I made marmalade
I have been meaning to make it for several years, but the thought of all the chopping and peeling really put me off.
Then I saw that Riverford were doing a special ‘marmalade bag’ with seville oranges and lemons, and a recipe, and I decided that this would be the year I finally did it.
I used a different recipe in the end-this one here for Herb Scented Marmalade from Waitrose, but I omitted the herbs.
I liked the idea of boiling the oranges first and thought it might make peeling and cutting them slightly less arduous. Having never made it before, I have no idea if this was easier or not. It was a bit of a faff, but no worse than making chutney.
This is what you need:
- 1.5kg Seville oranges
- 2 lemons
- 12 dried bay leaves OR ½ x 4g tube Cooks’ Ingredients Wild Bay Leaves OR 1 growing pot fresh rosemary (if you are doing the herb scented one). I also thought that lavender might be a nice addition?
- 2kg granulated sugar
- muslin (or I used a pair of old tights-clean, obviously…)
This is what you do:
- Wash the fruit and cut a hole in the end of each one-I just cut out the stalky bit
- Place them in a saucepan in a single layer, holes downwards-I had too many to fit in a singge layer, so they did end up with a few in a second tier, but I just kept giving them a stir to shift them all around a bit and make sure they all had a turn under the water
- Place the herbs (if using) in a muslin or jelly bag and loosely tie the end. If using rosemary, snap all the shoots off about halfway down, leaving the remaining rosemary in the pot to grow again
- Add to the pan with 1250ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, until the fruit is soft — about 1 hour 30 minutes
- Sterilise your jars
- Scoop the fruit from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to cool
- Pour the remaining liquid into a preserving pan, removing any stray pips
- Cut all the fruit into quarters, scoop out the flesh and add it, with the pips, to the herbs in the bag-OR put all the detritus in a jar, and then when you are done-stretch your tights leg over the top and then up-end the jar, so all the goop falls into the leg, and then tie it shut smugly having made no mess!
- Place this contraption in the pan
- Finely (mine was more ‘rustic’ than ‘fine’) shred the peel and add it with the sugar to the pan
- Bring the marmalade to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved
- Boil rapidly, stirring frequently to stop if catching on the bottom of the pan, until setting point is reached, in about 30 minutes-mine took longer-I always find that jam or chutney recipes underestimate the amount of time needed, and I never learn and still try and cram it in to an inappropriate amount of time)
- Remove the pan from the heat once setting point is reached
- Scoop out the muslin bag, pressing out as much juice as possible
- Leave the marmalade for 20 minutes before bottling, to avoid the peel rising in the jars
- Any foam that formed during boiling should disappear (I had a huge amount of foam, and was a little concerned it wouldn’t disappear, but it did). If any remains when you are ready to bottle, skim it off with a spoon, or add a few flakes of cold butter and stir, which disperses it
- Pour the marmalade carefully into the clean, hot jars
- Seal, and label when cold
Hooray and hurrah!
OK, so it a little on the browny side, and the peel is ‘rustic cut’ and some of it *may* be a little charred where it caught on the bottom of the pan. But it is still, unequivocally, marmalade.