10:25:00 AM
It's citrus time here in California as the weather for the winter brings out the sweetness of the oranges, lemons and limes. The need for more diverse recipes to use those oranges and still preserve them has me headed back to my books to find new and different ideas.

I have a ton of requests for anything but canning marmalade and I find with the spring harvest and the amount of jams and jellies already in the pantry many canners are looking elsewhere. I wanted to also make sure that I stayed true to preservation so some basic uses for the orange in our household and garden are included as tips. 

The first recipe will be for those that still want to make a delicious marmalade and get a few jars in the pantry. The versatility of a marmalade is that you don't have to put in the rind if you don't like that "chewy" bite just by boiling down the rind with the water to extract the pectin and remove them before adding the rest of the ingredients. The consistency is now more of a jam but I won't tell!

Orchard Orange Marmalade

10 medium Navel and Juicing Oranges 
4 cups sugar
6 cups water
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

Orange prep:
1. Peeling Orange with Potato Peeler
2. White Pith needs to be removed
Using a (1) potato peeler, peel the outside of each of the oranges and set the peels aside. When you have completed the entire peeling, remove all the (2)white part of the orange, which is called the “pith”, so that you can see the (3)flesh to segment the oranges. You can cut the orange in half width wise and separate the segments in smaller sections being careful to get rid of seeds and any of the membrane or internal white parts as you can. Once you have segmented the oranges into a bowl cut the peels into a (4) fine julienne or small strips and add 1 cup of them to the bowl as well.

3. Peel or cut down to the flesh
4. Julienne the rind
In a dutch oven or heavy stainless pot, add the oranges and peels, sugar and water. Leave overnight to pre-soften the rinds and infuse the sugar.

 The next day place the dutch oven on the stove and begin simmering the recipe till it comes to a slow boil. Continue to cook for 30 minutes and stir frequently. You will see that the orange segments will start to break down in the pot and the mixture will become thicker for the spoon to stir. After 30 minutes add the lemon juice and continue to cook to get to 220 degrees on a candy thermometer or gel test using a plate in the freezer.  Turn off the heat and drop a tablespoon of the recipe on the cold plate, wait one minute, if you turn the plate upside down and the mixture is solid and you push your finger through and it "wrinkles" the mixture is set to be canned.

Ladle mixture into half pint jars and water bath for 15 minutes. When you remove your jars from the water bath they may take a few days to completely set. 

Next is a Sunshine Citrus Dessert Sauce from the Big Ball Book. You can make this recipe using Clementine’s, tangerines, mandarins and other small varieties of the orange citrus fruit family which are suitable for this lightly spiced, versatile fruit dessert. Use it as a sauce spooned over cake or ice cream.

Sunshine Citrus Dessert Sauce

9 cups prepared clementine, honey tangerines, Mandarin or small oranges, about 4 lb
1/4 cups granulated sugar 
1/3 cup orange juice 
1/4 cup liquid honey 
from hedonisticlemonbars.blogspot.com
3 25-cent sized pieces peeled gingerroot

Place 7 clean half pint jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set rings aside. Heat lids in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.

Peel fruit; remove white pith and any seeds from each segment. Measure 9 cups prepared segments; set aside.
Combine sugar, orange juice, honey, gingerroot and cinnamon stick in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil; stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add citrus segments to saucepan; return to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Discard gingerroot pieces and cinnamon stick.

Pack fruit into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch of top rim. Add hot syrup to cover fruit to within 1/2 inch of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more fruit and hot syrup. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot lid on clean jar rim. Screw ring down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining fruit and hot syrup.

When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes. When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours.

For the next recipe you will use the juice only of the orange to create a luscious syrup that can be used for breakfast, dinner or dessert. This was an adaptation using Clear Jel instead of corn syrup and I still achieved a great consistency.

Orange Syrup - 
Yield: 2 half pints
 2 cup orange juice
4tablespoons honey
5 teaspoons Clear jel
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan stir together orange juice, honey, Clear Jel, and cinnamon. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
Ladle into two half pint jars leaving ½” headspace. Wipe rims and add hot lids/rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes at a full rolling boil. 
When ready to serve heat syrup for pancakes or waffles for breakfast, on chicken or pork for dinner or on crepes or over ice cream for dessert. 

Now that you have made the marmalade here are two quick simple sauces using your jars to make a Savory Orange Sauce and Orange Glaze that would be wonderful on chicken, duck, fish, and possibly as a great spread on chicken salad sandwiches.

Savory Orange Sauce - (Picture to follow)
         1 (10-ounce) jar orange marmalade
    1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, stirring well. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Here is an Orange Glaze for fish from The Culinary Couple also using your own marmalade.

Orange Glaze

1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons white rice vinegar (or other white vinegar)
1 lb cod (or haddock or salmon)

Whisk together marmalade, oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and vinegar in a small bowl. Heat cast iron
skillet or grill pan over medium heat on stove top. Brush glaze onto each side of fish;
cook about 5 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.
Those of you with a bit of patience can work the process of candying your orange, lemon or lime rinds. Here is a recipe from Diana who attended a workshop from Winnetka
Farms that you can do with or without dipping them in chocolate.

Candied Orange Peel Dipped in Chocolate
(from Winnetka Farms)

4 large navel oranges
Picture from www.closetcooking.com
3 cups granulated sugar
2 T corn syrup
1 cup water
1 cup chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate, according to taste
2 cups of superfine sugar to roll peels in

Using a knife, cut the top and bottom of oranges off, cut cut 3/4" wide strips of orange peel from each orange. Don’t bother scraping the pith off - by the time these are cooked in syrup and sugared, any bitterness will be mellowed and a lot of the flavor will come from the pith. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and simmer the orange peels for 10 minutes. Drain the peels, rinse them with cold water, and boil them in fresh water for an additional 10 minutes. Repeat once more, for a total of three times.

Bring the sugar, corn syrup and water to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan and stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced in volume just a bit, about five minutes. Add the orange peels and continue simmering the mixture until the peels are translucent, about 45 minutes. Transfer the candied peel to a wire drying rack and allow it to sit undisturbed overnight or until dry.

When peels are dry, roll them in superfine sugar. Toss and rub to get the sugar over the entire surface, and to make sure there are no globs of sugar. Let dry overnight and roll/rub in more sugar. (Sift sugar and store in airtight container; it can be reused for more candying or where sugar that has a slight citrus taste would be useful.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip 2/3 of the length of each candied orange strip in the chocolate, leaving 1/3 of the peel exposed, and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow the chocolate to set before serving. Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

For other great ideas for oranges to use rather than compost all the rind:

Cats and Potted Plants
Orange peels can be used to keep cats from eating your houseplants. Take an orange peel and rub down the leaves of your houseplants at least once a month. Put orange peels on the surface of the soil in your potted plants as well. Cats dislike the smell of citrus and they will leave your plants alone.

Cleaning Marble
Oranges can be used to safely clean marble surfaces. Cut an orange in half and dip it lightly into a dish of salt. Scrub the surface of the marble with the salted orange. Rinse the marble thoroughly with water and dry.

Disposal Smelly?
A few oranges will clean and freshen your garbage disposal. Just cut a few oranges into quarters and run them through the disposal and it will smell great.

Repel the Picnic Pests
An orange can keep flies away from your garbage or picnic. Just rub the surface of the skin from an orange with a cheese grater and place the orange in the area you want to keep flies away from. The scent of the orange will repel the flies.

 Refreshing Scent in the house
Orange peels can be boiled in a saucepan on the stove with a few cloves and will fill your home with a delightfulscent. If you place a piece of orange peel in your bag of brown sugar the sugar will stay soft.

Dried orange peels can be used in potpourri, homemade bath oils in decorative bottles, and decorations in dried flower arrangements.
Use for kindling
Dried orange and lemon peels are a far superior choice for use as kindling than newspaper. Not only do they smell better and produce less creosote than newspaper, but the flammable oils found inside the peels enable them to burn much longer than paper.

Make a pomander
Pomanders have been used for centuries to fill small spaces with a delightful fragrance as well as to combat moths. They are also incredibly easy to make: Take a bunch of cloves and stick them into an orange, covering the whole surface. That’s it.  Now suspend your pomander using a piece of string, twine, or monofilament fishing line inside a closet or cupboard, and it will keep the space smelling fresh for years.

Apply as mosquito repellent
If you’re not crazy about the idea of rubbing onions all over yourself to keep away mosquitoes, you may be happy to know that you can often get similar results by rubbing fresh orange or lemon peels over your exposed skin. It’s said that mosquitoes and gnats are totally repulsed by either scent.

Show ants the door
Get rid of the ants in your garden, on your patio, and along the foundation of your home. In a blender, make a smooth puree of a few orange peels in 1 cup warm water. Slowly pour the solution over and into anthills to send the little pests packing.

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