Seville orange marmalade

Makes 1.5-2kg
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

There should be plenty of Seville oranges in the shops until at least halfway through next month. This simple and fruity recipe, cooking them whole then chopping them up, seems the easiest and best, and you can adapt it to other fruits such as grapefruit and lemons, or even a mixture. A pressure cooker is perfect for jam-making as it cuts down the cooking time, although the pans tend not to be that big, so you have to make smaller batches.

There should be plenty of Seville oranges in the shops until at least halfway through next month. This simple and fruity recipe, cooking them whole then chopping them up, seems the easiest and best, and you can adapt it to other fruits such as grapefruit and lemons, or even a mixture. A pressure cooker is perfect for jam-making as it cuts down the cooking time, although the pans tend not to be that big, so you have to make smaller batches.

Marmalade has changed over the centuries. It started out rather like a quince paste, the fruit boiled down so it was thick and sliceable. At the end of the 18th century it started to become more refined and jelly-like with fine shreds of orange in it. Bulking it out with peel and sugar was more economical than just boiling down the juice. Now thick-cut and chunky are associated with superior marmalade, but if you're making your own it's up to you to have the peel the way you like it.

1.5kg Seville oranges, washed
3kg jam or preserving sugar or granulated

Put the oranges into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 11/2 hours or until the skins are soft and tender and easily pierced with a small knife.

Remove the oranges from the liquid, cut them in half and put them on a plate to cool. Once cool, scoop out the seeds with any pulp and push through a colander with the back of a large spoon. This pulpy mixture is very gelatinous and will help to set the marmalade. Put the pulp mixture in the cooking liquid and discard the seeds. Cut the halves in half again and cut them into thin strips or chunks, according to whether you like fine or chunky marmalade.

Add the peel back into the cooking water with the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 10-15 minutes, skimming off any white impurities every so often, until setting point is reached. The best way to test this is to drop a teaspoonful on to a small plate that has been in the fridge. If it sets after, say, a minute to a marmalade consistency, it's done; if not, continue boiling it and keep re-testing it. If you want a really thick marmalade, continue to boil until the sugar is almost caramelised.

Leave the marmalade to cool for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often, so that the pieces of orange suspend in the liquid. Then fill into sterilised jam or Kilner-type jars. Store in a cool place for up to 6-8 months. f

Comments