It has been a few days since my last post and I am glad to say we did manage to get food shopping last Saturday *see previous post*. Oh but besides foodie items I must tell you, a gorgeous stack of three cake tins in various sizes with little cupcake designs on them magically appeared in my trolley, does this ever happen to you when shopping or is it just me?!?! Sunday night was a white wash of snow again and all I have wanted to do in the last few days is snuggle up in a fluffy warm blanket and hibernate and be a couch potato!
Today felt appropriate for making a huge batch of marmalade – now Paddington Bear *a marmalade sandwich-eating bear from darkest Peru* would have been extremely pleased had he come calling at my door after potting-up my golden preserves! Seville oranges are short in season from January to February in the U.K. and such a treasured import from Spain. There are many combinations of different fruits you can use to make marmalade but in my opinion Seville oranges are, “the” royalty of oranges to create the best homemade marmalade! Their sharp juices blend magnificently to the sweetness of the added sugar in marmalade. I also like to stir through a very small quantity of Scotch whisky when the preserve has cooled enough - it isn’t a dominate flavour but enhances the flavour of the marmalade.
Seville Orange Marmalade close-up
Of course this delectable marmalade can be added in cakes, puddings etc but my favourite is spreading thickly onto warm buttered toast, oh such joy - long live homemade marmalade
The Golden Preserve
Homemade Seville Orange Marmalade
Makes approx 6kg – I used 7 small kilner jars when potting up.
2kg (approx 4 lbs) of Seville oranges
4 lemons4 litres (approx 8 pints) of water
4kg (approx 8 lbs) granulated sugar or preserving sugar
12tsp Scotch whisky (optional)
Put all the fruit into bowl of warm water and give them a gentle scrub to remove any impurities from the skin. Place the fruit into a large saucepan/ preserving pan with a lid and add the water and a lid and simmer for about 1½ -2 hours until the skins are soft and can be effortlessly pierced with a skewer. Remove the fruit from the water and place into a large dish/plate, to cool. Keep the cooking water – you will need this later on.Place all the sugar in a large roasting tin and place in a low oven to warm through; this helps the sugar to dissolve quicker.When the fruit is cool enough to handle cut them in half scoop out the pulp and pips and place with any remaining juice and water from the dish back into cooking water. Cut the orange halves very finely into shreds, *I shred about halve the peel to use – its personnel choice how much*.
Bring the pan up to a boil for 15 minutes. Strain out the pulp, pips and put all the liquid back into the pan. Add the warmed sugar and the shredded peel to the pan then heat the mixture slowly, stirring until it has fully dissolved.Bring to the boil and continue to boil rapidly without stirring for approx 30 minutes. This should take the marmalade to setting point, *see below for setting point*, if not keep boiling.
Leave the marmalade in the hot pan to cool at little it will show signs of the peel suspended in the mixture. Add the whisky if using and stir though.
Carefully ladle the marmalade into warm sterilised jars, seal the finished jars.
*To sterilise jars* – either by putting through the dish washer or washing the jars and lids and drying thoroughly before placing the jars in a roasting tin in a low oven for at least 30 minutes.