My orange tree is overflowing right now, so I decided to try orange marmalade. I started with a recipe from Ina Garten, then found another blog where someone added vanilla to Ina’s recipe.
Here is what I ended up making, which is adapted from the recipes mentioned above.
4 large oranges
2 limes (lemons work too, I just happened to have limes)
2 cups vanilla sugar with vanilla beans
5 cups sugar
8 cups water
Cut the oranges and limes in half and then into paper thin slices. Put the sliced fruit and all of their juices into a pot. Add 8 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and allow to stand at room temperature overnight.
The next day, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Turn the heat to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer.
If you want to be doubly sure that that the marmalade is ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate until it is cool. If it is firm (neither too runny or too hard) it is done. It will be a golden orange color. If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it. If it is too hard, add more water. (I found that mine was still a little runny, so cooked it on medium heat for another 20 minutes).
I sliced about half of my fruit slices into smaller pieces after cooking because I prefer smaller bits of peel in my marmalade.
Pour the marmalade into clean, hot Mason jars. Wipe the rim thoroughly and seal the lids. Store in the pantry up to one year.