Tips on Setting Point for Marmalades and Preserving Pointers

With my recent marmalade making I thought it would be a good idea to include some pointers on setting point and water canners for preserving if you are going to keep your kitchen warm during this cold month! Check out my blog for a tasty blood orange marmalade recipe you are gonna love too.

Setting Point
To test for setting point, put 2 small plates in the freezer before boiling marmalade. As marmalade nears its setting point, it thickens, clears and bubbles noisily. 

To test, take pan off heat; dribble a small spoonful onto cold plate. Let cool; run tip of fork through marmalade. If surface wrinkles, marmalade will set. If not, return plate to freezer and pan to heat to continue boiling. Repeat test every 2 or 3 minutes until set, using coldest plate. 

Here’s a tip. As well, check the surface of marmalade in pan when it’s off heat during test; a very thin film forming on top shows that marmalade is setting. It will wrinkle too.

Preserving Tips:Buy jars specifically designed for preserving, available in supermarkets and house ware stores such as Canadian Tire. Stock up on preserving jar lids as a new one is needed each time a preserving jar is used. Wash and air-dry jars.

A large blue or black boiling water canner equipped with rack is ideal for heating jars before filling, and boiling filled jars to ensure safe storage. These canners are available at hardware stores and some cookware stores, and retailer such as Canadian Tire. Before boiling marmalade, fill canner about two-thirds with water. Add jars, cover and heat to steaming. 
No canner? Improvise with large deep pot with rack in bottom.

Warm lids in hot water for 5 minutes before sealing jars. Check that bands are clean, unbent and rust-free.

To fill jars, remove from hot water; set upright on tray. Fill, ideally using wide funnel and 1/2 cup (125 ml) metal measuring cup. Leave recommended headspace; wipe rim if marmalade has dribbled onto it.
Centre lid on each jar; screw on band until resistance is met, tighten without straining.
Lower filled jars into steaming water in canner; add enough boiling water to cover jars by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Cover, bring to boil; time boiling from this point.
Turn off heat; uncover and let water in canner subside. Raise rack and transfer jars to rack to cool.
Wide curved canning tongs that grip jars securely are the safest way to move jars to and from canner.
If lid of any jar (and this is extremely rare if new lids and preserving jars are used) does not snap down, refrigerate jar and use contents within 3 weeks.


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