Seville oranges are the best for marmalade, so get them quickly as they aren’t available for long. But they make such a great tasting marmalade it is something that is difficult to beat to go with toast for breakfast.
I do love marmalade, particularly on toast but also in baking and other things as well. Seville oranges are the traditional orange used for the best marmalade since they are slightly more bitter than most other oranges. Unfortunately they are not available so readily as others. Seville oranges are only in season for a few weeks in January until mid February though it is also possible to by them frozen on the internet all year round.
For my marmalade, which was a request from a viewer, I decided to wait until I could get the fresh ones.
I ordered more than I really needed, so I made two batches, and could have done a third too. My two batches made at least 6lbs/ 2.7 kg each. So that is a good amount of marmalade that will keep well and last a long time.
It is actually quite easy to make, but it does take some time and patience since there are many different steps in the process.
However if you persevere you will have a marmalade that is probably better than what you can buy in the shops.
Mine turned out very well indeed, with a great taste, mixing sweetness with a slight bitterness in the peel, and of course the delicious orange flavour.
Passion Fruit Jam, another wonderfully tasty spread. Perfect on toast at breakfast time.
- 1kg(2.2 lbs) seville oranges washed and dried
- 2kg(10 cups) granulated sugar
- 2.5 litres(10 cups) water
- 1 lemon, washed and dried
- butter to grease the bottom of the saucepan.
- Grease the bottom of a 6.5 litre/7 US quart saucepan with a heavy bottom.
- Loosely line a bowl with a 30cm square of muslin or gauze.
- Place the water into the saucepan and set aside.
- Cut the oranges and lemon in half and juice each half, adding the juice to the water.
- Pull any skin, pulp, seeds and loose pith from the inside of the skins and place it onto the muslin.
- You should end up with fairly clean, smooth inside of the skins, you can remove excess pith and add it to the muslin.
- Now cut each of the orange halves into quarters and slice them to your desired thickness, into strips.
- Add the strips into the water.
- Pull the sides of the muslin up and twist to form a bag, then tie the neck tightly with some string. Use enough string so that you can tie the bag to the handle of the saucepan and hang it in the water.
- Put the bag into the water and tie it to the handle so that it is in the water but not touching the bottom of the pan.
- Place the saucepan on the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for two hours.
- After two hours if you squeeze a piece of the orange peel it should easily break into two.
- Remove the bag of pith etc and place on a plate to cool down somewhat.
- Pour the sugar into the saucepan and stir around.
- Place the saucepan back on a very low heat and stir until the sugar has entirely dissolved into the liquid. Check the back of a wooden spoon to ensure no grains of sugar remain.
- Now, using rubber gloves on your hands if necessary, squeeze the muslin bag very hard to force the pectin to ooze out of the bag.
- Scrape the pectin onto the plate and then place into the saucepan, stirring with a whisk to break it up.
- Place the saucepan back on the heat and bring it to a fast rolling boil. Allow it to boil for at least 15 minutes, until the temperature reaches at least 104C/219F.
- Meanwhile place two or three plates into the fridge, or freezer to get them very cold.
- Also sterilise 6 or 7 1lb jars(454g), or as many smaller jars as you will need. To do this you can wash them in warm soapy water and rinse well. Then dry them and place them in the oven at about 130C/265F for about 5 minutes, sterilise the lids too by placing them in boiling water for a few minutes.
- When the saucepan contents have been boiling very hard, and has become foamy, for 15 minutes, test for temperature if you can. Then take one plate from the freezer/fridge and spoon a teaspoon of the marmalade onto it. Place it back in the fridge and leave it for at least three minutes.
- Remove the plate from the fridge and push the edge of the pool of marmalade towards the centre using a finger. If the marmalade wrinkles as you push it and a clean path is made by the finger, and the path doesn’t close up then the marmalade is thick enough to set well.
- If it isn’t yet thick enough boil for another 5 minutes and test again, and continue until it is set enough.
- Turn off the heat and leave the marmalade for about 15 minutes as you prepare the jars.
- Place them on a work surface. Then spoon the marmalade into the jars, using a funnel if you have one.
- Fill to just below the top of the jar, leaving about 1/2 inch gap.
- Place the lids on the jars and close them tightly.
- Leave them to cool completely. The lids should ‘pop’ as the marmalade cools, to confirm a good seal has been made.
- Store in a cool dark place until required.