January 20, 2011

Jam Slam: Beekeeper's Marmalade

3c orange peels + 3c honey-H2O : 3c juice + 3c sugar
With a top bar hive, crush-and-strain is the standard method of extracting honey from the wax comb. The crushed comb is covered in honey, so it must be rinsed in order to be useful in making soap, lotions, candles, etc. Being super-recyclers, the rinse water does not go down the drain in our household. The honey water can be used to make lemonade or iced tea, mead, and now marmalade.

Searching the Internet yielded many recipes, some simple, most complicated. So I decided to keep it simple with my Beekeeper's Marmalade recipe. It simply calls for honey-water, orange peels, juice and sugar in equal parts, tant-pour-tant. Soak the peels in the honey-water overnight, then cook with the juice and sugar 'til it gels. I brought mine to 209°F (7°F above boiling) and it took about an hour to cook. (If you're not a beekeeper and don't have honey-water, you can use regular water instead. Note that tant-pour-tant is about half the amount of sugar most recipes call for, so your marmalade may not be sweet enough to offset the bitterness of the citrus peels. Add more sugar to taste.)

Three pounds of blood oranges yielded 8 half-pints, one jar per orange. The hinged LeParfaits are for immediate consumption. (My fave so far was in a Szechuan Beef Stir Fry, but toast is so much easier to make.) The other 5 were boiling-water processed for a shelf-life of about a year, year-and-a-half. After all, that's the whole point of preserving... to save and then savor a limited availability item any time you want.

Be it blood oranges or Meyer lemons, what short-season fruit will you preserve? Whatever it may be, be sure to enter it in @romanapartment's 52 Weeks, 52 Jams Challenge: Are you really the Jam Overlord? Prove it! Add your blog to Jam Slam 2011


Phillip said...

This is a great idea. Summer 2011 will be my first for harvesting any honey. I have a couple of Langstroth hives, but the honey supers will be foundationless and I'll be crushing and straining. And I'll be saving the honey water. Thanks.

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