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By January 26, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Making Marmalade without Seville Oranges

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 Bank of orange marmalade and slices of orange on a wooden background

Come February the Seville oranges are piled high and thoughts inevitably turn to making glorious orangey marmalade. Seville oranges, however, are certainly not the only fruit when it comes to a tangy marmalade for the breakfast table.

If you don’t already do so, seek out your local market or your independent greengrocer. I have found Seville oranges selling there at half the price of those in supermarkets. They are well worth a visit, and by doing so you will be keeping local trade alive and well too!

Sweet Orange Marmalade

I ended up adding more water after softening the peel, and I cheated (depending how you look at it) by adding a pectin sachet, just in case – a sort of insurance policy.

INGREDIENTS

MAKES ABOUT 4 JARS

4 large oranges

2 lemons

1kg (2lb 3oz) granulated sugar

Half the peel again

Half the peel again

METHOD

1              Halve your fruit, squeeze out the juice and put it to one side together with any pips, which you can use to bolster up the pectin levels later in the process.  Squeeze out the juice and leave on one side.

TIP IF YOU HAVEN’T YET USED YOUR JUICER BIT ON YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR NOW’S THE TIME TO GIVE IT A BIG HUG – IT’S MY HERO

2              Cut the peel into quarters – this simply makes it easier to cover it with water – and put it in a stockpot or jam pan. Cover generously with water.  Photo and caption half the peel again

3              Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 1 hour, or until completely soft – this can seem to take an absolute age, so have some other chores ready to do. It is, however, essential that the peel is soft before you add the sugar, unless you like the orange peel particularly chewy in your marmalade! Photo and caption Put the peel in the pan and cover completely with water.  Photo and caption Make sure the peel is completely soft.

Once the sugar has dissolved add the muslin bag of pulp and bring to the boil

Once the sugar has dissolved add the muslin bag of pulp and bring to the boil

4              Scoop out the peel, pressing as much liquid back into the pan as possible as you do so. Scoop out any pulpy stuff too – I added this to my pips mound ready for later use. Photo and caption Put any pulp scoop out (with the pips) in a muslin square and tie with a rubber band or string.

5              Slice the peel into shreds and put it back into the pan together with the sugar and the juice you put to one side earlier. Photo and caption Slice the peel into strips Photo and caption Add the Sugar

6              Put any pulp you scooped out and any pips in a muslin square and tie it together. I just gather mine up tight using a rubber band and drop it into the pan. Photo and caption Once the sugar has dissolved drop the muslin bag of pulp and bring to the boil

7              Heat it all up gently, stirring until all the sugar has completely dissolved. Once dissolved, turn up the heat until it boils rapidly. Maintain a good steady boil until set is achieved.

TESTING FOR SET

I’ve seen the setting time for marmalade quoted as anything from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Mine actually took a full 35 minutes. Do keep checking often to make sure you haven’t missed this critical point. The best way to test for set is to place a few saucers in the fridge, then, when you are ready to test, take the pan off the heat, take a saucer from the fridge and put a small dollop of marmalade on it. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger then it’s set, but if it ‘runs’ it most definitely isn’t, so put the pan back on the heat for a few more minutes and test again. Three saucers should suffice, but there is no limit to the number you can chill. Phonto img 1463

8              When you are satisfied that set has been achieved, leave the pan to stand for 10 minutes to settle, then stir to ensure the peel is evenly distributed.

9              Pot into sterilised jars and seal.

Lemon & Lime Marmalade

This is a truly tangy spread and will bring back childhood memories of Rose’s marmalades and the lovely jars they came in – if you put it through a jelly strainer at the end it will be almost, but just not quite, like Rose’s. The method I have used is different from that for Sweet Orange Marmalade, and it sets quicker.

INGREDIENTS

MAKES ABOUT 6 JARS

4 large lemons

6 large limes

2 oranges

1kg (2lb 3oz) granulated sugar

1.7 litres (3 pints) water

 

Remove the zest from the lemon

Remove the zest from the lemon

METHOD

1              Peel the zest from all the fruit using a potato peeler. The larger the limes, the easier the task will be, as they really are the hardest of the three fruits. Photo and caption Use a potato peeler to remove the zest

2              Slice the zest thinly into tiny strips – the finer the better (without taking off your nail) – then halve the fruit and add everything, except the sugar, together in a large pan.  Photo and caption Finely shred the zest

Put all the zest in the pan

Put all the zest in the pan

 

3              Cover with the water and bring it to the boil until the shreds are soft and the fruit is soft but not completely mashed – in the past I have ended up with mashed fruit, but it’s not the end of the world, it just makes it a bit more cloudy.  Add all to pan and generously cover with water and bring to the boil I’ve taken the potato masher to the pulp before now to get as much juice as possible out of it

4              Remove the fruit, extracting as much juice from it as you can back into the pan. Put the fruit shells (or what’s left of them) in a muslin square and set aside for now.

5              Add the sugar to the pan and dissolve it over a gentle heat, stirring continuously. Once it has dissolved, add the fruit shells in the muslin and bring to the boil once more.

6              Test for set as with the Sweet Orange Marmalade, then pot into sterilised jars and seal.

Orange, Lemon (and don’t forget the Grapefruit) Marmalade

This recipe makes 5 jars (plus a little in a ramekin – I feel obliged to say this every time from now on!).

INGREDIENTS

1 grapefruit

1 orange

2 lemons

1.4kg (3lb) granulated sugar

1.7 litres (3 pints) water

METHOD

1              Halve the fruit, then put it in a large pan with the water and bring to a steady boil. Leave to cool overnight.

2              Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh, then put the pips and pith to one side. Strain as much juice as possible back into your pan.

3              Put the pulp, pith and pips in a muslin square and seal it for later use.

4              Shred the fruit peel thinly and put it back in the water together with the muslin bag containing the pith, pips and pulp and bring to the boil, simmering for 1½ hours until the liquid has reduced by half.

5              Remove the muslin bag, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible back into the pan.

6              Add the sugar and stir over a gentle heat until it has dissolved, then bring to the boil, boiling for 15 minutes or until it reaches set.

7              Skim off any scum from the surface and leave it to stand for 10 minutes or so before stirring well to distribute the peel evenly.

8              Ladle into warm, sterilised jars and seal.

Make sure you keep testing for set

Make sure you keep testing for set

MARMALADE TIPS

*             Remember to scrub your fruit before peeling it to get rid of any wax.

*             To introduce a variation add sliced stemmed ginger.

*             Watch for set… if you miss it, then you’ve had it!

*             The peel must be soft before you add the sugar.

*             Try not to stir too much, other than when dissolving sugar.

*             Always remove the pan from the heat whenever you test for set, or you might miss it whilst testing an unset dollop.

*             Try your marmalade on bacon on toast – lovely!

*             If you have a food processor that squeezes the fruit, then use it. It will get far more juice out than mere mortal hands.

 

 

 

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