Pressure canning is a great way to preserve the flavor and freshness of fruits and vegetables. One of the delicious foods you can prepare using a pressure canner is orange marmalade. Orange marmalade is a sweet and tangy spread made from oranges, sugar, and sometimes other ingredients like lemon juice or ginger. Pressure canning orange marmalade is a simple and effective way to ensure that you have a steady supply of this delicious treat on hand. The process involves boiling the marmalade in jars to create a vacuum seal that prevents bacteria and other microorganisms from spoiling the food. This method allows you to enjoy your homemade orange marmalade for months, or even years, after it’s been made.
Why should you use a pressure canner for Pressure Canning Orange Marmalade?
You should use a pressure canner for pressure canning orange marmalade to ensure that it is properly preserved and safe to eat. The high temperature and pressure in a pressure canner are necessary to destroy any harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium botulinum, that can cause foodborne illness. Orange marmalade has a low acid content and can support the growth of bacteria if not properly processed. Using a pressure canner ensures that the marmalade is heated to a temperature that kills any potential pathogens and creates a vacuum seal that prevents the growth of new bacteria. Additionally, using a pressure canner reduces the risk of jars breaking during processing and helps to maintain the quality and flavor of the marmalade.
How to make Pressure Canning Orange Marmalade in a pressure canner
Here’s a basic recipe for making pressure-canned orange marmalade:
- 3 pounds oranges
- 6 cups water
- 6 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Pressure canner
- Canning jars with lids and rings
- Large pot
- Jar lifter
- Canning funnel
- Kitchen thermometer
- Wash the oranges thoroughly and remove any stickers or dirt. Cut them into quarters and remove any seeds or tough parts. Slice the oranges thinly and set aside.
- In a large pot, combine the sliced oranges and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice to the pot and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to simmer the mixture for another 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and reaches a temperature of 220°F (104°C) on a kitchen thermometer.
- Meanwhile, prepare your canning jars, lids, and rings according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Using a ladle and canning funnel, carefully fill the hot jars with the hot marmalade mixture, leaving about 1/4 inch of headspace.
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place the lids and rings on top, tightening the rings until they are snug but not overly tight.
- Place the filled jars in the pressure canner, following the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific canner model and your altitude. Be sure to use the recommended pressure and processing time for your altitude.
- Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool down naturally. Do not try to open the canner or remove the jars until the pressure has returned to zero and the canner has cooled completely.
- Use a jar lifter to carefully remove the jars from the canner and place them on a clean, dry towel to cool. Do not move or disturb the jars for at least 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, check the seals on the jars by pressing down on the center of the lids. If the lids do not pop up and down, the jars are properly sealed and can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
Note: This recipe can be easily adjusted to your taste. You can add spices like ginger or cinnamon, or use other citrus fruits like grapefruit or lemon. Just be sure to adjust the sugar and acid levels accordingly to ensure safe preservation.
Tips for making Pressure Canning Orange Marmalade in a pressure canner
Here are some tips to ensure success when pressure canning orange marmalade:
- Use high-quality ingredients: Choose fresh, high-quality oranges for the best flavor and texture in your marmalade. Use fresh lemon juice, as it helps to increase the acidity of the mixture and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Follow the recipe carefully: Make sure to follow the recipe closely and measure all ingredients accurately. Changes in the amount of sugar, acid, or pectin can affect the set of the marmalade and its shelf life.
- Sterilize your equipment: Ensure that all your canning jars, lids, and rings are sterilized and free of cracks or defects. Sterilize the jars and equipment in boiling water or in the dishwasher before use.
- Maintain proper processing pressure and time: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pressure canner model and adjust processing time according to your altitude. Failure to maintain proper pressure and processing time can result in under-processed jars that can spoil or be unsafe to eat.
- Leave adequate headspace: Leave the recommended amount of headspace in the jars to allow for proper expansion during processing and to prevent siphoning.
- Release pressure gradually: After processing, allow the pressure canner to cool down gradually and do not try to open the canner or remove the jars until the pressure has returned to zero and the canner has cooled completely. Rapid changes in temperature can cause jars to break or fail to seal.
- Store jars properly: Store the cooled, sealed jars in a cool, dry, and dark place. Label each jar with the date and contents, and check the seals regularly. If a jar has not sealed properly, refrigerate it immediately and use within a few days.
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