Although many breakfast connoisseurs may believe that marmalade is a more elite type of jam or jelly, it is actually a completely different type of fruit spread. Marmalade, though sweet, is the only type of fruit conserve that includes bits of the fruit's rind, giving it a greater variety of texture than jam or jelly. Long cooking times are necessary to soften the peel, and marmalades often use a high amount of sugar to balance the bitterness of the rind.
Clementine Vanilla Marmalade Recipe
Yield: 2 cups
- 10 small clementines (you may substitute an equivalent weight of any other citrus fruit)
- Granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or scrapings from 1 vanilla pod
- Place a small plate in the freezer to test your marmalade for doneness later.
- Juice enough clementines to yield 1/2 cup of fresh juice (about 3 clementines). Set the juiced fruit aside.
- Slice the remaining 7 whole, unpeeled clementines in very thin pieces. Set the clementine pieces in a saucepan and pour enough cold water into the pan to cover the fruit.
- Bring the fruit and water to a boil. Turn down the heat and continue simmering the mixture for about 10 minutes.
- Drain the water from the fruit and repeat the process, covering the fruit again with cold water, boiling the mixture, and then simmering it for 10 minutes before draining.
- Let the slices cool. Remove them from the pan and dice them into small pieces or pulse them in a food processor until they reach your desired consistency.
- Weigh the sliced fruit and measure an equivalent weight of sugar. Place both the sugar and fruit in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the fresh-squeezed fruit juice to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the marmalade measures 220 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you don't have a thermometer, test the marmalade with the plate you stuck in the freezer. To do it, remove the plate from the freezer and put a small spoonful of marmalade on it. Press a trail through the marmalade with your finger. If it wrinkles up and leaves a clear path, it's finished cooking. If the marmalade runs back together in the path, it's not done yet. Continue cooking and test again several minutes later.
- When the marmalade is done, take it off the heat and skim off any excess foam. Stir in the vanilla paste or vanilla scrapings. Pour the marmalade into clean jars, and let the marmalade cool for several minutes before capping the jars.
- Refrigerate the marmalade for short-term use (within a week) or can the marmalade with a hot water bath for long-term use and storage.
Tips for Making Marmalade
The most common marmalade is made from oranges, though other varieties include grapefruit, lime, lemon or other desirable citrus fruits. Regardless of the fruit choice, careful cooks should follow these general tips to create delicious marmalade:
- Weather can affect how marmalade sets, so choose a cool, dry day to cook the fruit.
- Rolling citrus fruits prior to using them breaks cells and releases more juices.
- Thoroughly wash all fruit before using it, particularly because marmalades include the rind.
- When zesting fruit (grating the peel for use), avoid cutting too deeply. The white pith of citrus fruits is extremely bitter.
- Make small batches to prevent overcooking and scorching.
- Always follow safe canning procedures, and store unopened jars in a cool, dark place.
- Store opened marmalade in the refrigerator.
Many Uses for Marmalade
Marmalade recipes are most often associated with breakfast, but they're also useful for meat glazes, frostings, cakes, and other desserts. Whether you intend to spread your marmalade on toast or use it as part of a more elaborate meal, proper preparation is essential for a delicious result.