Failures in Marmalade Making

Ball Blue Book (1991)

My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I saw beautiful cherries on sale at the grocery recently. And I ended up with a couple of pounds.  After realizing that I was never going to be able to eat them all, even with E’s help, I started hunting in cookbooks for some sort of canning project.  And lo and behold, Cherry Marmalade presented itself in my Ball cookbook.

It took me about an hour to pit a quart of cherries. I used just a paring knife and my thumbnail (encased in a brand new plastic glove, but of course I still somehow ended up with a stained nail). And the rest was easy peasy.

lemon juice, sugar, cherries waiting their turn

I followed the recipe but the marmalade didn’t set.  I used a candy thermometer to make sure it was hitting the correct jelling temperature and I even cooked it for an extra 15 minutes.

I think maybe my problem was that I didn’t let the oranges cool sufficiently and maybe that was key to having the pectin do it’s thing. Yes, I could recook the batch and add liquid or powdered pectin, but I won’t bother. Instead, I have super delicious cherry/orange sauce.  I still might make this with 2 oranges next time just in case…and I’ll probably end up with an overthickened batch.

Cherry Marmalade
2/3 cup seeded and chopped orange (about 1 medium)
1 quart pitted sweet cherries
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 cups sugar

Cover chopped orange with water and boil in a large sauce pot until soft; cool.
Add cherries, lemon juice and sugar to orange.
Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Cook rapidly to jellying point, about 35 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space and adjust caps.
Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath.
Yield: about 4 half pints

orange softening

cooking deliciousness


One thought on “Failures in Marmalade Making

  1. Pingback: Adventures in canning « Blathering 504

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