Refreshing, sharp and what I would call ‘heaven on toast’, marmalade is a fantastic early (or late!) morning pick-me-up.
Text by Eileen Smith
Its beautiful bright colour brings a smile to my face and when smothered on toasted, buttered bread, it makes my taste buds sing!
Well worth the effort and worlds better than what you find in the shops; I hope you give it a try and enjoy it! Happy Holidays!
A jar of this luxurious lip-smacking gold is a great ‘made with love’ gift to give to your nearest and dearest over the holidays.
Enough to fill about 5 or 6 normal preserve jars.
1kg or about 12 oranges, preferably Seville but any variety of oranges (or other citrus) will work!
75ml lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
1.5kg golden granulated sugar, such as Demerara or unrefined cane
Give your oranges a good scrub. Cut them in half. Squeeze out the juice, either by hand or by using a reamer. Reserve the juices. Cut each half into quarters. Using a small, particularly sharp kitchen knife, slice the peel, pith and all, into fine shreds (or thicker slices if you like a chunkier texture).
Make the fresh orange juice up to 4 litres with cold water, pouring it into the bowl with the shredded peel. You may need more than one bowl here. Set aside in a cold place and leave overnight or for up to 24 hours.
The next day, tip the juice and shredded peel into a large stainless steel, enamelled or preserving pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling point is reached, lower the heat and cover so that the liquid continues to simmer gently. It is ready when the peel is totally soft and translucent. This can take anything from a good hour to 2 hours, depending on the thickness of your peel slices. The contents of the pan should have reduced by about one-third.
Once the fruit is ready, stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Turn up the heat and bring the marmalade to a rolling boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface (if you don’t your preserve could be cloudy). Leave at a fast boil for about 15-20 minutes (do not stir at this point). Remove a tablespoon of the preserve, put it on a plate, and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. If a thick skin forms on the surface of the refrigerated marmalade, then it is ready and you can switch off the heat. If the tester is still liquid, then let the marmalade boil for longer. Test every 10 minutes. You can also use a preserving or candy thermometer; place in marmalade when it has reached a boil, when it reads 104.5°C, setting point has been reached. Some mixtures can take up to 50 minutes to reach setting consistency. Once reached, remove from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Ladle hot marmalade into the sterilised pots and seal immediately. Be sure to pay close attention to your sterilisation process and instructions, whichever you choose to follow, as it is vital to your marmalade’s storage life. Marmalade will keep in sealed jars for up to 2 years. Enjoy!