The house has been smelling wonderfully of oranges over the last couple of days. Yesterday I started the marmalade, and today I finished it.
This is the recipe I used for this batch.
Reduced sugar marmalade 2014
1.5kg Seville oranges, 3.5 litres water, 2 lemons, 2 kg sugar ( Demerara)
(My original recipe has a ratio of ‘fruit to sugar’ of 1:2: meaning that 2 kg of oranges would require 4 kg sugar – so the reduction in this recipe is significant. note it will reduce yield also, as bigger quantities of sugar obviously make more marmalade )
Half the oranges and squeeze, pull out pulp and pith, put all this into a muslin cloth / bag over a bowl. Halve the lemons and squeeze and add the juice and husks to the muslin / muslin bag. Solids will be retained by the bag and the juices will run out.
Suspend the muslin bag from the handle of the preserving pan, so that it will sit in the rest of the mix as it is cooked. Add the juice to the pan.
Slice skins into fine pieces and add to pan with the water –
(You can do the chopping up bit in the blender if you don’t mind the pieces looking ‘chopped up’)
Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2 hours, until peel is soft.
(You can do this stage in the slow cooker or bottom of an Aga overnight, or even quickly in a few minutes the pressure cooker. My Good Housekeeping book advises 20 minutes at 10 lb pressure as a higher pressure would destroy the pectin!)
Lift out the bag containing the pips etc. and squeeze as much as possible back into the pan. Then discard the bag contents.
(I usually lift out the bag over a small colander and put a bowl under the colander, then weight a saucer on the bag to get out all the juices, which are v important to add back to the mix, as they contain the pectin)
Add the sugar to the preserving pan. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
(Some recipes advocate warming the sugar first, and I have found about 2.5 – 3 mins in the microwave, in a Pyrex bowl works, and it reduces the time you have to stir and dissolve the sugar in before turning up the heat)
Bring to the boil and then boil rapidly until setting point has been reached – the time for this varies. Anywhere between 8 – 20 mins probably.
(Test by putting a small amount onto a cold saucer and pulling a spoon through it. It should wrinkle if it has reached setting point)
Warm the washed jars in the oven to 140 c for 10 minutes or more, along with the jam funnel, and metal soup ladle, if you have one, so all super clean!
Boil lids in a pan of water few a few mins. Just before you need them turn them out onto a freshly washed and ironed tea towel and do not touch the inner bits of the lids which will come into touch with the jars to make sure they remain clean and uncontaminated.
Remove the marmalade pan from the heat and skim to get rid of any scum.
Cool for 5-8 mins then stir to make sure peel is distributed evenly, then fill pots to top, remembering ‘no touch technique’ to reduce risk of bacterial or mould contamination.
Seal and when cool label. Wipe of sticky residue from the outside of the jars before storing.