Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Yield: 8 -8 ounce jars
1 3/4 pounds or 5-6 blood oranges(you can use regular oranges too)
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
6 cups water
3 pounds plus 12 ounces sugar
Special Equipment: 10- 8 ounce canning jars with rings and lids
1. Wash the blood oranges and lemon thoroughly. Cut the blood oranges into 1/8 inch slices using a mandoline, removing the seeds as you go. Stack the blood orange slices and cut them into quarters. Place the blood oranges into a 8 quart stainless steel pot. Add the lemon zest and juice and the water to the pot. Set over high heat and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.
2. While the fruit is cooking, sterilize your canning jars, in whatever method you like, I prefer the dishwasher method.
3. Meanwhile, place a small plate in the freezer. Increase the heat under the blood orange mixture to return to full boil. Add the sugar and stir the mixture frequently, until it reaches 222-223 degrees F on a candy thermometer or digital thermometer, and darkens in color, approximately 50-55 minutes. It must reach 222-223 degrees F for the marmalade to be the right consistency, it will be too runny if it does not reach that temperature. You must be patient, waiting for it to reach that temperature.
4. You will need to adjust the heat to prevent boil over, you need to be in the vicinity of the pot through this part of the cooking, so no taking a shower or taking the dog for a walk.
5. Once it reaches the above temperature, test for readiness of the marmalade by placing a teaspoon of the mixture onto the chilled plate and allowing it to sit for 30 seconds. Tilt the plate, the mixture should be a soft gel that moves slightly. If the mixture is thin and runs easily, it is not ready.
6. Have your jars ready to fill with the marmalade mixture. Place them on a clean tea towel. Ladle the hot mixture into the hot jars, use a canning funnel if necessary. Both the ladle and funnel also need to be sterilized at the same time as the jar and lids. Wipe the rims and threads of the jars with a moist paper towel. Put the rings and lids on tightly. The amount of marmalade may vary by 1-2 jars.
7. Place jars in a cool dry place and allow to sit for at least 24 hours before opening. Once open, store in refrigerator. Unopened marmalade will last for up to 6 months but you must sterilize the jars and equipment properly for this to happen.