Friday, 24 December 2010

COOKING - Bartlett Pear Orange Marmalade

Finished quart jar of marmalade
Alisdair and I had a cooking adventure - making marmalade for the first time!

The recipe said the Preparation time was 10 minutes with the cook time another half an hour for a total of 40 minutes, but it took us a lot longer than that to make our marmalade.  We only sterilized three pint jars and then, when they were filled, we discovered there was more marmalade to put somewhere - so we had to sterilize another quart jar.  And then it took quite a while for the water in the canner to get to the boiling point, so we could process the jars so they would seal.

But, in the end, we have one quart and three pints of delicious marmalade.  I thought it would be a bit thicker, but we tried some on toast this morning and both of us agreed it was worth the time and effort.

The recipe we used was from the "Pear Bureau Northwest" and was found at "" It reads as follows:

* 4 pounds (about 12) firm, ripe Northwest Bartlett pears, pared, cored, and coarsely chopped
* 2 oranges (thin skinned), thinly sliced and quartered
* 5 cups of sugar
* 2 Tablespoons lime or lemon juice (we used the juice of one whole lemon)

We also added a package of pectin to make sure it would set properly.

Combine pears, oranges, sugar and lemon juice in a large pot.  Bring to a boil over medium to low heat; stir 20 minutes or until thickened and mixture sheets off a metal spoon.  Watch carefully that the marmalade does not scorch.

Ladle into clean hot canning jars to within 1/8th of an inch of the top.  Seal according to the jar manufacturer's directions.

Place jars on rack in canner.  Process 10 minutes in boiling water 2 inches above the jar tops.  Remover carefully, and place away from drafts.  After 12 hours test the lids for a proper seal.  Remove the rings from the sealed jars.

Yield:  6 to 7 half pints

We took photos throughout the process:

Ripe, washed pears

Alisdair chopping up the cored and quartered pears 

Coarsely chopped pears

Sliced and quartered oranges on top of the pears

The recipe called for lemon juice.  We squeezed a real lemon.

Resulting lemon juice

Sugar added to pot on top of the fruit mixture

Mixing the sugar/pectin with the fruit

Slowly cooking the fruit and sugar

Pear chunks disappearing as cooked mixture changes

Sterilizing jars and lids in another pot

Ready to seal in jars

Finished marmalade before processing in the canner

Boiling the marmalade for 10 minutes to seal the lids tightly

Now... I guess we need to take a photo of the pleased recipients of our marmalade as they enjoy a piece of toast on Christmas morning!  No doubt they will also think our efforts were worthwhile!

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