They’re here. You can’t miss them. Or at least you shouldn’t. Look out for the boxes heaped high with glorious, knobbly, thick-skinned oranges shining brightly in the winter gloom … not just any oranges – Seville oranges.
There is a small window in the month of January when Seville oranges are readily available in the shops to buy, and they really are the best type of oranges you can use to make marmalade.
Making marmalade brings with it that lovely smug feeling of having several jars sitting in the cupboard to see you through the year, or if you are generous, a jar makes a lovely gift for a special friend too!
We are on the look out for some different variety Marmalade recipes so click here if you would like to share one of yours with our community.
Makes 2.5kg (5 or 6 jars)
Ready in 2½ hours, plus cooling
2 lb (900g) Seville oranges
4 lb (1.8kg) preserving sugar
Pop 3 or 4 small plates into the freezer.
Halve the oranges and lemons. Squeeze the juice and pour into the preserving pan, making sure you reserve the pips, any white pith and the empty orange halves.
Put all the pips and any pith into a square piece of muslin. Tie with string, leaving the string long enough to tie onto the handle of the pan – this makes it easier to get out later.
Using a sharp knife, cut the empty orange halves in two, then slice as thinly or as thickly as you like them in the finished marmalade. Add to the pan with the juice and pour in 4 pints (2.25 litres water). Add the muslin bag and tie to the handle.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 2 hours until the zest is very soft and transparent. Tip in the sugar, stir well with the wooden spoon and bring slowly to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil rapidly until setting point is reached – about 10-20 minutes – or if you have a sugar thermometer, when the temperature reaches 105°C.
To test, take 1 of the plates from the freezer, spoon a little marmalade onto it and chill in the freezer for 1 minute. Then, run your finger through the cold marmalade – if it is thickened and begins to wrinkle, it’s set. If not, cook for about 3 more minutes and test again. You may need to test this a few times until the required set is reached.
Allow to stand and cool slightly for about 20 minutes. Use a jam funnel to ladle the marmalade into sterilised 6 x 450g jam jars. Top with a waxed disc, then cover. Cool the jars, then label and date them.