I went to stay with some friends last week, and one evening they proposed making marmalade. Since I'd never done it before, I was obviously excited to have a go. Seville oranges have a very short season, and they're not much use for anything else, so this is a very seasonal recipe.
One word of warning if you're thinking of having a go - make sure you allow plenty of time for the whole process. It took us five hours from start to finish.
Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe
Fills 22 standard-sized jars
3kg Seville oranges
6 litres water
6kg demerera sugar
10g butter (optional)
You'll also need a large preserving pan, an orange juicer, four squares of muslin, and some string.
- Wash the fruit.
- Chop the oranges and lemons in half and squeeze out the juice.
- Using a metal spoon, scrape out the flesh, pith, and pips into a bowl.
- Divide the flesh and pips between the muslin squares, bundle up, and tie tightly with string. Leave enough spare string to attach to the handle of the pan.
- Slice up the orange and lemon peel (thick or thin depending on how you like your marmalade).
- Add peel, juice and water to the pan, along with the muslin bundles, and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for two hours to soften the peel.
- While the marmalade is boiling, wash and sterilize your jars. Also, pop a couple of saucers in the freezer.
- Remove the muslin bundles and squeeze out as much juice as you can, to add back into the pan. If you squeeze hard enough some gloopy substance will come through the muslin - pectin, which will help the marmalade to set.
- Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
- Bring back to the boil, and boil rapidly for 15-20 minutes.
- To test whether the marmalade is ready to set, get a chilled saucer from the freezer and drop a little marmalade onto it. Push at the edge of the drop with your finger. If wrinkles form on the surface, it's ready; if not, keep boiling for a few more minutes, and try again.
- The butter is a trick my friends use to dissolve any scum from the marmalade: just stir it in, and the scum vanishes, as if by magic. However, for vegan marmalade, skip this step and just skim the scum off the top with a spoon.
- Warm the jars so they don't crack when you add the hot marmalade. Use a jam funnel to fill the jars, and fasten the lids while the marmalade is still hot so they can form a vacuum seal.