Monday, August 16, 2010

Another lesson in orange

Conceding defeat to the marmalade round I decided to check out what else I could do with the remainder of these oranges.  I found this on the Pick Your Own website.  Looked simple.  Looked easy.  Looked quick.  Thus began the peeling of oranges and lemons.  I had enough for 2 batches and enough Sure Jell to be more than sure I could make it work!

Yeah, well so much for me being prepared.

The first batch I followed the recipe on the link but noticed a few things.  First the citrus separated from the solution once the sugar was added and stayed on top.  Then as I was pouring into jars the syrup was congealing on the funnel, which I took as a great sign.  But I ran out of fruit before I ran out of solution so 3 jars were just syrup.  Got them processed and 10 hours on they aren't setting, still syrup.  Which may just be because it is a citrus and they don't always set immediately so I'll withhold judgment for now.  Though the amount of water and sugar did seem to be excessive.   The effort landed me 6 half pints and 3 pints.

The second batch I decided I would do my thing, since the marmalade was already a bust and the rindless marmalade seemed syrupy before I put it in the bath to process.  What could go wrong?  How much more could I screw it up?  I started with the amount of citrus the recipe on Pick Your Own suggests.  I left it the same since that's what I had.  I decided to use the no sugar needed stuff and 2 cups of apple juice instead of water.  Then, while that was cooking I measured out what sugar I had left in the open bag, right at 3.5 cups.  Sounded good to me.  Dumped it in and 60 seconds later was ladling an unseparated 'jam' into my jars.  It only netted me 3 pint jars but 9.5 hours on they are beginning to set!!!  AND the chunks of citrus are suspended throughout instead of all at the top.  Hopefully this is a success, I'll cross my fingers.

The money shot, the 3 that are starting to set (2nd batch) are in the front on the bottom.  The 3 that are mostly syrup (1st batch) are in the back and the ones on top are syrupy with chunks of citrus (1st batch).
Will I do this again?  Well, I'm really not sure, it all depends on if that second batch tastes decent and passes the 'not pancake syrup' test.

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