A little while ago I was lucky enough to take part in a very hands-on preserving class thanks to Ball in the Kangaroo Valley. It’s a tragedy, only last week I finished the last of the beautiful Lavender Jam I made in the class. Before the trip, I’m not going to lie, I thought the process might be quite fussy and laborious. Wrong! Canning and preserving is so easy, and as I discovered—lots of fun.
Speaking of fun, after getting back from a month (a whole month!) in the US this year, SilverFox and I have been pickle crazy. We just couldn’t get enough of them on our trip, and coming home we couldn’t find any store bought pickles that tasted as good.
So, about six months ago, I started my very own veggie patch and now I have plenty of pickings to try out over the Summer break. I discovered there is so much you can pickle, make into jam and preserve. I’m really looking forward to getting adventurous and trying my hand at pickling watermelon rinds and say, a jalapeno jam!
I’M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING ADVENTUROUS AND TRYING MY HAND AN PICKLING WATERMELON RINDS, AND SAY, A JALAPENO JAM!
If you’re just starting out, to make life easier, I’d recommend picking up a Ball Deluxe Home Preserving Kit. You get a stainless steel Waterbath with a glass lid, a preserving rack, 6 Ball jars and an essential utensil kit. (And it really is essential, they’ve got a specially designed set of tongs, to help you lift the jars out of the water!) Or, say if you’re just interested in seeing if pickling takes your fancy, they also have a Ball Home Preserving Starter Kit that you can buy too. You can check out the full range, here.
Today, I’m sharing a recipe, perfect for the christmas season. And hopefully one that will inspire you to get pickling and preserving! Stay tuned, I have so many ideas, and I can’t wait to share them! MC
[the food] Orange Chilli Marmalade[/the food]
Ikg Valencia Oranges (unpeeled) seeded and thinly sliced
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
6 cups of water
3 dried habenero chilli peppers
9 cups of granulated sugar
8 half-pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
[the food] Method[/the food]
- Combine oranges, lemon zest and juice and water in a large deep stainless steel saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes. Add chilli peppers, partially cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally until fruit is soft for about 30 mins. Remove and discard Chilli peppers.
- Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside for now and we’ll use them later.
- Bring mixture to boil over medium to high heat. Maintaining the boil, gradually stir in sugar. Boil hard, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches gel stage about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and test gel. If gel stage has been reached, skim off foam.
- Ladle hot marmalade into your hot jars leaving about 5mm from the top for headspace. Wipe rim, centre lid on jar and apply the band until it’s fingertip tight.
- Process the filled jars in boiling water canner for 10 minutes adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when centre is pressed. And voila, you now have your very own Orange Chilli Marmalade!
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS,
For more information on Ball, click here.
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Disclosure: Thanks to Ball, I enjoyed a hands-on preserving and pickling class in the Kangaroo Valley and accommodation for SilverFox and I at Milton Park in the Southern Highlands.