In my recent quest to recreate my favorite orange yogurt with cinnamon and vanilla, I found myself in need of a bit of marmalade. Marmalade, like its close relatives jam and jelly, has all of the element I crave in a kitchen project. It provides yet another opportunity to use my sweet week jars, leaves my kitchen smelling delightful, and transports me to another era, leaving me feeling like a domestic super star.
Once I stopped imaging myself as the grown up version of Laura Ingalls Wilder, I began to scour the internet for a recipe that a) is simple, and b) doesn’t call for any ingredients I don’t already have. Fortunately, there’s really not much to marmalade–oranges, and sugar. Lots of sugar.
I’m sure everyone has a different idea of the perfect marmalade, but for me its pretty simple. It must have a strong orange flavor, and the texture must be thick, but not too firm, with thin slices of orange peel. At first, I balked at the idea of adding eight cups (eight cups!!!) of sugar to my four wimpy oranges, but when faced with the choice of continuing my search or beginning to slice, I chose to console myself with the fact that I would only be adding a small amount of marmalade to my yogurt, and got to slicing.
I settled on the basic ratio I found in most recipes–four medium oranges and eight cups of sugar, but as I was tasting, the flavor seemed slightly unbalanced, so I added a few pinches of salt. Some recipes I found suggested separating the rind from the pulp, but since I
am lazy like to keep things simple, I skipped this step. All of the pulp melted off the peel anyway, and I was very satisfied with the final texture.
Be warned that this recipe will leave you with several jars (I got 3.5 large jars) of marmalade. So, if you are just looking for a taste, you might want to cut the recipe in half. Otherwise–keep your eyes open for a few more ways to enjoy this sweet treat in the coming days!
- 4 large oranges
- 2 large lemons
- 8 cups sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt (may need more/less depending on taste)
- Cut the oranges and lemons into quarters, then thinly slice.
- Combine oranges and lemons in a large pot and cover with eight cups of water. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Let orange sugar mixture sit overnight at room temperature.
- Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil until it reaches the desired consistency (about 25 minutes). You can check the consistency by spooning a bit of marmalade onto a plate and allowing it to cool. You want to see the consistency when the marmalade is cool, but not cold. I like mine to reach the texture of a medium firm jam.