Pineapple and orange marmalade

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I know, I know. Spring is officially here, both by the calendar and the weather. There’s even some asparagus in my fridge, and it’s back onto my list of grocery store must-buys. But I can’t wait until next January to share this recipe for pineapple-orange marmalade when your grocery bags are bursting with citrus, although I just did some research on pineapple, and it’s actually in season right now– typically from March until July. So I take back any of the regrets I had about sharing something with ingredients that aren’t exactly in season– this is really perfect timing to make this marmalade!

Pineapple is easily my favorite fruit. It is so juicy and sweet while also being a bit tart. I love plain pineapple chunks, pineapple salsas, pineapple juices, and even pineapple casseroles. So I naturally knew that pineapple marmalade would be a slam dunk. And then when I noticed that it had some orange, too, I instantly was reminded of my beloved Welch’s orange and pineapple juice that I had in my childhood lunchbox. That juice was the best.

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The first time that I made this jam, I stayed with the recipe. I added candied ginger, and I used less orange. It was good, but I knew that I’d like it more if it were more reminiscent of the orange-pineapple drink and if I omitted the ginger. So I did that, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

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This marmalade is versatile. It’s great on toast, swirled into yogurt, and served over cream cheese with crackers. I don’t have a grill, but it’d be great to use as a baste for fish or chicken while grilling and even baking, imparting a sweet, tropical flavor. I’m sure I’ll find some other uses, but even if I don’t, I’m happy eating it by the spoonful for dessert– it’s really that good.

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Pineapple-orange marmalade
adapted from Ready for Dessert
makes about 5 cups
five-stars

 

Note: This is also pretty good with candied ginger (the original recipe has ginger and less orange). I just don’t like ginger very much. Toss in six tablespoon of finely chopped candied ginger at the end of step BLANK. You can also just add a smaller amount after putting some of the marmalade in jars, so you get half with ginger and half without.

David Lebovitz says that this will keep for at least 6 months in the fridge.

The first time I made this jam, it set fabulously because I did the wrinkle test (explained below). The second time I made it, it didn’t completely set (as you can tell in some of the pictures). That’s completely my fault– I was impatient and didn’t feel like doing the wrinkle test for a tenth time (because I kept testing it before the thermometer hit 220F). Learn from me– you can do the wrinkle test the first time around 218F, but then wait until it reaches 220 to try again. You may need to do it a third or fourth time, but by being patient, you’ll make it perfectly.

 

1 large pineapple, peeled, eyes removed, cored and cut into small, ¼ inch cubes
2 oranges, preferably organic, quartered, sliced as thinly as possible, and chopped into ¼ inch slices
10 cups water
5 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum, optional

 

1. Put the chopped pineapple and oranges into a large, at least 6 quart, Dutch oven. Cover with the water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let cool for at least two hours, or up to overnight.

2. Mix the sugar into the fruit mixture, and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Bring the fruit to a boil over medium high to high heat, and cook until the mixture reaches the jelling point, about 220F to 222F. To ensure that the marmalade has set, do the wrinkle test:
Before making the jam, stick a plate or two in the freezer. Once you think that the jam may be ready, turn off the heat and put a spoonful on a frozen plate. Return the plate to the freezer. After a couple of minutes, nudge the jam with your finger. If there’s a wrinkle, it’s ready.

3. Stir in the rum, and then ladle the marmalade into jars. Twist on the lids, and let the marmalade cool. Store in the refrigerator.

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