handmade gift: marmalade and jam

apricot jam on the stove, originally uploaded by ciaosamin.

june taylor blah blah blah. i'm not going to sit here and write out all of the reasons to love jt because we've all heard them before. i'm just going to say that i made a bunch of marmalades last winter using her (labor-intensive) method and they were the best i've ever made. it's a lotlotlot of work, but very worth it. and by the time i was done, i realized that she wasn't charging nearly enough for her jam.

this would be a very, very special gift for anyone. you can play around with the citrus choices--buddha's hand, blood orange, and pommelo are all a bit out of the ordinary, and could be wonderful. don't reduce the sugar amount too much, though, or your jam might not set.

and if you really want to be like jt, find someone to letterpress your labels for you.


june taylor's grapefruit-and-meyer-lemon marmalade
(from the nyt)

5 pounds grapefruit, rinsed
5 meyer lemons or small regular lemons, rinsed
1/2 cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 additional lemons)
2 1/2 pounds sugar.

1. remove the grapefruit skin with a vegetable peeler. cut the peel into 1/8-inch slivers; stop when you have 3/4 cup. discard the rest. slice off the ends of the grapefruit and the remaining grapefruit peel and pith. remove grapefruit segments, reserving membrane. stop when you have 5 cups of segments.

2. cut the ends off the meyer lemons, deep enough so you can see the flesh. leaving the peel on, remove the segments of lemon and reserve the membrane. cut the segments crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. put membranes from the grapefruit and meyer lemons in a jelly bag and tie closed.

3. in a wide and deep pot, combine the grapefruit segments, grapefruit peel, lemon pieces and jelly bag. add lemon juice and 2 1/2 cups water. simmer until the grapefruit peel is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. let cool.

4. preheat the oven to 225 degrees. working over a bowl in your sink, squeeze the liquid from the jelly bag; keep squeezing and wringing it out until you extract 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pectin. add pectin and sugar to the pot. place over high heat and boil, stirring now and then, until marmalade is between 222 and 225 degrees and passes the plate test. (spoon a little onto a plate and put in the fridge for 3 minutes. if it thickens like jam, it is done.)

5. meanwhile, put 6 sterilized 8-ounce canning jars and lids on a baking sheet and place in the oven. when jam is done, remove jars from the oven. ladle jam into the jars, filling them as high as possible. wipe the rims. fasten the lid tightly. let cool. if you don't get a vacuum seal, refrigerate the jam. makes 6 8-ounce jars of marmalade.

weck--european canning jars

sks bottle--a great selection of jam jars

june taylor jams--if you're too lazy to make the jam yourself. you can also try blue chair fruit or we love jam.

lehman's--more european canning jars

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