Seville Oranges are in season, and lockdown is the perfect time to make your own marmalade. It is a therapeutic process which fills the entire house with scented, warm citrus, and you can create gifts for friends and neighbours while stocking up for a year of breakfasts.
You can experiment with your marmalade, using lemons, grapefruit, ginger or whiskey to adjust the flavour, and you can vary the texture, from thick slices of rind to no rind at all, depending on exactly how you like your marmalade.
These tips really help:
- Use a thick-bottomed pan that is wider than it is tall
- The quicker the better – so heat up your sugar before you add it to the oranges by placing it in a saucepan for 15 mins at a moderate heat but avoid caramelizing it.
- Heat the oranges for 10 minutes before adding the sugar to evaporate water and ensure the rind has started to soften.
- You can skim off any scum or residue at the end
Ingredients (Makes 12-14 jars)
- 2kg Seville oranges
- 4 lemons
- 7 pints water
- 4kg granulated sugar
- Put all the lemons & oranges into a basin of lukewarm water and give them a good wash. Put the washed fruit into a large saucepan or preserving pan. Add the water and put the lid on. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1- 1½ hours. You should be able to easily slice through the skin when they are ready. Allow to cool in the liquid.
- Remove the Seville oranges from the water and with a sharp knife, cut the cooled fruit into quarters and scrape out the pulp and pips. Add the pips, pulp and juice back into cooking the pan with the water. Boil the pips and pulp for a full 10 minutes and then strain. Retain the juice but discard the pulp and pips.
- Meanwhile, put the sugar in a roasting tin or bowl and put into a low oven to warm through. This will make it easier for the sugar to dissolve.
- Put your clean jam jars into the low oven to warm through ready for potting the marmalade.
- Chop or slice the orange and lemon peel to your favourite size and shape. Put the chopped peel into the reserved water. Bring to the boil. Add the warm sugar. Stir over a gentle heat until you are sure that all the sugar has dissolved. Bring this mixture to the boil and continue to boil rapidly without stirring for approximately half an hour. You are aiming to reach setting point.
- Leave the marmalade in the hot pan for a short time until it shows that it is beginning to set properly. The peel will be showing signs of becoming “suspended” in the mixture.
- Carefully ladle the hot marmalade into warm, clean jam jars. These should have been warmed up in a low oven for at least 30 minutes beforehand.
- Seal the finished jars.
To Test For Setting Point: Put a small spoonful of cooked marmalade onto a very cold saucer. (Keep a few at the ready in the fridge or freezer). Allow it to cool a little and then push it with your finger, or tilt the dish to one side. If the marmalade wrinkles up, it is ready.