I have made marmalades three different times with mixed levels of disaster: Once, a clementine marmalade which never set up, despite my use of pectin. It was so liquidy that I marketed it to my friends as orangey goodness sauce. I made a grapefruit marmalade that was a bit better but saucy nonetheless. And now, this rhubarb marmalade that is decidedly un-saucy but for whatever reason separated in the jars so the rhubarb floated to the top and the jelly settled on the bottom.
I almost didn't post this out of canning shame but the way I see it, nothing is ever perfect, it tastes super good, and it actually looks kind of cool all layered and wrong in the jars. Oh well. I hand the jars to my devoted friends and say "just stir it, ok?"
For 8 half-pint jars:
- 3½ cups finely chopped rhubarb
- 3 oranges
- 1 large lemon
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 7 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 packet liquid pectin
Wash the oranges and lemon well. Slice off the peels with a sharp paring knife avoiding the pith and then cut the peel into thin strips or use a citrus zester. Set the peels aside. Cut off the pithy part of the fruit, and then cut out each citrus segment. Set aside.
In a large, 8 quart pot, combine the peels, water, and rhubarb. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the reserved citrus segments and sugar and stir constantly over medium heat until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and butter. Turn the heat to medium-high and stirring constantly, let the mixture come to a full, rolling boil. Quickly squeeze in the pectin, and stir briskly for one minute. Take the pot off the heat and set a timer for 5 minutes. Each minute, stir the mixture gently to distribute the fruit throughout the jelly.
Ladle the jam into the prepared, hot, sterilized jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. For detailed canning and sterilization procedures, click here.