Marmalade can be made with any citrus fruit but to make a traditional bitter sweet preserve, Seville oranges are the best. The season for Seville oranges is short and they are only usually available in shops from mid-January to early February. So if you haven’t made yours already, you are probably too late this year! Seville oranges can sometimes be difficult to get hold of but can usually be found in good supermarkets and fruit and vegetable shops.
There are many recipes available but I have been using this one for a long time and everyone I have given the marmalade to has really enjoyed it.
The recipe makes 12-14 jars of marmalade but the quantities can be easily divided to make smaller batches. It takes about four hours but only requires about 40 minutes of actual work and is definitely worth the effort.
- 3lb Seville Oranges
- 6 pints water
- 6lb granulated sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
You will need…
- A large pan (capable of holding at least 8 pints of water)
- A sieve
- A citrus fruit squeezer
- A piece of muslin (at least 8 inches square)
- A piece of string (as long as you like!)
- A wooden spoon
- Sterilised jam jars (wash out with hot soapy water, rinse and heat at 120 °C for 20 mins, put the lids in a bowl and pour boiling water over them then dry with a clean tea towel)
What to do…
- Scrub oranges in cold water.
- Put the sieve over the pan and lay the muslin inside the sieve.
- Halve the oranges and lemons, squeeze the juice and pour it through the muslin lined sieve into the pan.
- Pull any membrane and pips from the inside of the orange halves and put them into the muslin lined sieve.
- Gather up the muslin and tie it with string to make a bag of pips and membrane.
- Cut the halves of orange peel into quarters, and finely chop the peel.
- Put the muslin bag and chopped peel into the pan and add the water.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours until the peel is soft. Between a third and a half of the water will have evaporated and the peel should be soft enough to easily pull apart. It is important that the peel is soft because once this stage is over it will not get any softer.
- Take out the muslin bag and squeeze it though the sieve with the wooden spoon into the pan to get as much of the liquid out as possible (this is where your pectin is).
- Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and cook for 25-40 minutes until setting point is reached.
- To test for setting point put a small plate in the fridge and when it is cold spoon a teaspoon of marmalade onto the plate. Wait for a couple of minutes and then push your finger through it. If setting point has been reached a skin will have formed and it will wrinkle.
- Using a spoon, scrape off the scum that has collected at the edge of the pan and discard.
- Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes and then spoon into the hot jars and seal.