I started canning jams about 3 years ago after my mother passed. She had been providing everyone she knew with endless jars of wonderful Boysenberry Jam and Orange Marmalade for years. Going back to store bought stuff just seemed too sad.
A friend of mine suggested we take a canning class sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. They always have great classes! The lady teaching the class turned out to be Cathy Barrow, who writes food columns for the Washington Post, New York Times and other places. She had just written this great book on canning jams, pickles and other stuff. I took the pickling class as well.
Anyway, she has devised this great method of chopping up the fruit with the sugar and letting it sit for up to 2 days in the fridge. When put into a colander a thick liquid drains out. That liquid only is brought up to the magical 220 degrees F before adding the fruit back in. This prevents overcooking the fruit and burning. Commercial pectin is not needed. She grates a granny smith apple into the pot which adds pectin but doesn't alter the flavor. And interestingly her recipes don't use as much sugar as ones with commercial pectin.
I use oranges and lemons taking the skin (zest) off first. They get cooked for a while before adding the rest of the chopped up fruit and sugar.
I'd give you the link for this recipe, but I'm using elements from several recipes ... still working it out. This batch came out pretty good though. I put some Cointreau in it at the end ... that helps!
By the end of summer I will probably make 3 or 4 more batches as the fruit becomes available at my Farmer's Market. Oh if I only had enough sun in my yard to grow my own like my lucky sisters who live in California do.
AND I think of my mother every time I spend an afternoon doing this.