I feel quite blessed to have several citrus trees in the yard. There is one prolific lemon tree directly out the kitchen French doors, literally within arm’s reach, bearing an abundance of fruit. I have a pair of grapefruit, three oranges and a lime tree, that although it looks pretty, has never produced a single lime.
During the winter months, when citrus is at its prime, I enjoy a fresh orange nearly every morning for breakfast and as a refreshing mid-afternoon snack. But, before I have consumed them all or given to neighbors, I make several batches of marmellata di arance (orange marmalade). This is a simple “freezer” recipe, meaning no sterilizing of jars or hot water bath necessary.
I use this delicious preserved fruit not only with biscuits, scones, bruschette and toast but, as a glaze for pork and poultry as well. Also, combining a bit of orange marmalade with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a splash of white balsamic vinegar, creates a flavorful dressing for your favorite salad greens and fruit salads.
- 2 1/3 cups prepared fruit (5 medium oranges)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 4 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange peel, being careful to only get the colored portion not the white pith underneath. You should have approximately 1 cup. Finely chop the peel and transfer to a large heat-resistant bowl.
- Using a sharp paring knife, remove and discard the rest of the peel including all the white from the fruit.
- Finely chop the oranges and place in a bowl with their juices (that have escaped all over the cutting board).
- Using a dry-measuring cup (not liquid), measure out exactly 2 1/3 cups of the chopped oranges and add to the bowl with the orange peel. Add the lemon juice and stir in the sugar. Let rest for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Gather glass or plastic containers and lids that you are going to use for your marmalade. I reuse clean glass jars of various shapes and sizes that I have on hand. If I’m giving them as gifts, I may opt for pretty canning jars.
- Using a small saucepan, mix the water and pectin and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil and stir constantly for one minute. Pour this mixture into the oranges, stirring 3-4 minutes until mixed thoroughly.
- Fill all of the containers immediately up to 1/2-inch from the top (to allow for expansion in the freezer). Wipe clean the rims of the jars and cover with lids. Let rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Store the marmellata di arance in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks or in the freezer up to 12 months. Thaw frozen containers in the refrigerator before using.