To start 2017, the January category was for marmalade. I have made jams and jellies, but to be honest I have ended up with more "syrups" than jams and jellies. I recently discovered that I was reading the pectin instructions to literally where it says to not get the pectin too hot, so instead I was not ever getting the pectin hot ENOUGH. Since I discovered that yes you can get the pectin too hot - but you can also get it not hot enough - I have had a couple of successful batches that actually turned out like jam. Anyway - I had not ever made marmalade and was excited for this month's challenge.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked on the Facebook group if anyone had any tips for making a low-sugar version of marmalade. All of the recipes I had seen had anywhere between 4-6 cups of sugar for a pretty small batch, which just seemed like SO MUCH sugar to me. Usually when I can fruit, I opt for reduced or low sugar recipes - after all, you are trying to eat fruit, not sugar. We also are not fans of artificial sweetener in our house, so just trying to reduce the regular sugar in recipes works best for us. In the replies I received, there were some helpful co-participants insisting that I must use Pomona's Pectin for my low-sugar recipe. I found it on Amazon and placed my order. I also found a Kindle-version of the "Preserving with Pomona's Pectin" cookbook and purchased it as well.
Today was the day to give this a try! I had some somewhat tired cutie tangerines in my fridge, and bought 3 navel oranges at the grocery store. I followed the "Simple Classic: Orange Marmalade" recipe from the "Preserving with Pomona's Pectin" book, which basically had 6 cups of fruit/water to 2.5 cups of sugar (and the other stuff like lemon juice and pectin.) While it's still sugar, this is a much healthier ratio for this low-sugar girl!
|The marmalade gave me 8 half-pint jelly jars. I had seen another participant post last week about making an Orange Pepper Marmalade to be used for orange chicken sauce, and I wanted to give it a try. But, I also didn't want to make an entire batch not knowing if we would like it - so I put hot pepper flakes (really hot pepper flakes, from Thai Peppers that I dried from our garden and ground up) into two of the jars. I left the other 6 jars plain.|
|My pretties then hot water bathed in my trusty canning pot for 10 minutes, and then I pulled them out and covered them with towels. It is always so hard for me to leave them alone and let them cool! They appear to be setting up nicely!|