Peach-orange marmalade is a delightful old family recipe that goes back at least 3 generations, and has only 3 ingredients:
- 24 peaches
- 4 oranges
- 7 cups sugar
You just cook it up and put it in mason jars, right? Nothing simpler.
Well, with these tricks, it really isn’t much work, but without them it can be something of a day-long project.
Peeling the peaches
Probably the most time consuming step is peeling the 24 peaches. If you peel them like you’d peel an apple, it will take you a while, and it becomes rather messy. Instead, follow these simple steps.
- Take 2 pans of roughly the same size that will hold about 3 peaches it. Fill both with water and bring one to a boil.
- Drop in three peaches and make sure they are submerged. Boil for about one minute. Lift out the 3 peaches using a slotted spoon and drop them into the other pan which contains cold water. Put 3 more peaches in to boil.
- Meanwhile, under running water, you should be able to pull of the peach skins in seconds, Discard the peel and set the peeled peaches aside in a bowl or colander until you’ve peeled all of them.
- Repeat from step 2 until all the peaches are peeled.
Chopping the peaches
This can be a juicy mess, but if you cut the peaches up in the sink on a small cutting board, the juice is constrained, and you can pour it into the cooking pot from time to time.
Cut around the radius of each peach and pull it open. Discard the pit, and quickly chop the peach into rough slices right there in the sink. Dump the slices and juice into the cooking pot. Repeat.
- Peel the 4 oranges. In our case, they were a bit small, so we used 5. Set the peel aside and chop up the oranges in the sink as above and add to the cooking pot.
- Cut the peel into small strips and add them to the cooking pot as well
- Add the sugar and mix together.
- Allow the pot to stand overnight, partially covered while the sugar macerates the fruit.
- The next day, stir the mixture and bring it to a slow boil. Be careful, as it may foam up at first.
- Allow it to cook down for about 2 hours until it has thickened to “the consistency of marmalade.”
- Meanwhile, place 6 pint mason jars and new jar lids or rings in a large kettle of water and boil for half an hour to sterilize.
- Set the jars and lids out to drain, and then pour hot marmalade into each of them. Wipe off the lip with a damp paper towel and seal by screwing down the jar lid.
- Place the jars in the kettle of water (you will need less since the marmalade is now filling each jar). Boil covered for 30 minutes. Remove each jar and leave it on the counter to cool. Make sure each dome lid pops down showing that the lids are sealed.
This recipe will make 6 to 7.5 pints of marmalade. If you only have room for 6 as we do, store the rest on the refrigerator and plan on eating it within the month.