Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three Fruit Marmalade & Pretty Presentation Ideas...

We have had such a wonderful time lately preserving our orange and lemon harvest!  Oranges and lemons mean marmalade, you see, and there is nothing quite as delightful as making a few jars of lovely orange coloured goodness to be enjoyed throughout the year... 

Spread thickly on buttered toast and served with a pot of tea, marmalade makes a delicious treat indeed!

Apart from making marmalade, we have also dried some of the orange peels for firelighters and the rest we packed into big glass jars and topped up with vinegar to be used as household cleaner...

The lemons we juiced and froze in ice trays to be used in the months to come when lemons are no longer cheap.  We also saved the lemon peels for cleaner...

It certainly makes us feel like homesteaders when we preserve our harvest, even if our efforts are still quite small at this stage... 

And if you’re a Paddington like my family are (excluding my dad), perhaps you would like to try our delicious three fruit marmalade?  I’ll admit that this recipe is a little time-consuming, but it is also very rewarding...  And if you’re feeling up to playing with presentation, I have included a few simple presentation ideas which are both charming and practical!

Three Fruit Marmalade

4 Lemons
2 Oranges
2 medium Grapefruit
3.4 litres Water
2.7kg Sugar
10 Jam jars

Weigh your fruit – you should have about 1.4kg in total.  Wash the lemons and oranges. 
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off the oranges and lemons in thin slices. 
By peeling the rind off and leaving the thick white pith behind, you are preventing the marmalade from being too bitter and chunky – this is what puts a lot of people off this delicious treat... 
Halve the fruit and squeeze out the juice and the pips.  
Wash the grapefruit and pare off the peel as with the lemons and oranges. 
Remove the thick pith and membrane and chop the flesh into small pieces. 
Put the orange and lemon juice, grapefruit flesh, orange, lemon and grapefruit peel and water into a preserving pan. 
Tie up the grapefruit pith and membrane and the pips from the oranges and lemons in a muslin bag and add to the contents of the pan. 
Simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours until the peel is very soft and the liquid is reduced by about half. 
Remove the muslin bag and squeeze it out over the pan. 
Add the sugar, stirring to dissolve completely.  Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached. 
I like to keep a cup of clean, hot water and a pastry brush on hand...  While the sugar is dissolving, I wipe the sides of the pan down with the hot water to prevent the sugar from crystallizing... Stir often to prevent the marmalade from sticking. 
Test for the setting stage as for jam.  See here.
Once your marmalade has reached the right consistency, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. 
Pop a knob of butter on top of the marmalade to prevent it from forming a skin. 
Once it has cooled down, ladle into warm, sterilised jars and wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and seal. 

Note:  The reason marmalade is left to cool for a bit, unlike jam, is because it stops the peel from rising to the top of the jar...  I sterilise my jars by washing them in hot, soapy water, giving them a rinse and placing them in the oven on the lowest setting till hot and completely dry.  Lids may also be sterilised in this way, but I prefer to boil them for a few minutes in a saucepan of water before using.

Once your jars are cool, polish with a damp cloth.  Now for lovely part...the presentation!

Here are a few of my favourite presentation ideas which I am adding to all the time...

 ~ Dried orange slices make beautiful little ‘labels’ – see instructions to make your own below...

Thinly slice a few oranges (do more than you need and save for future projects) and place on a wire rack in the oven for a few hours or overnight at the lowest setting...  Once completely dry, use an awl to make a hole in the edge of the orange slice, thread a piece of raffia through and tie around each jar of marmalade... 

~ Pretty tags made from scrapbook paper are lovely, too...  You could either adhere printed out lettering to each label (choose a fancy font for added interest), or if you have beautiful handwriting, use a coloured pen instead...  Secure tags to jars with ribbon, lace or raffia...

~ My granny likes to place a piece of fabric over the lid of each of her jars. She first secures it with an elastic band and then with a piece of ribbon.  This can also be done with pretty scrapbook paper, although it is a little challenging to achieve the required look – speaking from experience here!

Previously I would only label those jars I intended to give as gifts...  But this year I chose to spend a bit of extra time prettying up our own as well... 

Touches like these are so special and help to show your family how much you love and care for them...

If you are a busy mother of many, might I suggest you give an older daughter the responsibility of labeling your family’s preserves? 

She will enjoy the creative learning experience and you will appreciate not having to worry about a mix-up in the pantry a few months down the line - (again, speaking from experience here!)

~ I hope you are having a beautifully blessed week, dear friends ~


Sharing this post with...

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Sarah said...

Your marmalade looks wonderful! I love your packaging idea.



looks so good :)

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Thank you, Sarah! Lovely to hear from you:). Blessings, Kelly-Anne

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Thank you, Andy:)

JES said...

Hi Kelly-Anne, Sorry it has taken me so long to make a visit! It has been another busy-bee week over here but this week looks like it will be a bit slower (God willing)... We have a large citrus harvest as well that we enjoy preserving and being resourceful with. I shared a lemon honey marmalade recipe last year which is very similar to your tasty looking preserves :) Drying the citrus slices was on my to-do list this year and now that I see them on your jam, I am even more inspired! They are so pretty!!! Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! I always love your posts.

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Thank you for your sweet comment, JES! I always appreciate you stopping by! And your link-up parties are my favourites :-) Your lemon honey marmalde sounds amazingly delicious - I think I'll have to try it!

I hope you have a wonderfully blessed and not too busy :D


JES said...

Hi Kelly-Anne :)

Got your question! First of all, do you have a rooster? If not, then those eggs aren't going to become fertile so you should just eat them... If you do have a rooster, and she is not sitting on them, chances are they aren't going to hatch either so just place them all in a bowl of water and see if any float. The eggs that do float to the top are rotten but you can keep the remainders for consumption. We sometimes find nests of eggs that our chickens lay outside of the coop for one reason or other and just perform the tests mentioned. If a chicken is sitting on some eggs and doesn't want to budge, then you most likely have a brooder who is trying to hatch some babies. Hope this helps! (P.S. We don't have a rooster (they drive my husband crazy) so I am sorry I can't be more helpful in that area.)

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Thank you, JES! This helps a lot :-). Blessings, Kelly-Anne

magnoliasntea said...

Love this post! My favorite biscuit topping of all time is orange marmalade so your recipe is very tempting. And I really love the way you decorated the jars, so cute. You're right, it's fun to make jars for home use look pretty, too. We've been on our little farm for 21 years now, and I still feel like a newbie homesteader as there is so much to learn. But I feel like we are all homesteaders whether we just got started or have been at it for years.
p.s. My blog reader (feedly) isn't letting me know when you have a new post, so sorry this comment is so late.

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave me such a sweet comment! It is always lovely to have you:).

Biscuits with orange marmalde topping sound very yummy... :)

I agree, there is a lot to learn along the homesteading journey...I wonder if we'll ever finally know everything there is to know! Only yesterday we discovered our hen had been hiding her eggs, so we had to seek some advice and now we've learnt something new!

Hope you're having a beautiful week!

~ Kelly-Anne

JES said...

Hi Kelly-Anne, I am doing a post on dehydrated citrus slices and would love to include one of these pictures with a link back to you if that is okay? Hope your spring is going well! :)

JES said...

Hi there! Thank you for stopping by this morning! I also wanted to let you know that I did share a picture and link to this post here :) on our HOW TO DRY ORANGE SLICES POST

Thank you for sharing with us!

Debbie Harris said...

Hi Kelly-Anne,
I came over from your post to see your marmalade and oh my is it ever beautiful! I love the way you decorated up the jar, very nice.
I pinned your recipe and will certainly be giving it a try. I love that there is grapefruit in it.
Your Fall weather sounds nice with all the things you are doing.
We actually woke up to 2 inches of snow this morning. Spring in the Colorado Rockies! :)

So nice to visit with you~~
Love, Debbie