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Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Seville Orange Marmalade

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Seville Orange Marmalade
The ingredients for orange marmalade (plus sugar, not shown) set out. These are not the full quantities. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Marmalade 101: Know your setting point. Use equal weights of oranges and sugar. And include the juice of a couple of lemons, which lowers the pH and aids setting. Some say it prevents crystalisation.

 

Ingredients

1.3 kg Seville (or other) oranges (when weighed whole)

1.3 kg white granulated sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

2.8 litres cold water

1 large square of muslin

1 piece of string (and no, we don’t know how long it is)

Method

The initial boiling of orange peels in water with a muslin bag containing the innards of the oranges. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Have a jug and a bowl to hand, the jug for the juice, the bowl for the pith and membranes. Weigh oranges. Cut each in half and squeeze the juice out into the jug. Use a spoon to gouge out as much of the pith as possible from each orange half. Put this in the bowl with all the leftover membranes. 

Slice the orange rind thinly into strips. Squeeze the juice of two lemons into the orange juice. Lay out the muslin and put the contents of the bowl at the centre. Gather it up into a “bag” and tie the top end very tightly with string. I’d double it up as you do NOT want the bag breaking when boiling.

You now have three elements: A container of orange (and lemon) juice, a pile of orange rind strips, and a muslin bag with its contents from inside the oranges.

Put the muslin bag and the peels into a huge pot and fill with 2.8 litres cold water. (NB: Do not add sugar at this stage.) Add the juice. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Lower to a very gentle bubble and simmer for two hours.

Leave to cool until you can handle the muslin bag without scalding your hands. Squeeze out as much liquid, including the oozy whitish pectin, as possible from the bag into the same pot. Discard the bag.

Add the sugar, bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar, and boil briskly (high heat) until the temperature reaches 105℃. Now, this is the tricky part. It can go wrong; very wrong. If, like me, you don’t have a sugar thermometer, there’s a great way to test the setting temperature of jams: Put a small plate in the freezer. Have a teaspoon to hand. After the first 15 minutes or so of boiling, get the plate out, put a teaspoonful of marmalade on it, and leave it for a minute. Tilt the plate to one side. If it flows, it’s not set. If it does not flow, turn off the heat immediately. If NOT set, rinse and dry the plate and return it to the freezer. Test every five minutes, until it’s set.

Once you’re satisfied that it’s set, turn off the heat. After 10 minutes, spoon off any scum that’s risen to the top of the pot. Spoon the marmalade into hot, sterilised jars. Seal.

TGIFood Tip: If you have a dishwasher, run it with the jars and lids in. They’ll be ready for bottling the marmalade as soon as the cycle’s finished. DM/TGIFood

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