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Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Amaretto

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Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Amaretto

adapted from Food in Jars [2]

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60-70 minutes
Yield: 1 pint

2 pounds total Meyer lemons and blood oranges (I used 2 large lemons and 3 small-medium blood oranges)
4 cups of water, plus extra as needed
2 cups supremed citrus (from the lemons and oranges)
2 cups water (use the zest water and top off)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups demerara sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto

1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the fruit (try not to include the pith in the zest). Slice the zest pieces julienne, then again into 1/2″ strips. Boil the zest in 4 cups of water and reduce to medium-high to maintain a good simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile. supreme the citrus and remove seeds. (You should have about two cups of citrus.) Discard the outer peel containing the pith, reserving the citrus, seeds and membranes. Bundle the seeds and membranes in a triple layer of cheesecloth, tie off the top, and set aside.

3. The zest ready when the pieces are very soft and uniform in color. Drain and measure the liquid. You’ll need two cups for the next step – top off the liquid with additional water, if necessary.

4. Place two small plates in the freezer.

5. In a large non-reactive pot, add the 2 cups of liquid, supremed citrus and cheesecloth bundle. Turn to high and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and stir well to dissolve. Maintain a good boil as close to the high setting as possible. Stay close; you may need to frequently adjust the heat, reducing slightly to prevent boil-over and then increasing to maintain boil temperature.

6. While the marmalade cooks prepare your heat-safe storage container(s). This recipe makes about 1 pint or 1/2 liter. (The canning jar I used, shown in the pictures, is a half liter.) Wash the jars, the seals and lids with very hot sudsy water, and rinse with very hot water. It wouldn’t hurt to boil the jars. Leave to air dry on paper towels.

7. After 30 minutes, begin checking the temperature of the marmalade. When the temperature reaches 220°F, boil for 3-4 additional minutes, then add the amaretto, stirring well.

8. Take one dish from the freezer and drop some of the marmalade mixture in the center. Let it set for a few seconds, then push one edge with your fingernail. It should be a little wrinkly and more or less hold its pushed-in shape. If it runs right down the plate when tilted, continue the boiling for 5 minutes, then check again with the other plate from the freezer.

9. When the marmalade passes the plate test, turn off the heat, and gently but thoroughly stir the marmalade. This will help to even distribute the zest. Carefully spoon the mixture into your heat-safe jars, leaving 1/2″ headroom. If using canning jars with proper seals and lids, go ahead and place them on, taking care not to over-tighten the lid. Allow to cool until the jar can be handled, then place in the refrigerator.

Note:  I’m crazy conservative about food safety. This recipe has NOT been evaluated for water-bath canning safety — I’m not sure what effect the amaretto would have on the chemistry of the marmalade. I created this recipe specifically for refrigerator storage, not for canning, although I’m using canning jars and canning prep methods.

Interestingly, as the marmalade cooled in the jar, the sealing lid gave out a very loud {POP} and dimpled — a sign of a vacuum seal taking hold. I’ve heard this was a popular method of canning in times of yore; however, I don’t recommend relying on it for food safety and, indeed, my jar is tucked safely in the refrigerator as I type this. Don’t worry if your seal doesn’t do the vacuum thing: it will be okay in the fridge.

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