Serves: Makes about 3 litres
Making marmalade is not difficult but it is time-consuming. I prefer to boil the oranges whole as it is so much easier to finely chop the peel when it is soft. Experts say this method produces a softer set but I haven’t noticed much difference. The addition of muscovado sugar gives the marmalade an extra depth of flavour but you could use all white sugar for a lighter result. You will need a preserving pan for this quantity of marmalade and be careful when it comes to the boil that the mixture doesn’t spill over. Cleaning caramelised marmalade off a hob is hell. Make sure you have plenty of sterilised jars at the ready-about 8-10 depending on their size.
- 1.3kg Seville oranges, scrubbed
- 3 unwaxed lemons, washed
- 2kg granulated sugar
- 600g soft light muscovado sugar
- Place a saucer in the fridge-this is to test for the setting point later. Place the oranges and lemons whole in a preserving pan and pour over 2.3 litres of water. Weight the oranges down with a plate and bring to the boil. Cover tightly with 2 layers of foil and turn the heat down to low. Leave the fruit to simmer gently for about 2-2 ½ hours or until the oranges are soft when prodded.
- With a slotted spoon lift the fruit out of the pan, reserving the liquid, and leave to cool in a large dish. When cool enough to handle cut the fruit in half and scrape the pips and pith into a small saucepan. Pour over enough cold water to cover the pips and pith. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into the preserving pan, pushing out as much liquid as possible. This is where the pectin lies which will ensure a good set. Discard the remains of the pips and pith.
- Prepare the peel: discard the lemon skins (the lemons are solely used for the pectin contained in their pips and pith) and cut the orange peel into fine pieces-or chunky if you prefer. Stir into the reserved cooking liquor. Place the preserving pan over a high heat and pour in the sugars. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and leave to boil for about 18-20 minutes, making sure the liquid does not boil over. When the temperature reaches 105˚c on a thermometer take the pan off the heat. To test for a set put a spoonful of the marmalade on to the chilled saucer and leave for 3 minutes. If the marmalade wrinkles and is holding its shape it is ready. If not bring back to the boil and boil for a further 5 minutes then test for a set. Once set leave the marmalade to rest for 15 minutes.
- Stir the marmalade to distribute the peel evenly and fill the prepared jars. Cover with a disc of waxed paper and seal with a lid or jam pot covers.