March 04, 2011

Cara Cara Orange Jam

8 cups supremed Cara Cara segments
4 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 box liquid pectin (3 oz., one of the little packets in the box)
1/4 cup lemon juice (I used bottled)
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
zest of 2 Cara Cara oranges

Prep jars/lids for canning. Add the orange segments and zest into a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring carefully to avoid splashing, break up the segments, occasionally. Boil until it begins to reduce and thicken. Stir in the pectin, Grand Marnier and lemon juice. Continue cooking at a low (rolling) boil for 5-10 minutes or until it looks jammy. Fill the jars leaving 1/4 inch headroom. Process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 8-oz jars. I ended up with 5 8-oz, 1 4-oz and a couple of spoonfuls

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:
Today was a busy citrus day at the Rappaport house. I made this jam and marmalade for the first time. I had many pounds of citrus I wanted to use up and marmalade is a lot of fiddly work. I can't imagine doing two batches of that in one day unless a. I suddenly became very, very quick at it or b. someone was paying me. So I started to think of something citrus-y I could make that would be a little less time consuming. Don't get me wrong, it takes a long time to supreme so many oranges but at least I didn't have a peel to worry about and the actual cooking of the jam was quick and easy. I honestly I have never seen a recipe for citrus jam before but I didn't see any reason why it would work or be perfectly tasty. Sort of a marmalade without the candied peel. As it turns out, it makes a lovely jam, freshly orange scented and not as sweet as jelly would have been. The segments almost caramelize and really pop. Since Cara Caras are pink inside, the jam is a pretty orangish rose color. It is yummy on bread etc but I am already thinking of ways to use it in new recipes that need a bit of citrus.

I did "cheat" and added some liquid pectin despite oranges being pretty high in pectin. Cara Caras are seedless and I didn't want to add any bitterness from the peel to the jam. I knew it would easily set up with just a bit of pectin and it did.