Sunday, June 28, 2015
Betty's Peach Marmalade
This is an old "family favorite" recipe from my husband's step-grandmother, Betty D'Olier. It's a wonderful combination of fresh peaches, oranges and maraschino cherries. There is no pectin used, you simply cook low and slow, stirring often, until the marmalade thickens naturally.
Wonderfully delicious spread on top of toasted English muffins or scones, and equally good spooned over top of vanilla ice-cream or pound cake.
12 good sized peaches (I used organic peaches)
3 oranges (I used naval oranges)
1 small jar maraschino cherries with juice
Sugar equal to the amount of fruit
1 tbls. butter, to prevent foaming
Blanch peaches 30-60 seconds in boiling water. Immediately plunge peaches in ice water to stop cooking process. Slip skins off peaches, remove pit and dice or process peaches in a food processor.
Grind the oranges, rind and all, through a meat grinder. If you don't have a meat grinder, cut oranges into small pieces and process using the "pulse" setting on your food processor until pieces are quite small.
Drain cherries, reserving juice and dice the cherries into small pieces.
Combine peaches, ground oranges, diced cherries and cherry juice and measure to see how much fruit you have.
Place fruit mixture in a large stock pot and add 1 cup sugar for every cup of fruit. Stir well and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Add butter, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking.
Marmalade will thicken as it cooks, and reduce down. This process can take at least an hour, and possibly longer.
How to tell when your Marmalade is ready?
Use a candy thermometer. When you’re making jam with traditional amounts of sugar, you’re aiming to cook it to 220°F. That’s the temperature at which sugar forms a gel and can bond with the pectin (whether it naturally occurring in the fruit or you’ve added it). Monitoring the temperature can give you confirmation that you’re on the right track.
Use the freezer test. At the beginning of cooking, put two or three small plates or bowls in the freezer. As you begin to approach the end of cooking, pull one out and put a small dollop of jam into the middle of the dish. Tuck it back into the freezer for two or three minutes (take your jam off the heat during this time, because if it the test tells you it’s done, you will have just spent three minutes overcooking your jam).When the time is up, pull the dish out of the freezer and gently nudge the dollop of jam with the tip of your finger. If it has formed a skin on top that wrinkles a bit when pushed, it is done. If it is still quite liquid and your finger runs right through it, it’s not done yet.
Give it time. Jam/Marmalade can take up to a week to achieve its finished set. Don’t declare it a failure ten minutes out of the canner.
Fill jars leaving 1/4" head-space. Cover with lids and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Remove jars and let sit 24 hours undisturbed on your kitchen counter-top. Store unopened jars in your pantry up to one year.
*Recipe is easily doubled or tripled since there is no added pectin. Simply keep your fruit to sugar content equal.
Yield: 6 - 8 oz. jelly jars or 3 pint jars