Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chai Spice Marmalade - A Tutorial

If you are unfamiliar with canning, please visit the Bell Canning & Preserving website or the USDA Home Canning website.

1. First thing I do is really, really clean my stove and counter space. Then I get my jars boiling.

2. Next, I start gathering my citrus and prepping it. I peel the oranges & lemons that don't have nice skin. The nicest skinned pieces of citrus get scrubbed and then I cut off each end.

The peeled fruit goes into the pot.

I use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel strips of the skin. Nice long coils are good. Use a sharp knife to slice them a bit thinner.

Then I take all that fruit, cut it in quarters and throw it into a blender or food processor. If you don't have one of those, just slice the fruit into thin slices. Then put it in the pot. (Take seeds out of citrus before putting into blender or the pot.)

I deseeded the fruit over a bowl so I could catch the juice. Then I empty the bowl into the pot through a strainer that catches all the seeds.

I ended up with 5 lbs of citrus. (I used a postal scale to measure it.)Add about 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, stir frequently.

3. After about 10 minutes of simmer I add about 5 cups of sugar.

(watch for seeds as you simmer, sometimes you miss a few)

Adjust the heat to keep at a simmer and stir often. This is probably going to simmer for about an hour. Next add the chai spices. First I add a cinnamon stick and emptied 10 cardamom pods into the pot. I let that simmer a bit more and then added 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ginger powder, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. You can substitute whatever chai spice mixture you prefer.

4. You'll know the marmalade is done by using the gel test method.

Dip a cold metal spoon into the boiling soft spread. Lift the spoon and hold it horizontally with edge down so that the syrup runs off the edge. As the mixture cooks, the drops will become heavier and will drop off the spoon separately but two at a time. When the two drops join together and “sheet” off the spoon, the gel stage has been reached.

5. Next take your hot jars out one by one, use a canning funnel and fill the jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch of head space, wipe the rim with a wet cloth (I use a paper towel). Put the lid on and screw the ring down finger tight, place back into the water. After you've filled all of the jars and put them back in the pot of water, bring water to a boil and let boil for about 10 minutes. (When I lived at Stone City, I added 5 minutes to this time due to elevation. Check for recommended adjustments for higher elevations if needed.)

6. I lay out a towel on the counter and take my jars out of the pot of water and place them carefully on the towel. Keep them upright as you take them out and leave the bit of water on the top, it will most likely evaporate off the hot jars. If the room is drafty, cover the jars lightly with a dishtowel. Wait 24 hours before you check for a good seal.

I ended up with almost 5 full pint jars of marmalade. That one that wasn't totally full is going to be used right away...

(If you use this tutorial and have any questions or comments about any part of this process, don't hesitate to contact me. I had a hard time translating the process to written words and may have missed a detail you need. I also may can differently than you or someone you know, that happens.)

Want more canning tutorials? See my first one for Jalapeno Jelly too!

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