Summers are a particularly busy time of year here at Manning Canning. Farmer's Markets start, festival and shows pick up momentum and of course Ontario produce becomes available so you can find us in the kitchen preserving the harvest on the regular. In addition to that, I have been flying back to Alberta on a more regular basis to spend time with my mom who has been undergoing chemotherapy. It's been a balancing act finding time for all of the demands of summer and sometimes something has to give. Since May - that has been the time I have been able to spend writing, sharing and posting here.
But what doesn't tend to slip off the list is the time I spend experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, techniques and of course developing new products for Manning Canning.
When I was out with my mom in February and her appetite happened to be at an all time low, I found myself flipping through some of her recipe books looking for inspiration for things I could make and fill her freezer with for when I was gone. One book in particular grabbed my attention and as I was looking through it's pages, it was impossible for me not to linger on the section titled 'Preserves'. I took photos of a few recipes that grabbed my attention and I made a note in my calendar when I expected the Ontario produce used in these recipes to be in season.
So when peach season arrived, I consulted my photos and began to play around with a recipe that I thought would be the perfect Ode to Canada 150.
Canada 150 marmalade
12 Bosc Pears
12 Macintosh Apples
Organic Cane Sugar
Start by washing and juicing your lemons and your oranges. Then shred your peel finely and cover with water and soak overnight.
The next day drain the water from the peel and combine the peel with the orange and lemon juice. Peel your pears, apples and peaches and cut up all the fruit. Once complete add to the orange mixture.
For each cup of fruit and liquid, add 1 cup of sugar and combine. In a large non-reactive pot over low heat, stir until the sugar fully dissolves and then turn the heat to medium high. Stirring on a regular basis continue to cook until mixture thickens. This will take anywhere between 1 hour to an hour and a half. I found the larger the bottom surface of your pot, the less amount of time this took.
Once it has achieved set (Personally, I prefer the spoon test to determine if I have achieved set.. This gives me the closest relationship with the marmalade. This may sound strange, but I think this is important. When I can see the consistency of the marmalade beginning to change and I think I am getting close to set, I dip my spoon in every 5 minutes or so and check on how the drops are falling off the spoon. I find this visual way of checking gives me the ability to achieve the set I prefer), turn off heat and let the marmalade sit for 5-10 minutes before putting it into jars. Stirring occassionally.
Ladle into previously sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace and process in your water bath for 10 minutes. This recipe yields 12-14, 250ml jars.