Monday, December 12, 2011

money for jam

For River’s kinder Christmas fair it was my job to make marmalade to sell. I turned to a trusty Women’s Weekly cookbook for the recipe because the book’s recipes are triple tested so even though I’d never made marmalade I could count on it working it out. I hoped.

I turned a blind eye to the incredible amount of sugar it takes to make jam. There is fantastic profit to be made from jam, hence the adage ‘money for jam’. Oranges and lemons were donated, as were the jars, the only expense was the organic raw sugar.

Wow. Making marmalade is labor intensive! For the uninitiated, there is a lot of rind peeling and fine slicing to be done. It is somehow meditative though, even with River and Sol at my heels asking for snacks and games to be sorted.

After the slicing and chopping came the ‘stewing’ of rind, pulp, sugar and water until boiling and ready to set. I love testing to see if it is ready to set, a spoon of hot marmalade on a saucer out of the freezer. If it sets with a ‘skin’ it’s ready.

While the jam bubbled on the stove-top, the jars and lids were sterilizing in the oven below.

It was time to fill the jars.

The whole process was immensely satisfying. And profitable.

I’d love to hear about homemade creations that have been successful for fundraising for your child’s kinder or school.

A jar of home made jam or chutney makes a wonderful Christmas gift because you made it! If you’re feeling inspired here’s the recipe I used. I varied it though as I didn’t have limes and I used raw sugar and it worked out fine.

Citrus Marmalade

4 large oranges (1.2kg)
3 medium lemons (420g)
4 large limes (400g)
1.25 litres (5 cups) water
1.6kg (7 cups) white sugar approximately

Step 1: Peel all fruit thinly; cut rind into thin strips. Remove pith from all fruit; reserve half, discard remaining pith. Chop flesh coarsely, reserve seeds.
Step 2: Combine flesh and rind in large bowl with the water. Tie reserved pith and seeds in a piece of muslin tied with kitchen string; add to bowl. Stand at room temperature overnight.
Step 3: Place fruit mixture and muslin bag in large saucepan; bring to the boil. Simmer covered, 25 minutes or until rind is soft. Discard bag.
Step 4: Measure fruit mixture; allow 1 cup (220g) sugar for each cup of mixture. Return mixture and sugar to pan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Boil, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until marmalade sets when tested on a cold saucer.
Step 5: Pour into hot sterilised jars; seal immediately.

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