Friday, March 05, 2021

HOMEMADE ORANGE JAM

As you might have noticed, I make a lot of preserves. Partially because they are a simple, delicious way of preserving fruit for when it is not in season, and partially because I sincerely love making jams. However, I rarely make marmalades and jellies, especially when I cannot find a good way to use the remaining pulp.
Jams, on the other hand, I find marvellous for multitude of reasons, one of them being the fact that they use the whole fruit. This wonderful orange beauty is just like that, it uses all of it; pulp, juice, and a bit of the zest, too. And with oranges being so versatile themselves, the remaining peel can be cleaned of the white pith, candied, and dipped into some dark chocolate.
Fragrant, soft, sweet, and with a bold shot of Cointreau, this jam is absolutely perfect both on its own and as an addition to other desserts, and it can be used in any recipe that calls for orange marmalade. It is best served icy cold, straight from the refrigerator, and preferably with a few shavings of extra dark chocolate, for an indulgent breakfast or brunch.


Ingredients
1 kilogram orange segments
500 grams granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
30 millilitres Cointreau


Preparation
Thoroughly wash the oranges, preferably organic, and zest enough of them so you have two tablespoons of fresh orange zest. Peel them and remove the segments. This is best done over the pot where the jam will be cooked, so all of the juice can be used.
Once all the segments are in the pot, if possible a heavy-bottomed one, tip in the sugar, vanilla, and the orange zest, and place it over medium heat. Let the jam come to a boil and bubble away somewhat slowly, for about 30 minutes or so. The fruit needs to start breaking down slightly.
At that point, remove the jam from the heat and, using an immersion blender, puree the fruit to the desired consistency. Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat just a little bit, to medium, and let it cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until set.
Once it has reached it setting point, remove it from the heat, and add the liqueur. Mix well and let it stand for about 10 minutes at room temperature, and then fill and seal your jars. Yields 750 grams of jam.

Author's note:You can check for the setting point by either using a candy thermometer, which should read 105°C, or placing a teaspoon of the jam on a chilled saucer and wait to see if it slightly wrinkles when you gently touch it, after about a minute of cooling.

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