Sunday, 16 August 2015

Simple Orange Marmalade With Just 3 Ingredients!

Making your own jam is not as difficult as you think. Once you get the hang of it, gone will be the days you buy the store bought one. You will find yourself looking at what other fruit in the market you can use to make jams. It's addictive! 

This recipe is as simple as it gets! Just 3 ingredients and voila you have a jam.. No need to buy pectin or whatever other more complicated ingredients are out there in other recipes. This is just the fruit and sugar with a bit of spice. 

So here goes!

Simple 3 ingredient orange marmalade
Simple 3 Ingredient Orange Marmalade

Ingredients:
3 oranges
1 1/2 cup of fine sugar (not caster)
1 star anise  (if you prefer you can use a cinnamon stick instead)

Method:
Cut the oranges in half and remove the juice. I used a simple squeeze and press juicer for this.

Put the juice in a small non stick cassserole along with 1 star anise and the 1 1/2 cups of sugar.

Now with the balance orange halves, cut them into quarters then with a sharp knife slice off the white pith on the inside of the orange (that makes the marmalade bitter if you keep it). Imagine you were filleting a fish. It's the same technique.

Now that you are left with just the quarters (without any pith on the inside), cut it into strips of your desired thickness. We like ours fairly thick. Die hard marmalade fans (like my husband) seem to like their jam more on the bitter side and somehow cutting the rind in thicker pieces also helps achieve that.

Do this for all 3 oranges. Add the zest to the casserole with the juice, sugar and star anise. Bring it to a low simmer. 

If you find any froth coming to the surface, remove with a spoon and discard. Keeping the froth will cloud your marmalade (i.e. it wont be very clear in appearance)

Do this till it reaches a one drop consistency.  To check, take your spoon and drizzle a drop on a cold saucer. If it sets and a thin film forms on the surface then stop the cooking process (this you can only master with experience).

As soon as its ready, switch off the heat and pour it into glass air tight jars (that have been washed and dried thoroughly before).  Close the lid while hot. This helps to create a vaccum in the jar, that will preserve it for a very long time, if  you don't plan to use it immediately. 

Only once cooled outside completely, then store in the fridge.

Tip: Do not cook the jam till it is the store bought consistency. The jam should be a fairly thin consistency, as it will thicken once its cold in the fridge. If you cook it to the "store bought" consistency in the pan itself, it will harden like a rock once in the fridge. 

simple 3 ingredient orange marmalade
Simple Orange Marmalade

Tip: Don't fret though, if you find that once its bottled, that it's set way too much and has gotten too hard, put it back on the heat, and add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it down. Once reheated, bottle it again.

Tip: another tip is to never mix the spoon/knife going into the jam jar with something else. Keep the butter one separate or any other such condiment. Cross contamination can cause your jam to spoil.