I thought I’d have a go at making some marmalade. Here’s how I did it:
12 Seville oranges
1.5kg unrefined golden granulated sugar
- Using a small sharp kitchen knife score four lines down each fruit from top to bottom, as if you were cutting the fruit into quarters. Cut through the peel but try not to pierce the fruit.
- Peel the peel from the fruit and set the fruit aside.
- Cut each quarter of peel into shreds as thin or as thick as you like. Mine were something like 2 to 3mm thick.
- Squeeze each of the peeled oranges and lemons into a jug. Remove and save all the pulp and pips.
- Make the juice up to 4 litres with cold water and pour it into the bowl with the shredded peel. (I needed to use 2 bowls).
- Tie the saved pith, squeezed-out orange and lemon pulp and the pips in a muslin bag. Put the bag into the bowl of peel and juice and set it aside in a cold place. Leave overnight.
- Next day, tip the juice and shredded peel into a large stainless steel or enamelled saucepan or a preserving pan. Push the muslin bag down under the juice.
- Bring to the boil then lower the heat so that the liquid continues to simmer. It is ready when the peel is totally soft and translucent. This will take anywhere between 40 and an hour-and-a-half, depending purely on how thick you have cut your peel. Mine took just over an hour.
- Meanwhile, sterilise 6 jam jars (mine were 450ml size and I only filled 5 of them)
- Carefully remove the muslin bag and leave it in a bowl until it is cool enough to handle.
- Add the sugar to the peel and juice and crank up the heat, bringing the marmalade to a rolling boil.
- When the muslin bag is cold enough to handle, squeeze every last bit of juice bag into the pan. This contains much of the pectin that is vital to set the marmalade.
- Skim off any froth that rises to the surface to prevent the marmalade from becoming cloudy.
- Leave at a fast boil for 15 minutes.
- Remove a tablespoon of the preserve, put it on a plate, and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. If a thick skin forms on the surface of the refrigerated marmalade, then it is ready and you can switch the pan off. If it is still liquid then let the marmalade boil for longer.
- Test every 10 to 15 minutes to see if the marmalade had reached setting consistency.
- If you have a sugar thermometer then the marmalade is ready at 104-105°C.
- Leave to marmalade to cool for 10-15 minutes. This prevents the shreds from floating in the jars and ensures an even distribution.
- Once you are happy that the test sample sets as it should then ladle the marmalade into the sterilised pots and seal immediately. BE CAREFUL – IT IS HOT!
- Label the jars when they are cold.