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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vintage Marmalade Recipe without Pectin

I love doing things the hard uh... I mean old fashioned way.  I recently put old fashioned ways to the test with a 65 year old marmalade recipe.  I love looking through old cookbooks, it's like a window into how people lived.  I have found some great free electronic cookbooks on the Gutenberg Project site, and last year I bought my first vintage cook book,  a 1946 version of  The Joy of Cooking.  It is in amazing shape and quite an interesting glimpse into American cooking.  The first  thing that amazed me is the large variety of meats the book covers, besides the usual beef, pork and chicken, and fish, it also has oxtail soup, quail, rabbit, squirrel and many others as well as dozens of egg recipes.  I will try several of the recipes in the future.  Ok maybe not squirrel … But in my defense our squirrels are the size of a chipmunk! But I'm off topic now....

So the first recipe I tried was marmalade.  I had been looking for a recipe without pectin and found it here (although was surprised that in 1946, pectin was already in use).  I was skeptical when I started out the recipe, it was very different than any of the recipes I had seen in the past, but it really worked well and is really good. 
For my recipe I used 4 oranges, 2 lemons, and 2 grapefruit.  Start by chopping up the fruit.  I have done this in a food processor, but I did not like the texture, so I use an old fashioned knife.  I quartered the fruit, chopped the inside, saving any extra white pith, membranes, or end pieces I cut off.   The oranges I just chopped up leaving the membranes, the grapefruit and lemons I removed the membranes as I put the fruit in the bowl.  Then I chopped up the rind of the oranges and lemons leaving the white pith,  I like the bitterness it adds.  the grapefruit was a lot of pith, so I chopped it off and saved it with the rest of the unused pieces. If you like less bitterness, take off more of the pith.

All the extra pieces I put in a jelly bag, but tying it into a cheese cloth would work also.

Measure out all the fruit and add 3 times as much water as fruit, cover and let sit for 12 hours (mine was more like 24 hours). Place the bag with the extra pieces in the bowl.

After 12 hours, cook the mixture for 20 minutes, with the jelly bag if pieces.  Cover and again let sit for 12 hours (I again ended up with 24... ).

After 12 hours, discard the jelly bag, then add ¾ cup of sugar for each cup of fruit.  I mixed this in the big bowl to let it dissolve.
Then cook it in batches of 6 cups at a time.  Cook to a boil and boil until reaches jelly stage or 220 degrees.  To test Jelly stage let a small amount sit on a spoon to cool, then turn and dump the spoon into the pot, when it is thick enough to be slightly jelled and falls off of the spoon in a single spot.  Try it several times and when you finally reach the jelly stage you well recognize it.  (Sorry couldn't get a copy of it).

Ladle into sterilized jars (sterilize first, as you won’t be water processing the jars).  Clean the rim of the jar, place on the lid, and the ring. This made 5 quart jars.

 This recipe makes a nice bitter/sweet marmalade.  Using just oranges and removing more pith, will make a sweeter marmalade.  It was more work than the usual recipe using pectin, but as I don't mind doing things the hard old fashioned way, it don't mind.  Especially when it's the best marmalade I've ever made! Who knew? I turned out to be my 16 yo picky eater's favorite jam too!

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1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering. I love anything citrus and the description of bitter/sweet just put me over the edge.