Jam Archive

The battle of the bitter marmalades

Posted 19/02/2012 By Francois

The battle of the bitter marmalades.

As promised, we’ve compiled the answers of our tasters on the 3 bitter orange marmalades we have prepared this year.

Quick reminder for those who have not had the opportunity to read our articles on marmalades:

The goal was to use exactly the same ingredients for the three marmalades, but they were cooked in three different ways.

1 – The first, that requires two days of preparation, and thought to be the real ” British” bitter marmalade.

2 – The second, prepared in 5-6 hours, offer a sweeter and less bitter taste than the first.

3 – Finally, the third, which is prepared in less than two hours, requires a little physical exertion and gives a less satisfactory result for the real purists.

The battle of the bitter marmalades

Our taster panel consisted of seven people aged between 24 and 80 years, 4 women and 3 men.
Two women are real marmalade’s lover
Two others are less so
Two of the men are also real purists while the latter hardly ever eats marmalade at all.

The result was quite surprising:

The four women preferred the # 2 for the less bitter and sweeter taste .
Two of the men (purists of the “bitter orange marmalade”) chose the # 1 for its bitter side and very pronounced caramelized taste.
Finally, the last man chose the # 2.

Surprising result considering that we used exactly the same ingredients in the same proportions for each of the three recipes.

Marmalade # 3 has not been popular, it was described as a “vulgar” jam. While nie and tasty, our testers did not like rather light texture.

On the picture you can see the color difference of three jams, the first being much darker than the other two.

As was said by Paul Morand, (French writer and diplomat):” What time lost just to save time!”

NB Please note that this survey does not pretend to be a comprehensive scientific study on the tastes of the population regarding bitter marmalade. It is just a little taste test to guide our choice of preparation of marmalade in the coming years.

Bitter orange marmalade – version 3

Posted 15/02/2012 By Francois

Bitter orange marmalade-3

Production: 10 – 1/2 pint  Jars
Preparation: 30 Minutes
Cooking: 60 Minutes
Canning (boilling bath): 10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath

Third and final recipe in our mini-series on the “British” bitter orange marmalade.

This recipe, inspired by the one from David Lebovitz, is the simplest and fastest of the three. Our fresh fruits went from raw to canned within 4 hours. This is achieved at the cost of a little physical effort because you have to slice the oranges while still raw and they are very resistant under the knife.

In keeping with our methodology, we used the same ingredients as for the first two recipes and have excluded the small “extras” suggested by Mr. Lebovich. (Vanille beans and Scotch)

The result was surprising; a very sweet taste, a nice texture and a great color (a suberb translucent orange). For many of our tasters this marmalade tops the list but we must admit that it is also the one that departs the most from the bitter taste of the original version.

If you are a pure traditionalist who live by the true “British bitter marmalade”, this recipe will leave you wanting for the “real thing”. For all others, it will quickly produce a delicious marmalade with a pronounced flavor and a very pleasant taste.

Bitter orange marmalade-3

Ingredients:
Bitter Oranges (Seville) – [2 1/4 lbs.]  (1 Kg.)
Lemon – [1]
Water – [8 cups]  (2 L.)
White Sugar – [4 lbs.]  (1,8 K.)

Steps:
1- Scrub the oranges and the lemon in warm water.
2- Cut the oranges and lemon in half.
3- Extract the juice and put the kernels in a bag of cotton cheese.
4- Cut the orange peel into fine julienne. Cut the lemon peel into 4 chunks.
5- Place the peel, juice and bag of kernels in a large saucepan.
6- Add water and bring to a boil.
7- Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes (so that the peel is translucent).
8- Add sugar and heat gently, stirring constantly, to fully dissolve it.
9- Bring back to a strong boil, then reduce the heat again to maintain a small bubbling.
10- Cook 20 minutes uncovered.
11- Remove the bag of kernels and pieces of lemon peel.
12- Continue cooking for 10 minutes (until the gelling temperature of 220F-105C).
13- Fill the jars and treat them for conservation.

– – – Home Canning process – – –
10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath

Bitter oranges marmalade – version 2

Posted 09/02/2012 By Francois

Bitter oranges marmalade – version 2

Production: 10 – 1/2 pint  Jars
Preparation: 30 Minutes
Cooking: 60 Minutes
Canning (boilling bath): 10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath

Continuing our research on gourmet marmalades, we found this recipe that deserves an almost perfect score. The color is much lighter than the classic recipe but taste is really close though less bitter.

Basically, it is very similar to the original recipe of the british bitter oranges marmalade; the ingredients are the same and the steps are conducted in the same order.

The main difference is in the preparation time, greatly reduced by using a pressure cooker to make the first cooking of the fruits and a second high-temperature cooking, the result is a much faster process. In total, we went from fresh fruit to canned product in about 5 hours.

On the taste, opinions are divided. As you will read in the last article of this series (the battle of marmalade) the traditionalists found it less tasty than the original but many of our testers liked the sweeter taste and less caramelized texture.

We believe this recipe is ideal for people who love the tangy taste of bitter orange marmelade but prefer a sweeter (just to taste since the sugar content is the same) on their “toast” or to top their desserts.

Bitter oranges marmalade - version 2

Ingredients:
Bitter Oranges (Seville) – [2 1/4 lbs.]  (1 Kg.)
Lemon – [1]
Water – [8 cups]  (2 L.)
White Sugar – [4 lbs.]  (1,8 K.)

Steps:
1- Scrub the oranges and lemon in warm water.
2- Place the whole fruits in a pressure cooker and add half the water.
3- Calculate 15 minutes of pressure cooking and then remove from heat and release pressure.
4- Remove the fruit and let them cool on the counter. Pour the cooking liquid into a large saucepan.
5- When fruits are cooled, cut them in half and remove the pulp and pits.
6- Place the pits in a bag of cheesecloth or muslin and add it to the saucepan. Reserve the pulp.
7- Put aside the orange peels and discard any lemon.
8- Add the remaining water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer pendant10 minutes.
9- Cut the orange peel into julienne strips (to taste) and add to pot.
10- Finely chop the pulp and add to pot.
11- Add the sugar and heat gently, stirring constantly, to fully dissolve.
12- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to get a regular bubbling.
13- Cook 20-25 minutes uncovered (up to the gelling temperature of 220F-105C).
14- Fill the jars and treat them for conservation.

– – – Home Canning process – – –
10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath

Original Bitter oranges marmalade

Posted 07/02/2012 By Francois

Original Bitter oranges marmalade

Production: 10 – 1/2 pint  Jars
Preparation: 30 Minutes
Rest time: 6 Hours
Cooking: 5 Hours
Canning (boilling bath): 10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath

It is again this time of the year where we prepares the most “British” of sweets, the world-famous bitter orange marmalade.

The core product: the bitter Seville orange, show up on the markets in the last weeks of January and disappears from the shelves 15 or 20 days later. We must therefore act quickly in order to build up some stock for the year because there is no real equivalent to the special taste of this type of sour orange. It is originally from Seville but is now produce in a few other places (like the United States). This fruit unique sour flavor gives English orange marmalade their characteristic taste.

In all preparations of marmalade, brushing the fruit is a crucial step. As the bark is incorporated in the finished product, it is essential that all traces of chemicals be removed before cooking it.

For our first recipe of the season (2 more will follow) we used fruits from Florida as Seville oranges were not yet arrived at our supplier. (We where a little hesitant because the US productions are sometime of lesser quality in addition to being full of pesticides and chemical fertilizers). But we must recognize that these oranges were excellent and perfect for our recipe.

So we start with a classic and recognized recipe: the one from Delia Smith. It is a proven recipe that we used for several years and produces a superb marmalade worthy of the greatest English tables.

The preparation is done over two days. It begins with a first cooking of the whole fruits that are poached in water prior to being hollowed out for the second stage. The most difficult is the extraction of pectin from the seeds, it is quite simple but requires some real efforts. As for the second cooking stage, it is very similar to that of a jam and only requires a little attention to be certain to reach the gel point (220F-105C) without overcooking the preparation.

The ideal approach, we believe, is to undertake the first stage in the evening and finish the recipe the next morning.
Classic Bitter orange marmalade
For us this initial production will serve as an yardstick for evaluating the other recipes we’ll prepare and test using the same basic products.

Ingredients:
Bitter Oranges (Seville) – [2 1/4 lbs.]  (1 Kg.)
Lemon – [1]
Water – [8 cups]  (2 L.)
White Sugar – [4 lbs.]  (1,8 K.)

Steps:
1- Scrub the oranges and the lemon in warm water.
2- Place the whole fruits in a saucepan and add the water.
3- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
4- Cover the pot and cover with aluminum foil.
5- Simmer over low heat for 3 hours.
6- Remove the fruit and let cool on the counter. Cover the saucepan with the cooking juices and set aside.
7- When fruits are cooled, cut them in half and remove the pulp and pits.
8- Keep the orange peel and discard the lemon. Set aside in a cool place.
9- Place the pulp and pits in a small saucepan with a little cooking liquid and simmer over low heat 10 minutes.
10- Pour the mixture through a fine strainer over a bowl. Cover and allow to drain for 6 hours.
11- Pour the contents of the colander in a clean cloth or a muslin bag and crush it well to extract all the juice possible. Add contents of bowl to the large saucepan.
12- Cut the orange peel into julienne strips (to taste) and add to pot.
13- Add the sugar and heat gently, stirring constantly, to fully dissolve the sugar.
14- Bring to low heat and cook uncovered about 3 hours (until it reach a temperature of 220F-105C).
15- Fill jars, close them well and treat them for conservation.

– – – Home Canning process – – –
10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath

Clementines and citrus jam

Posted 09/11/2011 By Francois

Clementines and citrus jam

Production: 5 – 1/2 pint  Jars
Preparation: 45 Minutes
Cooking: 45 Minutes
Canning (boilling bath): 10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath

A sunny and light jam to brighten our dark winter mornings.
Much simpler to prepare and much less bitter than traditional marmalade, this jam is sure to please fans of citrus … and gourmands of all kinds.

The addition of vanilla caviar is optional but adds a nice touch of flavor that goes well with the fruit flavors.
You can also adjust the amount of julienned zest to your taste. The more you use and your jam will be more dense and a touch of bitterness will become more noticeable.

Note: citrus jams are quite slow to gel after sterelisation. Wait at least 48hrs, without moving the jars, to give it the time to take.

Clementines and citrus jam

Ingredients:
Clementine – [20]
Lemons – [2]
Oranges – [2]
Lime – [1]
White Sugar – [5 cups]  (1,3 L.)
Vanilla caviar – [1/2 teaspoon]  (3 ml.)
Orange juice – [4 cups]  (1 L.)
Liquid pectin 2.8 oz. (85 ml.) pouche – [2]

Steps:
1- Wash and scrub all the fruits.
2- Peel the clementines and set the peels aside with the zest from 1 lemon, 1 orange and the lime.
3- Slice the clementines, 1 lemon and 1 orange.
4- Cut the slices into smaller pieces and measure 5 cups (1.3 L).
5- Get the juice of the fruit not yet sliced ​​(1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 orange).
6- Cut the fruits peells and zest into fine juliennes and measure 2 cups (500 ml).
7- Blanch the juliennes 5 minutes in a rolling boil and then cool them in cold water.
8- In a large saucepan, heat all the pieces of fruit over medium heat. Add the sugar gradually, stirring regularly.
9- When the sugar is melted, add the orange juice and the zest and peel juliennes.
10- Mix well and bring back to a boil.
11- Cook 10 minutes over medium heat and add the vanilla caviar.
12- Continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
13- Bring to a rolling boil and add the liquid pectin.
14- Bring back to a boil for 1 minute, stirring regularly.
15- Pour into sterilized jars and process for conservation.

– – – Home Canning process – – –
10 Minutes minutes in a boilling water bath