Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will have heard me speak about my lovely neighbour – you know the one who brought over some quinces before Christmas. Well last week she came over with a bag of Seville oranges asking if I would like them. Obviously I said yes, then set about reading as many marmalade recipes as I could lay my hands on. It looked quite time consuming, but it didn’t put me off.
There are so many recipes and no two are the same, so I decided that I would free-wheel and try my own method. I thought it would be helpful if I showed you how I went about it. They turned out pretty well for a first effort. I think I could have probably boiled the dissolved sugar and orange nectar for a little longer to reach a firmer setting point, as my marmalade is on the thinner side – not like honey, but just a shade thinner than regular marmalade. It doesn’t bother me and I have been enjoying it on hot buttered toast ever since.
Another point to mention is that I am not a huge fan of orange peel so I have purposely only added a little into my marmalade pots to appease the peel lovers who might also eat it too. My marmalade is mainly peel free, just how I like it. Am also not too sure why the peel I added just stayed around the top and not more submerged within the marmalade jelly. Any ideas?
So for those of you who are interested this is my version of Marmalade. I think I’ll make a few tweaks next year, but I’ll tell you what I would change in my recipe below.
Made around 9 pots of varying sizes
1.5kg Seville oranges, scrubbed clean
3 litres water
3kg granulated sugar
sterilised jam jars (to sterilise wash with warm soapy water and rinse clean then place in a hot oven for 10 minutes)
Most recipes I read said you need to double the sugar to oranges.
- Cut the oranges in two and squeeze out the juice into a stainless steep pan. I find my yellow lemon squeezer works well for this (see photo two above).
- Place the pulp and pips into a muslin cloth and securely tie.
- Place the orange skins into the pan, uncut (you can at this stage finely, or thickly, slice the orange peel, however I did after so I could decide how many I actually wanted in my marmalade. Most recipes require you to finely slice at this stage)
- Add the cold water to the pan and then place the secure muslin cloth into the liquid. Cover and leave to rest for two days (most recipes state 1 day, but I was too busy so let it rest for a further day). By leaving it to rest the pectin will be able to be extracted fully.
- Remove the muslin bag and carefully give a good squeeze so that the pectin from the fruit pulp is released.
- Discard the contents of the muslin bag.
- If you haven’t already done so thinly slice some of the orange peel and discard the rest if not using.
- Place a couple of small plates in your freezer and then heat up the pan with the juice and water.
- Add the granulated sugar and when it is completely dissolved bring up the heat so that it begins to boil gently. Scum will form and you can remove this with a spoon.
- It is helpful to have a preserving thermometer, but that said my marmalade could have been a touch firmer, so I guess I didn’t nail it completely! The liquid will boil so turn it down if it rises too close to the top of your pan and then increase the heat again. Boiling point is 104-105 degrees centigrade. If you feel you are close (it takes around 10-12 minutes), spoon a little liquid and place on one of your small plates that you placed in the freezer. Return it to the freezer for a minute or two, then check to see if it wrinkles. If it does it is done. If it still moves around the plate easily continue to boil and then repeat after a couple of minutes.
- Pour the marmalade mixture into a jug before pouring into sterilised jars. So as not to spill on the sides of the jar I purchased a funnel a while ago – similar to this, which I find very helpful.
- Place wax seals onto the top of the jars and when cool cover with a lid or cellophane.
They last for ages – easily a year if stored and sealed correctly.