Four Citrus Marmelade
Translation : Catherine
Preparation : 1h30
Maceration : 8 to 24h
2 sets of cooking time : 2h and 1h10 mins
Takes a very long time but easy,
My advice : invite friends over to make this recipe together!
For 18-20 jars
2 kg citrus fruits such as 5 lemons, 6 blood oranges, 1 grapefruit, 5 tangerines
2,5 to 3,5 kg caster sugar
minimum 3 l. water
about 80 ml of rum or whisky
2 large bowls
a large plastic container used for weighing
a fruit peeler
a large wooden spoon only for the cooking part
heat resistant gloves
a notebook with a pencil to take note of the quantities and weights (useful for your next jam making)
a large tea ball
Take your notebook and pencil. Prepare one or two large bowls, a cutting board and good knife.
Wash, clean, brush and peel the oranges and the lemons. You may discard only the ends. Set aside the fruits and thinly slice the peeled skins. Personally, I like medium size cuts, but do as you prefer. I must admit that I didn't really like the skins until I started making my own preserves. Now I use everything I can from those fruits! Nothing is wasted! Weigh and register the weight then put everything in the same bowl.
Now peel the rest of the fruits : grapefruits and tangerines. Make sure you remove as much white skin as possible as the white part gives a bitter taste to your jam. Remove the seeds and set aside. Cut the fruits into cubes or slices; keep the juice in. Don't forget to weight and register on your pad, and add the fruits to the bowl. Save the seeds for the tea ball. Keep note of everything you add to the bowl. Use a second bowl if necessary.
Add up all the weights and add the water. For about 2 kg of fruits I usually add 3 liters of water. When in Brussels, I mix tap water with mineral water but in the Southwest France (Landes region) I only use tap water. Do as you like and leave this preparation at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours.
This first cooking part is without sugar :
Cook the fruits in the large pan for two hours; it has to be brought to a tiny boil all along; make sure you stir once in the while.
I then separate this preparation into two portions; the jam seems to end up better when cooked in smaller quantities in the pan. It is important to weigh both preparations in order to use the right portion of sugar for each batch. We use between 2.5 and 3.5 kg of sugar total. Once you've added sugar, you can start cooking the jam immediately or wait up to 12 hours. I have tested both methods and they work as well.
This second cooking part is the one that will turn your fruits and sugar mixture into jam.
Warm up the fruit preparation in the jam pan. Once it is hot enough, pour the sugar in and stir constantly with your wooden spoon so that the jam does not stick to the pan. If you had 2.5 kg of sugar - "the light version" - it will take longer to cook but the result will be the same quality wise and you will probably feel less guilty😉... When you choose to use the 3.5 kg sugar, you will certainly get the genuine taste of the citrus preserve. It is up to you. Add the tea ball with the seeds in it. Bring it to a boil; that should take about 20 minutes on low heat.
Write down the time in your notebook when it starts boiling. Put a few small saucers in the refrigerator, they need to be chilled for your jam's stiff tests later, and keep on stirring regularly. Add 40 ml of rum.
Approximately 30 mins later, there should be a yellowish foam on the surface : that is a good sign! Mix well. To check on the consistence of the jam, cover a small area of the chilled saucer with a few drops of the hot jam, and place it in the fridge again for a minute. If the jam does not run and appears to have clotted, it's perfect : that means it's ready. You may now fill the sterilized glass jars. If the jam still runs on the chilled saucer, it means that it's not ready yet and you have to let it cook a little longer.
You need to fill in the jars while the jam is still cooking on the stove; turn the temperature down to a minimum and stir. Personally I rather fill in all the jars in a row and only when they are all filled, I put on the lids and turn them upside down.
Make sure to use heat resistant gloves to avoid burns.
The jars have to remain upside down until the jam has entirely cooled down. I usually manage to have a nice consistence for my jams. I do advice you to check your first batch before starting to cook the second...
When it's all done, I stick a label on the lids with the name of the jam and the date...