Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Canning Oranges... and other Citrus


The Christmas season, to me, always includes oranges... the bright, citrus aroma is just one of the smells that says Christmas to me...

There's just the two of us in this household now, but I can't help myself, I MUST have oranges in the house around Christmas... when the kids were home I didn't have one bit of trouble going through a bag of oranges, tangerines, or clementines... but now with just Mr. Granny and myself, it takes a little longer... but I still buy them...

And there they sat, in that fruit bowl, starting to dry out a little around the edges... something had to be done... can't waste all that citrusy goodness... so I decided to can them...

Here's what I did...


First, I peeled them, and segmented them (I had a couple lemons in that bowl too, so I added them to the mix)


The most labor intensive part of citrus is removing all the pithy white part... it's tasteless, tough, and unnecessary... so I carefully removed as much of the white part as I possibly could. And it's pretty important to remove any seeds unless you don't mind coming across a seed or two when you're eating them later.


For oranges, which are quite sweet on their own, a syrup is not entirely necessary, but I did have those few lemons, so I chose to mix up an ultra light syrup (1/2 cup sugar to 5 cups water)... orange juice could be used for the liquid, or just plain old water.


I brought the sugar/water mixture to a boil, ensuring all the sugar was dissolved.


After boiling my jars to sterilize them, I put my orange segments into the jars, fairly loosely packed and leaving a good half inch headspace.


I ladled the hot syrup into the jars.


Then ran a butter knife between the inside of the jar and the fruit to remove any air bubbles... then added more syrup to the jar if necessary.


I wiped the rims of the jars with a damp cloth...


And, using my handy dandy magnetic wand, removed the lids from the simmering water I had placed them in earlier...


...and tightened them onto the pint canning jars to a fingertip tightness.


I processed the jars of oranges in a boiling water bath (place the jars in a canner or large pot, ensuring they are completely covered with water, then bring to a boil and start timing) for ten minutes.

After processing, I removed the hot jars using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool, and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar. (LOVE that sound!)


I enjoyed canning the few oranges I had left over from Christmas so much, the next day I made a trip to the grocery store and bought another big bag of oranges, a bag of clementines, and a huge bag of grapefruit to put up some more!


While I was preparing the grapefruit for canning, I decided to use the peel for a couple things... like dehydrating some for using later in recipes... once these are dry, I'll give them a whirl in the blender and store them in a jar for use in cakes, cookies, and even some pork or chicken dishes.


I put some of the grapefruit peels into a pint jar and filled it up with vodka to make grapefruit extract... I've done lemon, orange, peppermint, and vanilla extract before... why not grapefruit!?

Side story... I am a good Baptist girl from the South... we don't drink! And we sure don't speak to each other in the liquor store (LOL!)... Mr. Granny, however, is a good Episcopalian (aka "Whiskypalian)... and he has no problem with speaking to folks in the liquor store (it's a running joke between the two of us, just a bit of fun, folks, don't get your panties in a wad!)...

One day a few months ago we were on the side of town where we seldom go, at Northern Tools picking up some things... there's a discount beverage store on that side of town... as we left Northern Tools, I asked Mr. Granny, "Do you mind if we stop at the liquor store while we're over here?" I thought the man was gonna fall out of the car he was so surprised! "Well, SURE!" says he. I laughed till tears ran down my face at his reaction... I needed vodka for making extract... really I did... really...


Aren't these jars of canned grapefruit so pretty? When I canned them, I used a light syrup instead of ultra light... 2-1/4 cups sugar to 5-1/4 cups water... same process otherwise as the oranges.



26 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to can oranges as I want them for my storage but they are so pricey at the stores.

    Happy New Year

    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy New Year Jennifer! Sometimes oranges can be found on sale this time of year, even in the grocery store... good luck! ~~Granny

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I may try canning some of the oranges we still have too. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Granny, do you have a issue with them tasting funny when you open them (oranges not grapefruit) I did oranges in juice and some in a light syrup and they turned out awful but the g/f in the same ligh syrup was AWESOME! Any advice on how to make them tast good? Add Vodka? :) HA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read that "the flavor of sweet citrus (such as oranges and clementines) is best if the sections are canned with equal parts of grapefruit. Grapefruit may be canned without oranges. Sections may be packed in your choice of water, citrus." I hope that helps! I've read that oranges are best consumed in 9 months. Does anybody else have experience with canned citrus' shelf life?

      Delete
  5. Gerty, honestly this is the first oranges I've done... never really had need to before, or even thought about it... so I have not tasted them yet, I'm hopeful they will be good, I'll let you know. Vodka could work though, LOL! ;-) ~~Thanks, Granny

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your blog. I’ on my way to Kroger to pick up clementines.

    I’m a follower now!

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you Cindy!!!! and good luck with your clementines! Can on! ;-) ~~Granny

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great post!! I really enjoyed finding you today!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much and welcome! ~~Granny

      Delete
  9. Thanks a bunch...I am Granny too!!! Just finished preserving Meyer Lemons and making candied orange peels to dunk in chocolate!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of the problems with grocery store fresh oranges is that they are colored with an FD&C food coloring. If you grind up the peel you are consuming a high concentration of that FD&C coloring. Not good for anyone, and some (like myself) are very sensitive to it. Better to buy oranges from the fellows who travel about selling out of the back of their trucks. Hand picked and no artificial anything on them oranges. Better tasting fruit too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point Brian, thanks! ~~Granny

      Delete
  11. Thrilled to find your blog thanks to a friend's posting on FB. We can every summer but have never canned fruit. I think I'll try the strawberries (pie filling, you said!) but I'm wondering how you serve the grapefruit and oranges after canning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alicia, so far we've just been eating them... so good! I've mixed some with cottage cheese for a snack, and mixed them with other fruit for sort of a fruit salad. They are delicious! Especially the grapefruit. ~~Granny

      Delete
  12. Granny, A good way to take the membrane off grapefruit is to use kitchen shears.
    Cut along the center edge and then peel back ( almost like turning inside out)
    Thank you so much. G-gammie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip G-gammie! ~~Granny

      Delete
  13. wow this is great! thank you! Emily

    ReplyDelete
  14. Could you just use the sections as is from Clementines...since they are so small and thin...would it hurt anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I've done Clementines... they turn out great! ~~Granny

      Delete
    2. Right, but I guess I didn't ask quite right...can you just section them, leave the white membrane on them...not de-skin the individual sections. Does that make sense? Like if you peeled it and was going to eat it...those section...okay to can just like that? :-)

      Delete
    3. Yes, the thin membrane is fine to leave on, just get as much of the white "pithy" part as you can off, it gets bitter. ~~Granny

      Delete
    4. Excellent...what I was hoping you would say! :-) Just saves a ton of work! Can't wait to start peeling this afternoon...have 3-5lb bags to start with...if successful...there will be more! My kids love them, and this is my fix for the summer months when they are not an option! Have a great weekend my friend...happy canning!

      Delete
  15. I hang on your every word! Love your instruction and humor!! Viva La Granny!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I usually make jams or marmalade with my produce. This year I would like to preserve the fruit from our navel orange tree. Some recipes i have read say to remove the membrane that surrounds each orange segment. Is that necessary?

    ReplyDelete

html, body, div, span, applet, object, iframe, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, p, blockquote, pre, a, abbr, acronym, address, big, cite, code, del, dfn, em, font, img, ins, kbd, q, s, samp, small, strike, strong, sub, sup, tt, var, b, u, i, center, dl, dt, dd, ol, ul, li, fieldset, form, label, legend, table, caption, tbody, tfoot, thead, tr, th, td { margin: 0; padding: 0; border: 0; outline: 0; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent; } body { line-height: 1; } ol, ul { list-style: none; } blockquote, q { quotes: none; } /* remember to define focus styles! */ :focus { outline: 0; } /* remember to highlight inserts somehow! */ ins { text-decoration: none; } del { text-decoration: line-through; } /* tables still need 'cellspacing="0"' in the markup */ table { border-collapse: collapse; border-spacing: 0; }