Ingredients / Shopping List
1 kg Seville oranges (12)
1.7kg Preserving sugar
Juice 2 lemons
2.5 litres cold water
Prep to Cook: Jam pan or very large pan (5 litre), square of muslin, basin, metal spoon, string, lemon squeezer, chopping board, sharp knife, measuring jug, tablespoon, long handled spoon, sugar thermometer or temperature probe, teaspoon, saucers, 6 – 7 clean jam jars, baking tray
Prep: Make this marmalade in 5 steps
Cut the oranges in half, squeeze the juice into a measuring jug.
Scrape each half of the orange peel pith side with a spoon to pull away all the pulp and pith from the peel. Put these empty orange segments and pips into a basin lined with a double later of muslin. Tie it up and place in the jam pan.
Add 2.5 litres cold water and leave to stand.
Using a sharp vegetable knife take each half of Seville orange skin and slice into very thin strips across the width of the peel.
Put the sliced peel into the jam pan and bring to the boil.
Simmer gently for about 1.30mins or until the peel looks translucent.
Weigh out the preserving sugar and add to jam pan. Stir and warm gently until all the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and time it for 15 minutes. A ‘rolling boil’ results. This is rapid boiling with marmalade moving and rising up the pan sides. Take care.
After 15 minutes keep boiling and test the temperature until it reaches 108⁰C
Test for the marmalade setting. Use a teaspoon of the marmalade onto a cold plate from the fridge. After a minute the marmalade should wrinkle when you push your finger through it.
Cool the jam pan by placing in a sink of cold water to cool the base of the pan.
Stir until cooler around 70⁰C.
Pour into pre-heated jam jars (clean jars in the oven on 100⁰C or Gas Mark 1)
Put the tops on. Label and store.
Seville Oranges are only available in our shops in late January early February. They can be frozen whole for use at a later date. Thaw fully before using. Seville oranges are tangy and bitter and make excellent marmalade.
Cooks Know How: Marmalade making is similar to jam making. Basically the fruit peel is cooked and the residual juices, flesh and pips of Seville oranges are combined with sugar and boiled until the mixture sets. What happens to create the set? Three things have to be just right to get a good set. Firstly the fruit, use Seville oranges and add lemon juice to keep the acidity correct. Secondly have the right amount of sugar and right type of sugar. Preserving sugar has a little ‘pectin’ added to it to help the end product set. It is a large white crystal sugar that allows the colour of the fruits to show through in the final set. Finally cook the mixture long enough. The early stage is to cook the peel (no sugar at this stage) once soft peel has been achieved add the large quantity of sugar and dissolve it. Boiling is the end stage where the aim is to reduce the amount of water in the solution and make the sugar percentage about 65%. The correct sugar percentage with the correct acidity and the right amount of pectin will make the marmalade set.
That irksome muslin bag is also vital. It contains all the left over flesh segments and pips and some pith. These help to improve the pectin content of the marmalade and help the ‘set’ so don’t miss it out.
All in all the technique is easy but thoroughly based on science. The temperature of the final mixture reaches 108⁰C which indicates the correct sugar solution to prevent spoilage and make a marmalade that lasts from one year to another.
Sugar holds the water and makes it unavailable for any harmful microbes to grow.
If you wish to try a different marmalade, use grapefruit and lemons to replace some of the Seville oranges to create ‘3 fruit marmalade.’ Probably this is an annual recipe – but remember it makes a great foodie present so two batches might just be better than one!