Good news for Paddington Bear! This time of year isn’t the season for much (beyond diets, dreary days and being overdrawn), but there is one thing it IS the time for: Marmalade. Seville oranges are ripe for the buying, and all you need is a couple of hours to concoct a year’s worth of the amber jam. Packaged right, this stuff with last for years – how about making some for next year’s Christmas hampers?!
What you need:
- 2kg Seville oranges (unwaxed)
- 2 lemons (unwaxed)
- 2kg sugar (jam sugar or regular is fine) – more if you prefer your marmalade on the sweet side
- Jam jars
- Waxed jam liner discs
After a quick wash, slice all the oranges and lemons in half, and plonk them in a big saucepan (ideally a pressure cooker), giving them a quick squeeze on the way in.
Pop the lid on and leave to simmer for a couple of hours. When you come back, they should be nice and soft and squidgey. When this is ready, preheat the oven to 150°C for later.
Take each fruit half out one by one, and scrape out the innards, pips and all, using a fork and spoon.
Put the skins to one side, and push the rest through a sieve (or one of these special contraptions shown, a food mill), back into the saucepan/pressure cooker. Pop this back on the hob on a low heat.
Stick the sugar in it’s packaging in the preheated oven, alongside the jam jars in order to sterilise them. If the jars have rubber components (for the rim of the top), heat these in water in a saucepan to sterilise.
Chop up the skins (a multi-bladed pair of scissors as shown will minimise faff). Snip to your preferred size. Set to one side.
Once the saucepan is bubbling, add all the sugar and mix in.
Keep stirring until it has set – a good test is when the mixture will hang off the spoon(/spatula) instead of dripping straight off.
Add the rinds to the saucepan. Don’t do this earlier, or they’ll end up hard and crunchy. Mix well.
Once the jam jars are quite hot, take them out (with oven gloves!) and ladel/pour the mixture straight in. Lay a liner on top, then seal well.
Add a label with a date and ‘HOME MADE BY XXX’ in large letters. You did all the work so you need to get the glory!
And all done in one afternoon – try it this weekend and teach yourself a skill for life! Thanks to Papa Oysterville, the Marmalade Master, for this project.