Friday, March 6, 2009

Winter Preserving

Don’t let the preserving kettle sit idle while you wait for spring! This is the time of year I get serious about making jelly and marmalade. You can too. Remember the fruit juices you froze last summer? It’s time to turn them into jellies.

Check your supplies.You’ll need sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. You’ll also need jelly jars, rings, and lids. Then rummage in the freezer until you find those containers of fruit juices you consigned to the depths last summer and place them in the fridge to thaw.

If you’ve been putting off making jelly because you think it’s an involved, time-consuming process, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly the process goes. The longest part of anything is the “getting around to it.” So get your ingredients and equipment together today and make some jelly tomorrow.

Ever tried making marmalade? It’s one of the prettiest fruit spreads there is. Citrus is in season now and you can put up some marmalades that will give you the golden glow of summer at the breakfast table. These fruit spreads are great on morning toast and muffins and especially great for gifts!

Here’s a simple recipe from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food (coming from Alpha Books on July 7 and available for preorder now at This marmalade uses oranges and lemons.

Orange Marmalade

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes plus time to reach the gel stage
Makes about 4 half-pints


4 oranges
1 lemon


Wash fruit, cut in half, remove seeds and stem end. Slice the oranges and lemon thinly. Measure. Add 1 ½ cups water to each cup of fruit. Let stand 8 hours or overnight.

In the morning, cook mixture over until fruit is tender – about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Measure cooked fruit and liquid. Add 1 cup sugar to each cup of fruit and liquid. Return fruit, liquid, and sugar to cooking pot. Cook over high heat until mixture sheets from a metal spoon. You can also use a jelly thermometer to be sure the mixture has reached the gel stage.

Remove from heat, skim any foam from marmalade, ladle into clean, hot jars, wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes to ensure the seal.

1 comment:

  1. I have never done any canning or preserving. This sounds delicious and easy enough even for me


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~ I'm the author of Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen. If you're a WWII buff, you'll like it here!