Nothing says January like home-made marmalade! The first thing I have done since returning from two months away is to roll up my sleeves and get stuck into marmalade-making! I’ve always found it a bit of a chore so I’m trying out a new recipe – Sarah Raven’s which appeared on my email yesterday! It’s so much simpler because you simmer the oranges first for an hour before scooping out the squishy flesh, pith and pips. The skin is then easy-peasy to slice up and then simply boil it up with the sugar! Not quite sure who I’m going to give it to now I’m in quarantine and then lockdown – but I suppose it keeps!
Makes 3.5 kgs or 12 jars
- 1.4kg Seville oranges
- 1 tsp salt
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2.7kg granulated sugar
Scrub the oranges and put them whole into a large preserving pan, along with 2.4 litres of water and the salt. Cover with a lid and simmer the fruit gently until soft. This takes about 1 hour.
Strain off and reserve the liquid. Halve the fruit, scoop out the pith and pips with a spoon, and put this into a small saucepan. Add another 300ml of water to the pan of pith and pips and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Coarsely slice the orange peel and add to the reserved liquid in the preserving pan. Strain the liquid from the pith and pips, and add this liquid to the large pan. Add the lemon juice and sugar, and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar completely, stirring all the time. Increase the heat and bring to a rapid boil until the setting point is reached.
To test for the setting point, put a saucer in the fridge to cool. When you think the marmalade might be ready, put a spoonful of the boiling jam on to the saucer. Return the saucer to the fridge. Once it is cold, the jam should wrinkle when you push it with your finger. This took almost 40 minutes and it was still on the soft side when cool, which is how I like it. If you are nervous there are guidelines on the web about sugar thermometers and the perfect temperatures for different sets.
After taking the marmalade off the heat, remove the scum (if there is any)from the surface with a spoon.
Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes – or the fruit peel will all float to the top. Stir once and pour into warm sterilised dry jars. Put a greaseproof disc on the top of each jar and cover immediately.