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Dec 9, 2008 07:55 AM

Ina Garten's Orange Marmalade

Has anyone made this recipe? Are there any "tricks" to getting it right? How long did it take to set up for you? I'm thinking about making it, but see that it requires a leap of faith that sure-jell usually bridges for me, and I am wondering if anyone else has experience with this recipe. I mean, I know there is a lot of pectin in citrus rind, but....

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  1. I don't know Ina Garten's recipe, but I do know recipes by Madeleine Bullwinkle and John Thorne, whose "Maximum Marmalade" in his book "Mouth Wide Open" is worth the price of the book. In any case, citrus rind is one of the highest fruit sources of pectin around. The Pacific Pectin Company derives its pectin from citrus. The company web site gives a lot of information, including FAQs that may help you. However, basically pectins work by forming a gel with sugars in the presence of acid. Some work with calcium--as in the newer low-sugar pectins. Really, the only tricks involved are to make sure that you have enough sugar and enough acid, to make sure your pot is large enough, and to know how to recognize when the gel point is reached. Sugar is usually added to fruit juices or pulps. Acid, usually in the form of lemon juice, may or may not be added, depending on the fruit. Also, it helps to cook the mixture in a pan large enough to contain accidental boil-overs and wide enough to allow rapid evaporation so the fruit doesn't overcook. So for a 2 quart recipe you'd probably want a 5 quart or so stock pot. In my experience, orange marmalade is about the easiest jellied preserve there is to make, though versions run from multiple cooking, starting with boiling the whole fruit, resting it overnight, then slicing etc. to practically instant. Not long ago there was a thread on microwave marmalade on CHOW. I think it took all of fifteen minutes to make. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

    1. I don't know Ina's recipe, either, there's no need to worry about pectin -- that won't be a problem. The only difficult bit is knowing when it's done cooking. The method that works best for me is to put a small spoonful on a chilled plate, and put it into the fridge just until cold. Then push the edge of the marmalade with your finger, and if it wrinkles, it's done.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Channa

        I've used the chilled plate method too, but I recently learned that the gel point is 8 degrees Farenheit higher than the boiling point at your altitude. So a thermometer is really handy. I don't know if those laser thermometers work well when making jams and jellies. If so, they would really simplify things.

        1. re: Father Kitchen

          I've got a candy thermometer, so I was planning on using that. I'll give the recipe a whirl this weekend or next and let you all know. What's the worst that could happen (aside from bodily harm)? I've got a great fruit sauce!

            1. re: jazzy77

              I use a candy thermometer for jams and jellies, too, but I also check to make sure it's reached the jell point. Paranoid, possibly.

              And I agree with the consensus. No need for added pectin in orange marmalade.

            2. re: Father Kitchen

              Funny thing, that. When I make berry jams, I do use a thermometer to tell me when they're done -- and I've found that some fruits must be cooked to 219 degrees F, some to 220, and one to 222! I've tested these numbers many times, and they don't vary.

              But marmalade is wrapped up with memories of Mum... so I do it her way.

          1. Made it. It's easy. It's wonderful. Using a mandoline is very fast, but don't cut your finger tips off.

            3 Replies
            1. re: pchking

              I am late in seeing this post - but just made the very recipe over the weekend. My first venture into the marmaldes. A few notes: 1. Slicing on V-slicer takes all of 5 minutes. It also seems to squueze the pits out of lemon slices, so no pits to fish out. 2. Final cooking took longer than 2 1/2 hours called for in recipe - perhaps my boiling was to gentle. I would not attempt this without candy thermometer, specially as a beginner. 3. One big mistake - I held up on of the jars for filling with a bare hand (i know better, but..) - reminder keep ice bowl handy!!! It made all the difference, and I don't even have a blister.... The marmalde is divine!

              1. re: kenorwox

                I don't know who this Ina Garten woman is, but her cookbooks seem to inspire so very many questions!

              2. re: pchking

                I have a "good-quality" mandoline, but it choked in the oranges. No matter, a sharp knife took care of them easy. The marmalade turned out beautifully and is quite tasty - almost caramel-flavored.

                And now it's strawberry season in NC, and I'm looking forward to making strawberry-lemon preserves!