Holiday Gift Idea: Orange - Pomegranate Marmalade
Jars of Orange-Pomegranate Marmalade
A little about this recipe
I have a large family. Add to it friends and co-workers, and holiday gift-giving can easily get out of control. So I like to give something from the heart (and the kitchen) because everyone loves to eat. And having toast and jam with a cup of coffee/tea in the morning is heavenly - especially this Orange - Pomegranate Marmalade.
This recipe will yeild 10 cups of jam.
Assemble your Ingredients
The first thing to do is get all your ingredients and tools together. You'll need a large pot to cook in, and then an even larger pot to boil the jars in afterward. I use a soup pot for the cooking part. I don't have any canning equipment, so for the canning (final stage) I use a pot large enough to put the jars in and cover with 2 inches of water. If you'd rather skip the canning stage and just keep the jam in your refrigerator, that's okay too. But the canning part is simple and will allow you to keep the jam in your cupboard (makes it more convenient for gifting too as you don't know if your recipient is going to remember to refrigerate, etc.)
1 large soup pot
1 larger pot to accomodate the jars
10 - 8 oz Jam/Jelly jars with rings and lids
1 pair of tongs
5 LARGE navel oranges (The really big kind with the really evident navel)
2 large pomegranates (1 cup to 1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds)
4 cups orange juice (After I used the rinds, I squeezed the oranges (a little tricky to hold on to, but we did it. 5 large oranges yielded 4.5 cups of juice (so you can see what is meant by LARGE oranges...these were big mamas!) If you don't have access to the large navel oranges, use 10 small...or adjust accordingly.
2 1/2 cups water
6 cups sugar
2 packages of 1.75 oz Sure-Jell Pectin
2 cinnamon sticks
Jars and Rinds
Start off by sterilizing your jars, lids and rings. I do this in my dishwasher. So you want to run your dishwasher right before you start your project so your jars and clean, hot and sterile. If you don't have a dishwasher, you can submerge your jars, lids and rings in a pot of water completely, and boil them for about 10-15 minutes.
I start out by thoroughly washing my oranges. Cut the top and navel end straight across and use the point of the knife to cut through the rind (but not through the orange) in long scores from top end to the navel end. This is just going to make the rind easier to remove and give you more uniform strips.
Use your fingers to carefully pull the rind off the orange. You can loosen the rind at one end and slip your thumb under and gently pull away. It doesn't work, no big deal, just get the rind off the orange.
The next thing is to remove the white pith off the rind. I do this using a sharp serrated knife. And then cut the rinds into thin strips across the narrower width.
Juicing the Oranges and Cooking the Rinds
If you've got a helper (I like to cook with my daughter), you can have them start juicing the oranges. We use a little wooden hand juicer thingee (from Martha Stewart) but it is tiring, but okay. You can use an electric juicer, a hand juicer, or you can even go and buy your juice in a carton. We used the juice from the oranges.
Cover the rind strips with about a 1/2 inch of water and bring to a boil...simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain...add fresh water, boil/simmer for 5 minutes....drain...and repeat. For a total of 3 times. I do this to release the bitterness from the rinds.
Simmer the Orange Rinds to Release the Bitterness...drain and repeat
Combining the Liquid with the Rinds
After draining the rinds the third time, return the pot with the rinds to the stove and add to it the water, sugar, pomegranate juice and orange juice, cinnamon sticks and the two packs of pectin. Stir til the sugar dissolves. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally -- every ten minutes or so. It's going to need to simmer for an hour or so until it thickens. If you notice any brownish foam on top, skim it off the mixture and discard. It starts looking like a bubbly red orange rind lava. When it's thickened to a thick syrupy consistency, turn off the flame and let it sit a minute or so, skimming any remaining foam off the top. Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard.
Like Bubbly Hot Lava
Mixing in the arils and Jarring your Jam
Remove your jars from the dishwasher. Mix in the arils (pomegranate seeds) into the hot jam mixture, and carefully ladle the jam into the jars within a 1/4 to 1/8" from the top of the rim. Use a damp dishtowel to clean off the rims off the glass jars of any drips or spilt jam, and place a lid on the jar. Be careful as the jars will be hot. Continue until you've filled all 10 jars. If you have one jar that's less full than the others, it's okay, it'll still can okay. Screw the rims on the jars but not too tightly.
Place the hot, sealed jam jars in the large pot and cover completely with water til water is about 2 inches above the lids. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for about 10-15 minutes.
Carefully remove each jar using tongs and place them on the counter. The jars will "ping" as the vacuum is formed. The center of the lid should be vacuumed in. You should not be able to push in on the lid. if any jars didn't form a seal, you can try canning them again, or keep that one jar in the fridge to use.
Screw the lids on tightly. Keep opened jars refrigerated.
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