ORANGE JELLY - A LITTLE BIT OF SUNSHINE FOR A WINTERS DAY

We woke up to 9 inches of fresh snow this morning and my hopes for an early spring flew out the window. This is the time of year that I get into a real cooking rut, so much so, that even my stock of homemade jam seems boring.
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To combat that, every year about this time, I make a quick batch of this orange jelly for our morning toast. All it takes is 4 oranges, 2 lemons and some sugar, to make this delicious taste of summer...it is not a marmalade.

I still remember the first time I bought marmalade for my family...they hated it. Well, they hated the "chunks" (and so did I), although the jam in between the chunks was tasty (does that make sense?). That is when I decided to create an orange jam that had no chunks...this is it.

4 medium oranges
2 medium lemons
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups water
5 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch Sure Jell liquid fruit pectin

Wash and dry the oranges and lemons. Using a very fine zester, remove the colored part of the fruit. Make sure you don't go deep into the fruit or you will get the white pith, which can be bitter. Set the zest aside.

Peel and cut up the oranges and lemons, then pulse them in the food processor until they look like this, then set them aside.

Put the orange and lemon zest into a heavy bottomed sauce pan and add 1½ cups of water and the baking soda. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn it down to a simmer, cover and simmer (stirring occasionally) for 20 minutes.
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After 20 minutes, add the chopped oranges and lemons and simmer for another 10 minutes.
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Put the cooked fruit-zest mixture through a fine mesh strainer and measure off 3 cups of juice.
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Place exactly 3 cups of strained juice into a large heavy bottomed saucepan and add the sugar. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in liquid pectin and return to a full rolling boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
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Immediately pour into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8" of the top. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids and screw bands on tightly. Process jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

This jam is not only great for your morning toast, but it works excellently for glazing chicken.

NOTE: Because this is a citrus jam, it can take up to a week to full set, but it is SO worth the wait.