there’s been lots of marmalde making in my kitchen since my first attempt at kumquat marmalde. although, admittedly, most of it happened in the month of march. (this goes to show you how behind i am in getting around to posting things here!) after the blood orange and vanilla marmalade from my previous post, i’ve made a batch of mandarinquat and meyer lemon marmalade, as well as a meyer lemon and vanilla bean marmalade. the recipe for these was again based on the small batch kumquat marmalade and the small batch blood orange marmalade recipes from food in jars. the one thing i played around with the most was the sugar content.
the mandarinquat and meyer lemon marmalade turned out rather good. one of my jars didn’t seal properly during the waterbath canning process, so i’ve already had plenty of time to enjoy it. it sounds weird, but my friend s and i tried it on a tagalong cookie (yes, that girl scout cookie with peanut butter and chocolate) and it was a rather delightful treat once you got the proportion right. (as a side note – i’ve never been fond of the chocolate and orange combination, so i’m rather surprised that i liked it this way.)
the meyer lemon and vanilla marmalde looks great. it tasted pretty good before i canned them. i really held back on the sugar so it’s only slightly sweet, with the tartness and bitterness of the lemons being highlighted. i have to be careful though because it needs the sugar to get to the right temperature during the cooking process.
the purchase of mandarinquats inspired the aforementioned mandarinquat and meyer lemon marmalade, but since i still had more of it, as well as some blood oranges lying around, my sister mentioned a mandarinquat and blood orange marmalade. at first, i kind of balked at the idea (after all, i was getting kinda tired making marmalades – all that careful slicing!), but the bottom line was if i didn’t can the mandarinquats, they would go to waste. i definitely had enough fruit to try it out, so i did.
i based the recipe on the ones i’ve tried to date. i started with half a pound of mandarinquats, and half a pound of blood oranges. the blood oranges i had around were rather small, so the prep took a little longer and was a little labor intensive. for the mandarinquats, i sliced off the top, and then continued to slice thinly. mandarinquats have a lot of seeds, so it took a little bit of time to get all of them out of the fruit to finish slicing. i reserved all of the seeds. for the blood oranges, i sliced off the top and the bottom, and then sliced in half. if there were any pithy cores, i removed them and set them aside with the mandarinquat seeds. once done, i bundled up the seeds and cores in some cheesecloth, and placed that bundle in the bowl with the fruit, and poured 2 cups water into it. i covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and placed the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours.
to cook, i placed the contents of the bowl into a stainless steel pot, and then added another cup of water, and 1 and 3/4 cup sugar. at first i heated the mixture slowly until the sugar dissolved, and then cranked it up. i let the mixture bubble for about 20 minutes or so, and removed any of the foam forming at the top.
once it passed the plate test, i ladled them into 3 half pint jars, cleaned the rims, and secured the lids. the jars were processed in a waterbath for 10 minutes, and removed from the waterbath onto the counter to rest undisturbed.
i did taste the mixture before canning them, and i was beyond pleased with the results. i loved the flavor, sweet and tart with a zing of bitterness. soaking the fruit in water for a few hours helps preserve the gorgeous colors of the blood oranges, and yields a very visually appealing marmalade. by reducing the amount of water that the fruit sits in from 3 cups to 2, and adding the last cup just before cooking, i noticed a difference in the bitterness from the other recipes. i’m thinking of adopting this method in the future.
here’s the recipe, again heavily inspired by the small batch kumquat marmalade and small batch blood orange marmalade recipes from food in jars.
blood orange & mandarinquat marmalade
1/2 lb. blood oranges
1/2 lb. mandarinquats
3 cups water
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
first, slice the fruit. my mandarinquats were small, so i just trimmed the ends, and sliced as they were, carefully removing the seeds and setting them aside. for the blood oranges, i sliced off the top and bottom, then in half from top to bottom, and then removed the pithy cores and any visible seeds. i set those aside with the mandarinquat seeds, and thinly sliced the blood orange. place all the fruit in a bowl, along with 2 cups water and a cheesecloth bundle with the seeds and pith. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least a few hours or overnight.
when you’re ready to cook, prep your jars. place contents of bowl into a non reactive pot and add the remaining 1 cup water and the 1 3/4 cup sugar. set over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, and then crank it up. you’ll let it cook about 15 to 20 minutes. skim off any of the foam/ scum that rises to the top during the cooking process. check the temperature – once you hit 220F or the jam passes the plate test, it’s ready to be ladled into the prepared jars for the waterbath process. you’ll want too process for 10 to 12 minutes.
once you take the jars out of the waterbath, leave them undisturbed for a few hours, and then check the seals. if any of them are compromised, place jar in the fridge and consume as soon as possible.