Although you can of course buy Marmalade from the shops, like many things it tastes best homemade. I find that making Marmalade is an ideal Sunday afternoon activity, especially if it is rainy and cold outside as it often is in January, the perfect excuse to stay in! This is our family recipe which is actually quite different to some of the versions I have seen, but I think this one involves a bit less faff. Although Marmalade does take some time, it is fairly straight forward and the results are very rewarding. I would recommend putting your favourite CD on (Ella Fitzgerald is my jam companion of choice) and enjoy the citrus aromas wafting through your kitchen.
Marmalade is one of the UKs most favourite preserves and has currently gained huge acclamation from the lovely Paddington Bear. It was also my Grandpas favourite condiment and he always had to have a good supply in his cupboard.
If you have ever wanted to make your own marmalade now is the time! Seville oranges are currently in season and readily available in most super markets (I bought mine from Waitrose.) It is important to use Seville oranges when making your Marmalade because of their unique qualities. Seville oranges funnily enough come from Seville (Southern Spain) they look like a normal orange, however there skin is slightly rougher and the taste is very much different. The reason you use Seville oranges for Marmalade is because they have a very characteristic bitter note, which comes mainly from the oil in the peel. Any jam or sweet preserve requires a lot of sugar; I would suggest buying 5kg bag if you plan on making other jams in the future. If this is your first time making Marmalade or jam you may not be familiar with pectin, essentially it is a natural ‘gelling’ agent made from apple peel, you need pectin to get a nice set, again you can buy this in super markets.
1.4 kg Seville Oranges
2.7 kg Granulated Sugar (just under 3 bags)
3 Pints of Water
125 ml Pectin
This recipe makes a large quantity, so scale up or down; depending on how much you want. This makes 8 large jars, I like to use clip top Kilner jars, you will also need some grease proof lids, these are available from kitchen shops.
- Remove the stalk and the stalk root from the oranges with a little knife.
- Place the whole oranges and lemons in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Place the lid on and leave to simmer gently for 2 hours, turning the oranges every ½ hour to ensure each side is cooking in the water.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool (3 hours or so.)
- Once cool, remove the oranges and lemons from the syrupy liquid.
- Place a coarse sieve over the pan. Slice the syrupy oranges and lemon in half and carefully scoop out the pulp (technical name for this is dummy) keeping the skin intact, set the peel to one side.
- Push through the sieve with a wooden spoon, regularly scraping the bottom side of the sieve to help the flow of the juice.
- Cut the peel into quarters and then finely slice (this will take a while) and place back into the pan.
- Add your sugar to the pan and place on the heat. Stir well and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add your pectin, stir well and take off the heat.
- Place a teaspoon of the Marmalade on a plate and place in the fridge for 5 minutes.
- Remove the plate, if the Marmalade has formed a skin on the surface then it is ready to jar up, if not place back on the heat and add a little more pectin and repeat the process (this process is called gelling.)
- Pour the liquid into your jars using a jug, place a grease proof lid on the surface of the marmalade, lid and label. This will keep in your cupboard for 1 year.