Orange, Pomelo, Lemon and Ginger Preserves

January 7th, 2010  |  Published in All, Fantastic Fruits, Farming, Gardening, & Food Preservation, Ginger, Lemon, Most Popular, Orange, Preserves and Pickles, Succulent Spices, Weekend Projects  |  18 Comments

Citrus Preserves

Yesterday I inaugurated my new canning equipment — a huge 12 quart stockpot, a canning funnel, a magnetic lid lifter, and a bright red rubber coated jar lifter.  Joy!  Granted, I actually received most of this for Christmas last year, but since I didn’t envision myself doing much canning in Germany, I packed everything away in storage and forgot about it for a year.

But, now I am back in San Francisco and getting settled into ‘life as normal’, whatever that means.  One of the things that signifies ‘life as normal’ is being settled enough that I feel like embarking on culinary adventures.  Homemade tofu, jelly, pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, and sausage are the sorts of things I am talking about here — things you can easily buy at the grocery store, but sometimes are just fun to make from scratch because 1) seeing the process is interesting, and 2) the results are often more unique and flavorful than their store bought counterparts.  When things are up in the air or unsettled, the farthest thing from my mind is making something like tofu from scratch, but I can tell when I have finally settled in somewhere because I typically develop the urge to make sausage, pickle something, or cook up some marmalade.

Such is the case now… finally!  sigh of relief that our move is over…

This recipe is adapted from Christine Ferber’s beautiful and imaginative book, Mes Confitures.  Divided by season, this volume focused entirely on unusual preserves and jellies is the jam maker’s dream.  There are SO many things I want to try out of here.  Judging from the fantastic results of my first foray into her book, I expect great things from her other recipes.  A few of the standouts that I plan to make are: Pineapple with Vanilla and Rosemary, Banana with Bittersweet Chocolate, Clementine with Lemon and Cinnamon, Kumquat with Apple and Grapefruit, and Praline Milk Jam to name a very few (and these are just from the ‘Winter’ section!).

This both is and is not a great book for beginners — to me it feels a little like reading through a grandmother’s notes — scant detail, few instructions regarding proper sterilization methods, no tips on how to tell when the jam is set, etc.– but on the other hand it has so many wonderful and imaginative recipes that are sure to inspire the beginning preserver.  Also, there is no packaged pectin to be found in any of her recipes!  For low pectin fruits, Ms. Ferber calls for the addition of green apples or pectin-rich homemade Green Apple Jelly.  I really like this aspect of the book, as I have always felt a little put off by those strange little packages of powdered pectin one buys at the grocery store.  Call me crazy and old-fashioned, but they just don’t feel natural to me.  Her approach is truly ‘from scratch’, and instead of being daunting, I think it actually demystifies the whole process of making preserves (i.e. no magic powders…)

Anyhow, these preserves of orange, pomelo, lemon, and ginger are a wonderful mixture of sweet, bitter, sour, and spicy.  So far my favorite thing to do with it is stir it into plain yogurt.  It’s also tasty on toast or stirred into oatmeal.  Ms. Ferber recommends mixing these preserves into fromage blanc, which I am sure would be delicious as well.  As with so many things, the final result depends heavily on the quality of the ingredients you use.  Citrus is in prime season right now, so try to buy the ingredients at your local farmer’s market.  You will get fruit that is flavorful, perfectly ripe, and truly in season.

Do you make preserves? do you have any favorite recipes?  I’d love to hear them.

Citrus and Sugar
Essential ingredients: citrus and sugar

Citrus and Sugar brought to a boil
Bring mixture to a boil, then refrigerate several hours

Preserves around 200 degrees
Notice the foamy bubbles — these preserves are not set  yet

Preserves nearly set
See how the bubbles have changed? They are less foamy now.  These preserves are nearly set (set point is ~220 degrees F)

Orange, Pomelo, Lemon and Ginger Preserves
Adapted from Christine Ferber’s Mes Confitures
makes a scant 6 cups

1 3/4 lb oranges (800 g), or 1 lb 2 oz (500g) net (cara-cara oranges are delicious here)
2 lb pomelos, or 1 lb 2 oz (500g) net (or substitute grapefruits to follow Ms. Ferber’s original recipe)
2 lemons
3 3/4 c. (800 g) sugar
11 oz (300g) candied ginger, finely chopped

Peel the oranges and pomelo, removing all the white with the rind.  Slice the fruit into rounds a little less than 1/2 inch thick.  Remove the seeds and cut the slices into quarters.  Rinse and brush the lemons under cold water and cut them in very thin slices, removing the seeds as you go.  In a preserving pan (5 qt is a good size), combine the citrus fruits, sugar, and ginger.  Bring to a simmer, then turn the preparation into a bowl.  Cover with a round of parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Pour the mixture into a preserving pan and bring to a boil, stirring gently.  Skim and continue cooking on high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring continuously.  Check the set.  Put the jam into jars immediately and seal.

This post is part of Food Renegade‘s Fight Back Fridays!

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  1. denise says:

    January 7th, 2010at 7:59 pm(#)

    This looks fantastic as do the other recipes you mentioned from the book. I’m inspired, but still have way too many jams-in-waiting. What to do, what to do…

  2. Jen says:

    January 7th, 2010at 8:04 pm(#)

    denise — the only thing to do seems to be to start making jam! :) if you are interested we could do a jam swap??

  3. Christy says:

    January 7th, 2010at 9:08 pm(#)

    I don’t can but have often wondered what we did “before the packets of pectin” I am glad to know the healthier way! Someday I will can – just not this day! I wish had some of your preserves now, they sound yum!

  4. Kelly says:

    January 8th, 2010at 7:59 am(#)

    I love this. It epidomizes what I enjoy about your blog and I think you summed it up nicely in your prose. I love that you make so many things that most people would just buy at the store. However, it’s definitely worth it to make it yourself because the flavor combinations are limitless.

  5. denise says:

    January 8th, 2010at 9:58 am(#)

    Once I make a new jam I’d love to do a swap. I really want to try something from the Winter section of this book. It looks great!

  6. Erin says:

    January 8th, 2010at 2:31 pm(#)

    I did a lot of preserves when we lived on Long Island. Blueberry shallot chutney was always a favorite. I also did blackberry jalepeno, strawberry lemon zest, raspberry anise, pear cardamom, tomato brown sugar ginger and anise, peach clove and peach mint. I haven’t done any since we left there a year and a half ago. I had no room in Seattle and I guess have just been lazy about it since moving here. I think you’ve just inspired me to take it up again.

  7. Jen says:

    January 9th, 2010at 9:51 am(#)

    Christy – you should definitely try canning! especially jams and pickles… I haven’t yet found the motivation to make plain canned vegetables and fruits, but the extra zing of jellies and pickles keeps me excited. You might check out The Joy of Pickling for good (and sometimes unusual) pickle recipes (all sorts of pickles, not just cucumbers)

    Kelly — that’s a really nice thing to say! I always appreciate your thoughtful comments!

    denise — a swap would be fantastic! Let me know when you’ve cooked up some new preserves!

    Erin — those combinations sound amazing! cardamom is one of my favorite spices, so I am particularly drawn to the pear cardamom one you mentioned — is the recipe on your blog? want to participate in denise’ and my jam swap?

  8. Rhea says:

    January 10th, 2010at 8:33 pm(#)

    This looks so delicious! And it’s neat how you showed the progression from a mess of fruit and sugar to a smooth jam.

  9. Erin says:

    January 12th, 2010at 9:57 am(#)

    It’s not, the last time I made that one in particular I didn’t have a blog! I will recreate it one of these days and we will have to do a swap.

  10. Jen says:

    January 14th, 2010at 9:47 am(#)

    Rhea — Thanks for commenting! I am glad you like the pictures. The first couple of times I made jam I wished I had a better guide (I sort of followed the ‘seat of the pants’ approach), so I hope the photos are helpful

    Erin — please do recreate it!! also, do you think your chutney would work with dried elderberries? I dried a bunch in 2008, and they are just sitting in my cabinet waiting to be used for something…

  11. Erin says:

    January 21st, 2010at 7:46 am(#)

    You know, I have never had an elderberry. If the flavor profile is similar I am sure it would work. I actually use fresh blueberries for the chutney, not exactly textbook, but delicious. I paired it with shallots, lime zest (I think, could have been orange) and balsamic. It is really fantastic on grilled duck.

  12. denise says:

    January 21st, 2010at 7:44 pm(#)

    I have the book! I’m admiring the Orange with Earl Grey Tea. I’ll try not to procrastinate for too long…

  13. eliz says:

    April 4th, 2010at 3:51 pm(#)

    Looks so good! I will have to check out that book. I’ve been attempting to make marmalade. Meyer lemon and 3 citrus. Hit and miss for me, some batches are too firm, some too loose, some okay. I need a new thermometer, do you have one that you’re happy with? What kind is it? Thank you!

  14. eliz says:

    April 4th, 2010at 5:15 pm(#)

    I just noticed there is no added water in this recipe. Different than every other marmalade recipe I’ve tried. What was the finished consistency of these preserves like?

  15. Jen says:

    April 6th, 2010at 10:30 am(#)

    eliz – thanks for commenting!
    I don’t have a specific thermometer I recommend — I am actually still looking for ‘the one’ as well! I wouldn’t recommend something glass though since I did have the unfortunate experience of having one break in a batch of preserves — I had to throw the whole thing out!

    As for the consistency, these preserves are fairly thick, i.e. you can stand a spoon in it, but they are certainly still very spreadable/spoonable. As for having no water, most of Christine Ferber’s jams do not call for any (sometimes juice though). I highly recommend her book too — it’s definitely worth checking out.

  16. deva says:

    November 9th, 2010at 6:51 am(#)

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I just bought my first pomelo EVA’ and am shopping around for jam recipes. This looks gorgeous!

  17. Jen says:

    November 9th, 2010at 10:18 am(#)

    deva – you are welcome! I absolutely love the book ‘Mes Confitures’ for jam inspiration — beautiful pictures, imaginative flavor combinations — it’s definitely worth picking up. If you make this, I hope you enjoy it!

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