Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sugar Free Classic Orange Marmalade with Vanilla Bean

I am blessed to have orange trees growing right in the back yard. Arizona is good for that. I feel badly even going outside barefoot in the spring here, because I guess a lot of folks around the country are still really in the thick of cold weather. I may even feel guilty at ripping this gorgeous little orange from it's tender home. Alas, I took my heartless-wench gloves out...and I ripped away.
Now, at one time a little while back I did two full very detailed blog entries on how to make lemon marmalade. Included in those details I even showed cool pictures of how to home can the liquid sunshine in cute little jars. So, forgive me, but I may refer you to those posts at some point. Just because it seems silly to re-do something I already did. Is that fair? Yes. It will suck you into my evil blog...and I pray you will always return and bring friends. That's the only way we'll all grow. I learn so much from my readers. I do. Smooches. What was I talking about? Oh yes...ripping fruit from it's natural habitat. Poor babies. Do you see that birdie turd on the right hand side of the fruit in question? Yikes. I've spared no expense in the making of this blog entry. Be impressed.
It only takes eight little lovelies to make a full batch of marmalade.
8 oranges
4 cups sugar (if you use sugar. I used the low/no sugar pectin and 12 packets of powdered stevia)
1 box low sugar/no sugar needed Sure Jell (in the pink box)
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp LorAnn vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup water (2 cups water if you use real sugar)
The box said it wouldn't set if I used the sugar free stuff. It also said that it would take up to two weeks for marmalade to set. I used the sugar free stuff anyway. That being said, I put mine in the fridge since we are big fans of sugar free jam. It set within a few hours. I've made regular sugar filled orange marmalade many times and it has set perfectly. If you use the sugar, it will set. I swear.
The skin is what I really want you to pay close attention to. Isn't that one of the ratings they use in Hollywood? How much skin fills the screen at one time determines if it gets a bad rating or not. Well people. This must be evil then.
When I washed them...I even saw their navels. Oh...navel oranges. You are so flirty in that bubble bath. remember that birdie deposit. It has to be washed off. I use dish soap. It's not just for dishes. Now, what will I do? Wait...I know. I'll humiliate them completely.

Peeling their skin off. That will do it. OH the humanity! Poor poor oranges. Vegetable peelers work really well here.

I'll chop their skin to make my jam. Almost reminds me of an old nursery rhyme...only I believe in that one it was grinding bones to make bread. Either's kind of yucky sounding. It is bright and colorful to look at.

Now, lob the ends off. Now I say lob...but I mean for everyone to be dainty about it. I don't want to be held responsible for any orange carnage (or un-dainty marmalade ladies). See the brains. Wait...I think the word is "membranes". Those are the things that separate the sections of the orange. You want to cut off the white puffy part and cut the sections out.

Here's where it gets tricky.

White part...gone.
The gorgeous-darling fruit is exposed and ready to be sliced away from the membranes. Set the fruit aside.
Now. We put the skins and baking soda in a large heavy pot and boil them with 3/4 cup of water for 20 minutes. I let mine sit overnight. That's totally optional, but it seems to make the peels less bitter. Now, Add the fruit, sugar or sugar substitute, and vanilla bean paste and boil an additional 10 minutes.

Add the contents of the Sure Jell. Stir really well with a whisk. Boil exactly one minute. One.

Ladle into steril hot canning jars. In case you missed the long speach on this subject, check it out Home Canning Safety 101 . The only exception would be if you are going to put the jam in the fridge and use it within the next month or so.

Look at the posts on lemon marmalade for the complete details on how to process the jars of marmalade. I know you'll want to see it done. This recipe yields 5 cups sugar free jam or 8 cups of lower sugar jam if you use the sugar.
It's a nice soft set.

There you go.


Marylois said...

This looks good. Just need to make some and enjoy on a homemade crumpet.

aswesow said...

Oh,it looks good alright. I'll blush everytime I see an orange now!

Lauren said...

Can you use vanilla extract instead of paste? If so, how much? If not, where can you find the paste? Also.. Can you safely can the marmalade without all the home canning stuff? I have mason jars, but not the other stuff (tongs, special pot with rack, funnel, etc.).. I don't do a lot of canning, but an over-abundance of oranges right now, and really want to make some marmalade, but don't want it to spoil :-) Thanks!!!

Chef Tess said...

You can use the vanilla extract. 2 tsp. I order the LorAnn Vanilla paste online on their website or you can sometimes find it in baking stores. I would suggest on the home canning to use the equipment or make the jam and freeze it if you don't want to buy the equipment. If you read the section I have on on home canning safety ( ) You'll understand why I say what I do. Ball has some new kits that are right around 10$ for the rack to make any pot a home canning pot. The funnel and other tools are optional, but the boiling method must happen for the bottles to be shelf stable.

Joseph said...

I've heard of people using chia seeds as a thickener for homemade jams and jellies. I found a couple of strawberry jam recipes using chia seeds as the thickener. No sugar needed though one recipe uses stevia to provide additional sweetness if necessary.

Joseph said...

I've heard of people using chia seeds as a thickener for homemade jams and jellies. I found a couple of strawberry jam recipes using chia seeds as the thickener. No sugar needed though one recipe uses stevia to provide additional sweetness if necessary.

Unknown said...

Hi, Chef Tess. I have a quick question. Greenhorn canner here....if I would like just a little bit more setting to this recipe (I like a medium set rather than a soft set) can I add a little more pectin to the recipe or will that just kill it? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Lauren thanks for the question. I had the same one. I will use vanilla extract in my cupboard. I have a vanilla bean but would not want to misuse it:) I have never seen vanilla paste. I want a more orange and less vanilla taste. I am so grateful for a sugar free recipe for orange marmalade. I will use stevia and no sugar needed pectin.
Thanks so much for the wonderful detail and even pictures.