Monday, November 1, 2010

Trifolate Orange Marmalade or I Swear this is the Last Canning Post for a While

One of the souvineers we brought home from our fall getaway was a small bag of what turned out to be trifolate oranges.  We found these growing in the garden of a historical mansion we were visiting.  The mansion was closed, but these exotic little fruit were perfectly ripe and waiting for me.  A stray docent happened by and told me to go ahead and take some, so I did.   The trifolate orange is a tiny hardy orange that grows on a small tree about 8-10 feet tall with lots of thorns.  It is commonly used for grafting stock and can withstand a certain amount of freezing, which is why we found it growing on the southern Maryland coast. 

In searching for something to do with my found treasures I learned that these are not true oranges, being from a diferent genus in the orange family, and that eating them raw can cause gastric distress.  They are recommended for making marmalade. 

I had never made marmalade before, but I was game to try.  First I used a carrot peeler to shave away the outer portion of most of the rinds of the oranges.  Then I attempted to peel and pulp the little guys.  Turns out they are packed with seeds, and a little juice, and a very little pulp.  So what I did was cut them open and squeeze out the juice and seeds, then put through the food press.  This left me with about 3/4 c of juice that tasted like the result of a mating between a grapefruit and a pine tree. 

Undaunted I decided to suplement my bitter/sour juice with an equal amount of orange juice and the pulp of 3 oranges.  I then chopped the peelings from the trifolates and one of the oranges and combined them with the juice/pulp and boiled for 5 minutes.  This I allowed to sit overnight in the fridge.  I don't know why it needs to sit, but the Ball Blue Book said to, so I did. 

The next day, I boiled the juice/pulp/peels with about a half package of pectin, then added and equal ammount of sugar and boiled for 3 minutes, then packed hot into hot jars and processed 5 minutes in a boiling water bath to seal.   This seems to have gelled, and the result is a very classy slightly bitter marmalade.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet lord, my spelling was bad that day. Doesn't this blog have spell check?