2 minutes and repeat until freezer test indicates a gel is formed.
  2. Sheet or Spoon Test:  Test for gel formation by periodically dipping a cool metal spoon into the hot fruit mixture and immediately lifting so the mixture runs off.  At first the drops will be light and syrupy.  As the mixture continues to cook, the drops from the spoon will become heavier.  When the mixture "sheets" from the spoon (the drops become very thick and two drops run together before dropping off), no further cooking is required.

Sterilizing Jars: 

  1. Minutes before processing:  partially fill a large pot with hot water.  Place the number of clean canning jars needed into the pot; make sure the water covers all the jars.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for at least 10 minutes to sterilize the jars.  (This step generally requires 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your pot.)
  2. 5 minutes before processing place the lids in a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over them.

Filling Jars:

  1. Remove jars from boiling water with a jar lifter, drain and place on a towel. (Leave the water boiling so you can process the jars after they're filled)
  2. Using a canning scoop and a canning funnel, ladle the food into the hot jars to within 1/2 inch of the top rim (head space). 
  3. If the food is in large pieces, remove trapped air bubbles by sliding a clean small wooden chop stick between the glass and the food; add more food if more than 1/2 inch of head space.. 
  4. Wipe jar rim to remove any stickiness.  
  5. Retrieve the lids with a lid lifter.
  6. Center lid on jar; apply screw band just until fingertip tight.

Processing Filled Jars:

  1. Put filled jars into the pot with the still-boiling water with a jar lifter. Make sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch.
  2. Cover the pot and boil the jars for 15 minutes. Remove from the pot with the jar lifter and put on a towel.
  3. Make sure jars seal as they cool (you will hear a pop and the lids curve downward).
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