Thursday, 7 February 2013

HIMALAYAN MALTA MARMALADE


Malta (Citrus sinesis) is the most commonly grown tree in the Kumaon hills. It fruits during winter season. Malta is called sweet orange. It is a hybrid between Pomelo (Citrus maxima) and Mandarin (Citrus reticulate). Malta has great medicinal value. The fruit is rich in Vitamin C, fresh rind is used as a carminative, blood purifier and as tonic. Fresh peel is rubbed on the skin to treat acne, dried peel is used to cure cold and cough and powder prepared from the peels is used for dissolving kidney stones.
Malta rules the market during winters. Bursting with juice and great flavour, it is ideal to make marmalade. The membranes between the segments are rich in pectin. I have made marmalade with Oranges and Kinnow also, but nothing beats Malta Marmalade.

Ingredients
10 Maltas
2 Oranges
3 cups boiling water for every 1 cup of peel
1 cup of sugar for every cup of peels and juice mixture
2 teaspoons butter
You will also need
A hand juicer
A muslin cloth
Method
Wash the Maltas and Oranges

Cut them into half. Squeeze out the juice from the fruit using a hand juicer. Transfer the juice to a heavy bottom non aluminum pan. Save peels. Collect the seeds; reserve.

Scrap out the pulp completely from the juiced fruits and place the pulp and seeds in a muslin cloth.

Using a spoon or a knife (whichever way is convenient), scrape out the pith (white pulp) from the peels and discard. With a sharp knife or scissors, cut the peels thinly. (about 1/8 inch thick). Measure the peels. Add the measured peels to the juice.

For every cup of peel, add 3 cups of boiling water to the pan containing juice and peels. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
Next morning, tie the reserved pulp and seeds in a clean muslin cloth and add to the pan.

Bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat and let it cook for about 1 ½ hours till the peels become soft. The membranes and seeds in the muslin bag are rich in pectin. Squeeze out as much liquid possible from the bag. Discard bag.
Measure this mixture and transfer to a thick bottom (preferably a steel) wok.
For every cup of this mixture, add one cup of sugar.
Freeze a steel plate.
Cook on high flame stirring continuously. Cook till the Marmalade gets thick. To test for doneness, drop a spoonful of Marmalade on the frozen plate. If you see a slight film when pushed with a finger, it is done. If it spreads out thin, it needs to be cooked more. Repeat the frozen plate test. When done, add butter and stir.
To sterilize the bottles, Place the washed and dried bottles with the lids in the oven. Set the temperature to 100 degrees and set the timer to 10 minutes. Remove the bottles and their lids from the oven.
Ladle Marmalade into hot sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch space.

My notes: the procedure is a little elaborate but worth the effort. Malta can be substituted by oranges and two oranges can be replaced by two lemons.




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