Marmalade making is a bit of a tradition for me at this time of year. For about 4 years now, 3 wonderful women from my family and me, gather together to boil up a big batch of glorious Seville orange marmalade. Seville orange season starts in mid January through to mid February - so just a few short weeks, which I think is why I get so excited about it!
Although there is a bit of time needed to make this recipe, a lot of it is just keeping an eye on the bubbly hot liquid and giving it an occasional stir - so a good recipe to make on a wet and grey day when you don’t fancy going out.
I would love to travel to Seville one day, I have been to Spain once before and I loved it. I have heard lots of lovely things about the southern Spanish city and so will keep it on my ‘must go to’ list.
Seville Orange Marmalade
1kg Seville oranges
2kg demerara sugar
75ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
The first step is to clean the oranges, so give them a scrub under running water to get them clean and then remove the buttons from the tops.
Cut the oranges in half and squeeze all the juice from them and then pour into a very large saucepan ( I use a 3.5 litre pan).
Then very finely slice the orange peel, pith and all. I aim for a thickness of 5mm and under for a medium shred marmalade, but if you prefer chunky shred marmalade then cut them to about 7mm.
Place all the cut orange skin into the saucepan along with the juice and add 2.5 litres of water and bring to the boil for about 2 hours or until the marmalade has reduced by a third. Stir occasionally.
Place a saucer or small plate into the freezer (…you’ll see why!)
Once reduced, add the demerara sugar and lemon juice and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring the marmalade to the boil and keep boiling for 25 minutes. At this point you can check if the ‘setting’ point has been reached, this will show if the marmalade will set to a jam once cooled down. Remove the small saucer or small plate from the freezer and carefully (the mixture will be dangerously hot) add a drop of the marmalade to the cold plate - leave for a minute, and then nudge the drop with your finger. If it wrinkles on the surface you've hit the setting point, if not then keep boiling and place the saucer back in the freezer to check again in another 5-10 minutes.
Once you’ve got the marmalade to the setting point, turn the heat off and allow the marmalade to cool down.
Meanwhile you can sterilise your jars, this is a vital step, even if you have bought fresh clean jars especially. Any bacteria left in the jars will contaminate your marmalade and it will spoil in a matter of weeks. If you sterilise your jars you can keep the marmalade, sealed, for a year. Clean your jars and lids in hot soapy water and then rinse thoroughly under running water, place into a large baking tray and allow the jars and lids to dry in the oven at 100ºC.
Once the marmalade has cooled down, you can fill up your sterilised jars.
I think Paddington Bear would love my kitchen right now with all the jars of marmalade about! I am off to put some pretty labels on them.
I would like to dedicate this blog to Sharon, Kay and Kate who are the best marmalade making team a girl could have.