15 January 2012 by Caz
Seville Orange Marmalade is one of my favourite preserves, I like to boil the marmalade for a slightly shorter time (about 10 minutes). This produces a softer set but it means your preserve wont last quite as long.
Seville oranges make the best marmalade. They have a refreshing, sharp flavour and also, unlike sweet oranges, their pith becomes transparent and glistening when cooked with sugar, resulting in a bright, sparkling preserve. Make sure you use a suitable preserving sugar. The season for Seville oranges is short, usually lasting only a few weeks in January. So it is worth making a batch of marmalade now to enjoy the flavour throughout the year. Cut the peel as thickly or thinly as you prefer, according to taste. This task should not be rushed and is one of the pleasures of making marmalade.
• 1kg Seville oranges
• 1 Unwaxed lemon
• 2kg Preserving Sugar
1. Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly, then dry them in a clean tea towel. Pour 2 litres cold water into a large, wide pan or preserving pan. Squeeze the oranges and lemon and add the juice to the water. Reserve the pips and orange rind, but discard the squeezed lemon.
2. Cut the oranges in half again and, using a metal spoon, scrape the pith and pips into the centre of a large square of muslin. Tie the muslin with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to the pan and tie the ends of the string to the pan handle to make it easier to remove later.
3. Cut the orange peel into strips – chunky for coarse cut and thinner for a fine shred. It is easier and quicker if you place 2 pieces on top of each other and slice with a sharp knife. Add to the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, until the peel is very soft and the liquid reduced by about half. Remove and discard the bag with the pips and pith, squeezing as much juice as possible back into the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.
4. Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until it has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly until it reaches setting point. This usually takes about 15 minutes. To test, remove the pan from the heat and spoon a little marmalade onto a chilled saucer. Allow to cool for a few seconds, then push with a finger. If the surface wrinkles it is ready. If not, boil for a further 5 minutes and test again. Leave the marmalade to settle for 15 minutes, then skim off any scum from the surface with a slotted spoon. Stir the mixture and pour into warm, clean jars, using a jug. Place a waxed disk on top immediately. Cover when cold, then label and date.
a. Choose the Right Pan Use a large, wide pan to make marmalade. The mixture should not come any higher than half way up the sides. A wide pan helps the liquid to evaporate more quickly and reduces the likelihood of the marmalade boiling over.
b. Prepare the Jars At the end of paragraph 3 of the instructions, prepare the jars. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Ensure the jars are clean and free from cracks and chips. Place the jars on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off leaving the jars inside until the marmalade is ready to pot.
c. Use Preserving Sugar Preserving sugar has larger crystals which dissolve slowly. This minimises scum and results in a bright, clear marmalade.
d. Ensure a Good Set Much of the pectin which makes marmalade set is found in the pips and pith. This is why it is wrapped in a muslin bag and boiled with the marmalade so that as much pectin as possible is extracted to ensure a good set.
e. Vary the Flavour For a touch of spice, add 3 tbsp grated, fresh root ginger at the beginning of the cooking. To make a darker, rich marmalade replace 100g of the sugar with dark muscovado sugar. Make your marmalade extra special by stirring in 75ml whisky just before potting.
f. Where to Store Marmalade Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct light which will fade the colour. The marmalade will keep for up to one year.
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