A Homemade Christmas, Part II

Just before Christmas we shared  Part I of the Little House Homemade Christmas, homemade doggie biscuits. Because our family members read our blog, however, we weren’t able to share the rest of our homemade gifts. Now that Christmas is over, we can share all of the awesome goodies we made!

In order to fully explain our homemade gifts, I have to make a confession. Kevin and I have a shared celebrity crush. It’s not a famous actor or actress, or even some dopey reality star. No, our celebrity crush is on Alton Brown. We absolutely love Good Eats! Maybe it’s the nerd in us, but we love the way he breaks recipes down into the scientific reasoning behind each step. Okay, it’s definitely the nerd in us.

That being said, the majority of our Christmas gifts came from recipes on his show. The first? Alton’s Orange Marmalade. I’ll spare you the gory details and let you read the recipe on his site. Instead, I’ll give you the (almost) silent play by play.

We used regular old navel oranges for our marmalade. We halved, then quartered them and ran them through the slicing attachment on our food processor.

Next, we boiled them for an hour to extract the natural pectin from the rinds. Then we added four pounds of sugar per batch. Yes, you read that right. Four. Pounds.

Once the mixture reached a temperature of 223 degrees F, we were able to jar it. Just like when we canned tomato juice, we used the dishwasher for our hot water bath.

Disclaimer: If you have any concerns about using the dishwasher as opposed to a hot water bath, opt for the bath. Because a dishwasher does not stay hot for as long as a hot water bath, there is a slightly increased risk of bacteria in your preserves. We use the hottest setting on our dishwasher, have our hot water heater turned up to 100%, and run them through twice back-to-back, but you can never be too careful.

The marmalade is delicious! Everyone loved it and we plan on making more when we use up what we have.

How was your weekend? Do you like orange marmalade? Have any good scone/biscuit recipes I can try this stuff on?


  1. Stephanie says:

    Who doesn’t adore Alton Brown? He is absolutely incredible. Sometime over Christmas Break, my fiancé and I stumbled across some sort of Good Eats Marathon, all episodes from 2002-2003ish, and we were glued for much longer than I’d like to admit. 🙂

  2. Michelle Tramel says:

    I tried this recipe but the peeling (rind) is bitter. Leaves a nasty aftertaste. Is this normal? Never made orange marmalade. Help!!!

    • Jessica Beals says:

      Orange marmalade usually does have a bit of a bitter aftertaste to it, but you may have got some particularly pithy (the white, bitter part of the rind) oranges. You might try adding in a sweeter variety of orange into the lineup (even something like clementines) to help cut down on the bitterness and up the sweetness.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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