So I got up and went to treatment this morning and celebrating the fact I only had a single appointment today, came back home. I am feling pretty alright this morning, so was going to bake a pie with the Rome Beauty apples I'd bought Saturday. Having tasted one, though, they were a little on the dry side, so figured I'd make some applesauce. Then I got to looking at the Lover's Marmalade I made on Saturday and thought I might as well use up the rest of the bag of those, too. After quartering the apples and peeling the oranges, I got to thinking that maybe I could make something a little more long-lasting, and something I could share with a couple of friends. At first, I thought I'd do some Mandarin Apple Butter, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I really liked those little mandarin peels in what I did Sauturday, so I modified it just a little bit and this is what I came up with.
CITRUS APPLE MARMALADE
(Donald Boothby – March, 2012)
3 pounds Rome Beauty apples (about 5 med sized)
6-8 small mandarin oranges (add a few extra if eliminating the grapefruit)
Juice from 1 or 2 small lemons (1/4 cup)
1 cup water 4 cups sugar 1 stick cinnamon (more if desired)
Core the apples, leaving the peels on. Cut into large chunks and place in medium sized sauce pan with 1 cup water and juice from the lemons. Bring to a quick boil and turn down to low/medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Once the apples have cooked down, remove from heat and immediately run through food mill, discarding the peels. This should yield about 4 cups. Add a little water if needed to get up to needed volume. Peel the mandarins, leaving the peels in as big of chunks as possible. Cut peels into very thin julienne strips and cut to the desired length. Set the peeling aside. Peel the grapefruit, removing the white fibrous membrane on the outside and removing any seeds from both the grapefruit and the mandarins.
Place the prepared citrus (if doing again, I think I’d add more orange and eliminate the grapefruit) into a blender and pulverize well. Should net 2 cups of finished pulp. Add more oranges if necessary to get up to the needed volume. Mix the oranges and peel into the bowl with the seived apples. You really don't have to do this, it's just pretty.
Place apples, sugar, citrus, stick of cinnamon and peel into deep, heavy bottom kettle and bring to a rapid, hard boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low/medium and cook approximately 40 minutes, stirring frequently (use large wooden spoon if you can) until it reaches the jelly stage (begins to sheet of the spoon). Time will vary by the amount of pectin in the apples you are using. Place finished marmalade into sterilized ½ pint jelly jars and seal with new lids and rings.
YIELD: 3 pints.
If you like to keep the marmalade nice pretty reddish-orange, use stick cinnamon. If you want it to be more “apple butter” colored, add 1 – 2 tsp. ground cinnamon instead of the stick cinnamon. You don’t have to use Rome Beauty, either. I chose them mostly for their color, but if you use Granny Smith, Fuji, Pacific Rose or other variety, you will get a lighter and more yellow-orange color instead of the deep reddish orange I got.
NOTE: I don’t water bath my jams and jellies. I know all the cookbooks will tell you to, but I’ve been making this kind of stuff for over 30 years and have never had a sealed jar go bad on me. If you are the scientific type who believes in doing everything by the strictest food regulation rules, then water bath the finished jam for 20 minutes.