Amy, of Angry Chicken and Bend the Rules Sewing book fame, made marmalade the other day and posted about it. Feel free to head over to her blog, take a few minutes, and read her eloquent post about making marmalade.
She makes it sound easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Well not for me.
Her experience sounded so easy and fun that I had to give it a try. We happened to have a whole bunch of oranges in the house. I. and I ran out and bought vanilla beans ($5 each!), a few lemons, and the January Martha Stewart magazine.
I cut up the lemons and oranges and followed the instructions.
So far so good.
In fact, things were going along swimmingly until I came to the last step, boiling the mixture until it reached 220'.
My first problem was the peels. I guess I didn't cut my peels small enough because they were huge and did not look anything like they do in the marmalades I've seen. So I got out the food processor and scooped all the solids into it and chopped them up. A bit of a pain, but it worked and everything, now more finely chopped, went back onto the stove.
My mixture, long before reaching 220', was boiling merrily and spewing bits of hot marmalade all over the place ... seriously, I had the stuff on a back burner and there were bits flying out and burning my feet. It didn't just hit my feet ... it also hit the floor, the counters, all parts of the stove, the wall, my hands, my face, my hair. After a very very long time the mixture still hadn't reached the proper temperature and I was getting pretty tired of stirring and being burned.
Suddenly the marmalade in the pan was burning. And it stunk. And the mixture started changing colors.
I got it off the stove as quickly as possible but the damage was done.
My orange marmalade was dark brown. And it tasted bad, really bitter, not marmalade-like at all.
The temperature never did reach 220'.
I'm not sure where I went wrong but I don't think I'll be trying this again ... at least not until I get the kitchen unsticky.
If anyone has any suggestions to help me do this right next time I'd appreciate it!