Following the success of my summer of preserves as soon as Seville Oranges (sometimes known as Marmalade Oranges) came into season I knew I had to crack out the jam thermometer. I dived back into Beryl Wood’s ‘Let’s Preserve It’ for a traditional seville orange marmalade and also decided to make a batch of lemon and lime marmalade which I had made in the summer in an attempt to fill the cupboard with preserves before I head back for my final semester of University. The Seville Orange is much bitter than its compadres, perfect for marmalade, and as they are just in season the supermarkets are swimming with them. All marmalades and jams contain an obscene amount of sugar, which never fails to shock me. But at least you aren’t consuming it by the jar full in each sitting.
4 pounds of sugary goodness.
Many people are divided over the type of marmalade they prefer, some like their peel small and minced or thinly sliced, others like thick and chunky preserves. It’s totally personal choice but I shredded my peel reasonably thin.
This recipe does require the mixture to sit over night before adding the sugar, so ensure you have enough time to complete it.
Seville Orange Marmalade. (adapted from Beryl Wood’s ‘Let’s Preserve It!’)
Fills 6x 450g (1lb) jars
910g (2lb) Seville Oranges
1.8kg (4lb) Caster Sugar
2.3l (4 pints) of liquid, made up on whatever juice you remove from the fruits and the rest water
Jars (with suitable lids)
Large Saucepan or Jam pan
1) Juice all the oranges and lemons, remove as much of the pith as you can. Keep the Juice in a measuring jug, ensuring no pith or seeds has escaped into it. Place the pith and the pips in the muslin cloth and tie tightly. This will sit in the mixture over night and release pectin left within the pulp and pips, pectin helps the marmalade set.
2) Place the squeezed citrus fruit in a large bowl and cover with boiling water from the kettle, let this sit until the water has cooled. This will help break down the remaining pith so it can be scraped off and the peel can be shredded more easily. Once cool, shred, slice or mince the peel as appropriate, ensuring to first scrape as much pith off as possible. Place the shredded fruit into your saucepan or jam pan.
3) Measure the juice from citrus fruit, add enough water to make up to the four pints that are required. Pour into the jam pan/sauce pan. Place the Muslin cloth containing the pips and pith into this saucepan. Leave overnight.
4) The next day remove the Muslin cloth, squeezing it to ensure you get as much pectin out as possible. Bring the mixture to the boil then simmer until the peel is soft and the contents about halved.
5) Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved then boil fast to set. This takes a while, I cooked mine for about 45 mins. The best way to tell if the marmalade is cooked sufficiently is to store a plate in the freezer, and when you think the marmalade is close to being done put a small amount on the plate and leave to cool to see if it thickens. Once cooked leave your marmalade to cool slightly.
6) Meanwhile, sterilise your jars. This can be done many ways. I wash mine thoroughly in hot water and washing up liquid, dry them thoroughly then fill with boiling water and leave for a minimum of 10 minutes.
7) Fill your jars using a jam funnel, place a wax disc on the top and seal tightly. Leave to cool at room temperature and store in a cool, dry cupboard. The marmalade should last out the year if stored properly and once opened will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.
I also made a batch of lemon and lime marmalade, the recipe of which is on my ‘Jam-boree’ blog post, which you can get to if you click the photograph below.
Preserve making is pretty laborious, so to keep you amused here’s a link to a soundtrack of a film I watched recently, it’s called happythankyoumoreplease and is a incredibly endearing tale with a great soundtrack. So have a listen, or better yet watch the film.