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Archive for January, 2017

When I was growing up it was not unusual to see a kitchen table covered with jars filled with food.  Mom canned fruits, vegetables, meat, pickles and all sorts of jams and jellies.  Over the years I have dabbled a bit with canning, but I have never had a pantry filled with food in jars.

When I came across this blog post Food In Jars I decided to accept the challenge and try a different method of food preserving every month this year.

January is Marmalade.

I have never made marmalade before.  I don’t eat it very often, but I do remember consuming quite a lot during a month-long visit to England and Scotland.

I decided to go with a Pink Grapefruit Marmalade.  I thought it might be a pretty colour.

Of course I hadn’t actually chosen a recipe before I went shopping, so yesterday when I started preparing, I realized I didn’t have enough grapefruits.  No problem, I just added some lemons and one orange.

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The first step was to remove the zest from the fruit.  I tried using a vegetable peeler, a paring knife,and  a cheese slicer before I found the perfect tool…a grater.

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It removed the zest and sliced it up into thin strips, all at once.  Perfect!  I managed to grate the zest off all the fruit without adding any skin or blood from my fingers.

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I put the zest into a pot of water and let it simmer away while I removed the seeds, the pith and the membranes from the fruit.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?  The grapefruit wasn’t too bad, but I have to confess I didn’t have much success with the orange and the lemons. (I did have a little chuckle to myself though, everytime I thought about getting that pith off.)

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I decided I didn’t like the look of the orange and yellow fruit so I took it out.  Let’s just stick with pink grapefruit!

By the time I finished picking the fruit apart, the zest was done simmering.  I poured the liquid off using a sieve and was left with just zest.

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Now it was time to actually make the marmalade.  I put the zest, the fruit and four cups of the zest liquid into a pot with six, yes six cups of sugar.  Onto the stove it went.  Now the recipe said to cook it for 30 to 40 minutes until it began to set.  Well, I cooked mine for 90 minutes and it still looked like runny syrup.  (I forgot to take a picture of it cooking in the pot.)

I decided to stop cooking and process it anyway.

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Six jars of marmalade went into the canner and…

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three and a bit jars came out.

Now I know what you are thinking.  How can that be?  And look the lids look different too!

Well the six jars that originally went in came out so runny that today I poured them back into a pot, added the juice from a lemon (more pectin needed apparently) and recooked the marmalade.

After the recooking I was left with three and a bit jars.

Three and a bit jars of lovely, set, delicious, pink grapefruit marmalade.

My first attempt at food in jars.

Next month is salt preserving…stay tuned!

 

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