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Marmalade Fiasco

junipero | Dec 7, 201408:06 PM     18

Can anyone help me figure out why I had to throw away 10 lbs of fruit and an afternoons worth of labor for the a second year in a row? (A glutton for punishment or just a sucker for free fruit?) I tried to make an orange / lemon marmalade yesterday and could not get the temperature any higher than 215 no matter what I did. I tried a gel test just to be sure it wasn't my thermometer and it didn't gel so it wasn't an equipment error.

Here are the facts: I live at sea level. Actually I live right at the beach so humidity was probably between 80-90%. (I know that's an issue but does it make it IMPOSSIBLE to get to temperature?) I used an 8 qt stainless steel stockpot. I used this recipe but had some extra citrus so added 3 lbs of grapefruit and increased the sugar by 3 cups. (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ha...) Everything went fine until I got to the part where I was waiting for the temp to rise from 210 to 220. The recipe said about 20 minutes. I waited 45 minutes and it still wasn't any hotter. I tried raising the heat. I tried covering the pot. Then I burnt the bottom. Undeterred, I lowered the heat back to medium and kept cooking it uncovered for another 30 minutes until the whole batch had turned caramelized brown. At this point, there was hardly any liquid left and the temperature still hadn't budged. I gave up. By then it looked and tasted like crap. Same as my attempt last year. It went in the trash. Any idea what happened? Is it the humidity? Is there any way around it?

I would appreciate any insight. I am so frustrated!

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