We’re pretty much halfway through the month, so we’d love to know how everyone is doing with their resolutions! If one of your resolutions was to try something new in the kitchen, you may want to give this recipe a go. There’s nothing quite smothering a slice of toast with homemade marmalade in the morning, and plus, little jars of this would be ideal for our Bring & Buy stalls.
- 500g Seville oranges
- 50ml lemon juice
- 1kg white sugar: regular, not with added pectin
- soft dark brown sugar, optional
(You will also need a muslin cloth)
- Weigh the oranges and make a note of the weight. This will dictate how much of the other ingredients you will need to ensure that the marmalade sets well. Our basic ratio is: both the sugar and the strained liquid from the sliced and simmered oranges should roughly equal twice the weight of the uncooked whole oranges. So if you start with 500g of whole oranges, after cooking you want to be left with a litre of liquid once the peels have been strained out, and you need 1kg of sugar.
- Cut the oranges in half and squeeze out the juice, as this makes chopping the peel less messy. Remove any pips from the juice, spoon any remaining pips out of the peel, place them in a tea cup and cover with water. Then chop the peel into shreds that are about 0.25cm across and place these in a bowl with the juice and cover with water. Leave both of these overnight, as this will help the marmalade to set well.
- The next day, place the peel and water in a saucepan. Sieve the pips, place their soaking water (which will have jellied slightly) into the saucepan, then tie the pips in muslin and drop this into the pot. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2-3 hours, topping up with water so that the fruit stays well covered, until the peel is soft when squished between your fingers.
- Strain the juice from the peel and measure it. Whatever the original weight of fruit was at the beginning, you want about double that in cooking liquid. So if you started with 500g fruit, then try and have roughly a litre of cooking liquid left. If you have more, boil it down in a saucepan to intensify it. If you have less, top it up with water to dilute it.
- Add the sugar (double the weight of the oranges), plus 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar if you’d like to make the colour darker. Add the strained peel, plus 50ml of lemon juice for every 500g uncooked whole oranges used. Bring to the boil, skin off any white froth and pips that rise to the surface, then boil until the temperature reaches 105c.
- Meanwhile, sterilise enough jars in the oven and have the lids washed and ready. When the marmalade reaches 105c, turn the heat off and leave for 10 minutes. Ladle the marmalade into a jug, then pour this carefully into the jars, leaving a slight gap at the top (half a centimetre is perfect). Screw the lid on tightly and leave undisturbed until completely cold.
While this recipe does seem a little complicated, it results in a delicious and zesty marmalade that you can eat in any way you like!