It’s January, so it must be marmelade time. I came across the first of the Seville oranges in the market in Angel on Sunday – just in time as I have run out and was making do with bought stuff (just not the same!).
In nearly all recipes I come accross for marmelade you need to pick out the pips and boil them for the pectin. But Pam Corbin of the River Cottage says no, that’s actually all rubbish and the pectin is in the skin of the fruit. And do you know what? She was right!
This recipe is about as toil-free as it gets, and produces a lovely, light-coloured, fine-cut marmelade. There is also a version here for ginger marmelade!
Ingredients (for around 6 large jars)
1 kg Seville oranges
juice from 2 lemons
2 kg granulated cane sugar
For the ginger version, use 150g of ginger in syrup, and 1.85kg of sugar.
Clean your oranges with a kitchen scrubber, and cut out the hard stem bit at the top of each orange.
Put your oranges in a very large pan with 2.5 litres of water. Put a plate over the oranges in the pan so that they don’t bob about. Cover the pan, and boil for around 2 hours until you can pierce the skin easily with an fork.
Let them cool so you can handle them.
Sueeze oranges over the pan to get out the initial water. Cut each orange in half, and scoop out the flesh and pups into a seive. Use a spoon to extract as much juice as possible over the pan, and then discard the pips.
You should have 1.7 litres of liquid – top it up if you need to, or simmer it to reduce to the right amount.
Slice the orange peel as thickly or as thinly as you like.
Return the peel to the pan, add the juice of the 2 lemons (about 100ml) to the liquid, and the sugar. If using ginger, cut it very finely and then add to the pan with the sugar.
Boil the lot on a medium to high heat until you can see the liquid thickening and darkening. This can take anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes!
Let the marmelade sit for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your jars by tipping in boiling water and letting it stand for a minute or so. Chuck away the water and ladel in the hot marmelade. Seal up with the lid.
If once they have cooled you think your marmelade is too runny, you can always reheat it and boil it for a bit longer, before jarring it again.