Making your own orange marmalade has to be one of the most satisfying things to make in the kitchen. It isn’t for people who want to see the end results in a flash. It takes time, involves painstakingly cutting the orange skin into small threads and constantly checking that the pan is on the right boil. It isn’t a recipe that you can leave to simmer away on the hob while you put your feet up with a cup of tea. If this isn’t for you then I recommend buying your own. There is a lot of good quality marmalade out there that tastes delicious.
Yet you just can’t beat that heartwarming job of making your own pots of Seville Orange Marmalade! There is so much joy to be had with your home smelling of bittersweet oranges and then that almost sweet honey scent that lingers for some time afterwards. Seville oranges are in season for a short time from January to early February. Whenever these start to pop up in the supermarkets I like to see them as a little bit of hope and brightness in the middle of what cetainly feels like in the bleak midwinter! They are bright, sweet, bitter, juicy and tangy – a lively ingredient to perk us up from all the root veg that we are starting to get a bit tired of. I almost see it as heroic to make a big batch, a sort of statement that we made it through winter when opening a jar of this for a lazy brunch in the spring or summer. I am also a big fan of making strawberry jam but you just can’t beat the delight in making your own Seville Orange Marmalade. Delia claims that the intensely sharp, bitter Seville oranges here hold their own, conquering the sweetness of the sugar; that fresh, intensely orange fragrance and flavour are unmatched in any preserve anywhere in the world. I have to agree.
Making your own Seville Orange Marmalade is open to much interpretation. Some boil their oranges whole, others like the skin to be in chunks instead of thin strips and some prefer their jam to be more of a syrup compared to my favourite of a more jelly like texture. This recipe will provide you with the easiest way to achieve a jar of clear, bittersweet, almost tangy and delicious Seville Orange Marmalade.
- 1kg seville oranges
- 1.5kg preserving sugar
- 1 lemon
- Peel the oranges and lemon, without squeezing out the juice, and then cut the peel into very fine, thin strips.
- Squeeze all the juice from the oranges and lemon into a large bowl, keeping the pips and pulp to one side in a separate bowl.
- Add the peel to a large, deep pan and pour in 4 litres of water. Bring to a boil and then gently simmer for 1 or 1 and half hours until the peel is soft when you squeeze it between your fingers. During this time you should stir regularly. Also put a small plate in the freezer ready for testing later.
- Once done put the pan on a very low heat. Add the pulp and juice to the pan (discarding any pins) and then pour in the sugar. Turn up the heat to bring the pan to a gentle heat and keep on giving the pan a gentle but consistent stir until the sugar is all dissolved. Then bring to a boil and boil rapidly for around 20 mins until setting point. You will need to keep an eye on the pan at all times to stop it over flowing.
- To test the setting point take the plate out of the freezer. Put a spoonful of the marmalade mixture onto the plate and if the skin thickens then the marmalade is recipe. If it remains liquid then leave to boil for another 10/15 mins and test again.
- Take the pan off the heat and leave to stand for 15/20 mins. Then pour into sterilised jars and keep in a cool, dark place.