April 6, 2012
I myself am not a great lover of marmalades. My husband, on the other hand, loves the sweet bitterness they impart on the tongue….whereas I can only think of bile to be honest. But I am so grateful to be living in the midst of citrus heaven here in Central Florida. I have access to a small grove of orange and grapefuit trees in Apopka where I can go to pick oranges to my heart’s content. I created a new jam this year combining these fresh oranges with frozen soursop pulp. I am usually a purist and like to stick with fresh fruit only–but until I can grow my own soursop, I will be using the frozen pulp that I can purchase at our local hispanic store. Soursop tastes like a combination of strawberries and pineapple and almost to me a bit “watermelony” with citrus undertones. It is known as guanabana in the Carribean countries and is used to make fruit drinks, smoothies and ice creams. I was introduced to this fruit by my Columbian friends who make glorious popsicles each summer using the frozen pulp.
This recipe does not even use any of the zest of the fruit and to me has all the sweet qualities that citrus has without any of the “tough” bitter bits! The preparation is a bit intense, but it is so worth it when you tuck into your fresh preserves long after the season has passed.
For the preparation, I take the whole oranges, I cut them in half, then quarter them. I place all of these orange quarters in a large working bowl, and then I carefully cut the flesh out of the skin and “clip out” the membrane containing the seeds. I save the seeds and membranes in a ziplock and then freeze, so I can use in my other jams that require more pectin. These fresh orange sections have plenty of pectin and do not need the added seeds to help the jam come together to a beautiful consistency. You will have lots of juice on your cutting board, keep scooping up the juice as you work and add to your completed bowl of orange flesh, all of these juices add to the flavor! Do not worry at all about how the oranges look, just add all the tender bits that you can. Once the fruit is added to your jam pot, you will use an immersion blender to break the fruit down into the bit size pieces that make this preserve so wonderful. I cook mine in a large french copper jam pot, you may use any type of wide bottomed pot that you have in your kitchen–the heavier the better. This jam will require standing and stirring towards the end of the cooking process, it cannot be left to cook on its own.
4 lbs fresh orange segments (about 7 to 8 pounds of whole oranges)
2 14 oz packages of frozen soursop pulp (unsweetened)
3 1/4 lbs sugar
1 tsp citric acid (optional, keeps color bright)
1 fresh vanilla bean, split open, scraped
1/8 cup good quality Bourbon
1. Prepare about 12 eight oz ball jars for this recipe. You will need to sterlize the jars in a boiling water canner. Boil the jars for at least 12 minutes and then keep them in the warm water while you prepare the jam. Take a small plate and place in your freezer, you will use this later to test the doneness of your jam. This amount of fruit will make 11 or 12 jars depending on how much of the juices you capture.
2. Prepare the oranges and pour them into your canning vessel.
3. Add the soursop pulp, sugar and citric acid to your pan.
4. Take your immerson blender and blend the mixture until the pieces are fine, but still have a bit of a “chew”, no more than 1 inch or so for a nice end product.
5. Split and scrape your vanilla bean, add this along with the whole bean to your mixture.
6. Cook the product down for at least 20 minutes on a medium flame or heat. Stir frequently. You will notice that the mixture will thicken a bit and will change into a deeper color.
7. This jam will not need the use of a themometer, after 20 to 25 minutes of cooking, you can do your first test. Take your plate out of the freezer and place a small bit of the jam on the plate. Return to the freezer for 5 minutes, take out and gently “push” the jam with your finger, if it wrinkles, the jam is ready. You can also tip the plate to see how quickly it runs down. Trust yourself. Rinse and place the plate back in the freezer and continue cooking the jam until it thickens. This will vary depending on your pan, your stove and the amount that you stir the jam.
8. Once the jam has reached the desired thickness, tip in 1/8 cup of Bourbon and quickly shut the flame. Stir this in gently. At this point remove your jars from the canner, and then pour the jam into your prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch of headspace in each jar so that a vacuum can be created when they are boiled. I use a kitchen ladle and a canning funnel to put the hot jam into the jars.
9. Process in a water bath canner for 12 minutes.
10. Remove from canner and leave undisturbed for several hours, check to ensure that the seals are good by pressing into the center of the lid, the seal has been made when there is no sound when pressing on the “pop” top.
This jam will stay shelf-stable for up to two years. I like to use all of my products before the 12 month mark for clarity and color.
Recipe created by www.sunchowdersemporia.com