Tuesday, 12 January 2010

How to make marmalade

This post is copied over from Creative Living forum; this year, I still have enough Seville oranges in the freezer from last year, so will be using them, in the continuing spirit of Use It Up In January.


January and February is the traditional time of year to make marmalade for the year ahead; lovely Seville oranges are in the shops now. I paid 96p per kilo for mine the other week. This is the tried and tested recipe I've used for more years than I care to remember, so will post it here as it's very reliable.

Seville orange marmalade

6 Seville oranges
2 lemons
4 1/2 pintss of water
4 lbs white sugar

Cut the oranges and lemons into quarters, then slice into shreds; do this with a sharp knife or a shredder if you have one. I'm lucky enough to have a Spong marmalade shredder which makes short work of the job! Take care to catch all the juice, though, and add to the preserving pan with the sliced fruits. You can remove the pips at this stage if you like, for tying in a muslin bag later, or you can leave them in and skim them off as they appear when the marmalade is cooking.

Place all the sliced fruit in the pan and cover with the cold water; leave 24 hours. This helps to soften the peel and makes for quicker cooking the next day.

Next day, put the pan on the heat and simmer slowly but steadily until the liquid is reduced by half - dont skimp on this stage or the marmalade will have too much moisture in it and not set properly. Add the muslin bag of pips if using that method.
When reduced, add the pre-warmed sugar - heat it in an oven proof dish in the oven for 15 minutes or so. This ensures that the temperature of the contents of the pan won't suffer a sudden heat reduction, which would take a long time to recover. The secret of good marmalade making is a quick fierce rolling boil achieved as quickly as possible. Bring the heat up to achieve this...........

Boil fast for 15 - 20 minutes and test for a set - use a sugar thermometer/jam thermometer and watch when the temp reaches the required level and remove from the heat. Alternatively, put a little of the marmalade on to a cold saucer; after a few seconds, if it wrinkles when you push it with your fingertip, it is ready. If not ready, put back on a high heat and re-test.

When it reaches setting point, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes - this gives the peel time to settle down as the marmalade starts to thicken and set - otherwise all the peel will float to the tops of the jars. Meanwhile, prepare your jars - wash in hot water and place in warm oven for 15 minutes or so. Don't have them too hot or the marmalade will boil as it hits the hot jar.
Fill jars using a ladle and a jam funnel, or carefully with a jug. Cover and seal straight away, or cover the jars with a tea towel and wait until it is completely cold.

Hopefully you will end up with something like this:


Ruth@VS said...

Nice post, I'll be making mine later this week too. I like the soaking suggestion - think I will do that this time as it's a good idea. Of course, I have nowhere to put all the marmalade as the cupboard is still full of last summer's jam and preserved fruit. Still, at least I've used up last year's marmalade before making more!

MrsL said...

We haven't quite - still got some grapefruit and ginger to go. It's like a seasonal must-do in January, though!!



dee said...

Thanks for posting your recipe.Will give it a go when i come across some
Seville's Haven't seen any yet :0)


MrsL said...

Not have I yet , Dee; it's usually more to the end of the montha round here, but I know they are about already in some shops.



MoominMamma said...


This might be a bit of a dumb question, but why is this time of year the traditional time to make marmalade?

MrsL said...

It's when the Seville oranges come in from Spain to this country; they're only available for a few weeks, although they can be successfully frozen and used later. They are considered to make the best marmalade - very bitter, dryish-fleshed oranges, funny shapes and wrinkly skins (bit like me, then LOL). Good marmalade can be made iwth other oranges as well, or a mix of various citrus fruits, but this is considered to be the best.
Hope that helps.



MoominMamma said...

Ah yes! That was very helpful, thank you MrsL! xx

Libby said...

Oh goody I shall go and take a look at the local veg shop, love making marmalade!

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