Monday, 21 January 2013

Idiot Proof Marmalade

We've had a bit of snow over the weekend.
The kind of stuff my 84 year old Scottish mum ignores as she drives off to have coffee with her friends. 
But its probably not weather to be standing out in a freezing garage wishing your epoxy would set so here's something to keep you occupied which will provide tasty treats all year or even better, tasty gifts for your friends and family. 

This is beginning to sound a bit like Practical HomeMaker, but its Marmalade Season. 

Its the time of year when those bitter Seville Oranges appear in the shops.
 They won't last long so don't delay get some today.

I've been making  Marmalade for years. 
There are a lot of myths legends and total fabrications around when it comes to making Jams and Marmalades but it really is easy. Follow these simple instructions and you can't go wrong. 
If you've learned how to mix epoxy you can do this. 

Graham's Seville Orange Marmalade

Makes 7 x 1lb  (454g) Jars


1kg or 2lbs of Seville Oranges
1 large Lemon
2kg or 4lbs of White Sugar.


Day 1.
Wash the fruit.
Halve the Oranges and Lemon squeeze out the juice.
Remove the pips and the pith.
Pour the juice into a large broad rimmed pan.

This is known as a Jeely Pan where I come from and every granny had one. They would originally have been made of copper, but mine is stainless steel.
  The broad rim is to help the liquid boil off and the mixture reduce, it should have a handle for lifting and carrying and another for tipping it out. 
But a big pot will do just as well.
  We are getting ahead of ourselves. 

Slice the rind into slithers, removing the buttons from the ends. 

The size of your slithers is up to you depending on how chunky you like your marmalade. 

Add the slithers to the juice in the pan.
Add about 5 pints or 2.5 litres of water. 
Cover with a dish cloth and leave to stand overnight. 

Now some legends have it that you have to gather up all the pips and pith, wrap them up in a muslin cloth and tie it with string to the handle of the pan. 
The bag is then boiled with the fruit to extract the pectin and only then will you get a set.
If you don't do this the jam fairies will be very cross and will make your marmalade runny so it dribbles down your shirt. 

Throw the pips and pith in the bin. (or compost heap).  

Day 2

Place a saucer in the freezer. 

Put your jars in the dishwasher and turn it on. 

If you haven't got a dishwasher, then give your jars a thorough wash and then place them in a hot oven.
  Try to get jars with screw-on lids. You can buy them in cookery shops. 
I know it would be cheaper to re-use old jars with those bits of greaseproof paper, cellophane and rubber bands but who can be bothered?
Never re-use screw on lids which have been used for chutney or pickles.
 They've probably got all sorts sticking to them.

Put the Jeely Pan on the gas and bring to the boil. 
Keep stirring with a big wooden spoon. 

Once you have got a good rolling boil, turn it down to a simmer,  put the kettle on and make a cup of tea or coffee.  Settle down with a good book, yesterday's paper or the internet, but keep an eye on the pan and give it a good stir every couple of minutes. 

The mixture needs to boil for a couple of hours until the slithers are nice and soft and the mixture has reduced by about a third.  Nobody said this was going to be quick.

Now add the sugar.
Add it gradually, and keep stirring until it has all dissolved. 
You can check this by running your finger along the back of the spoon and tasting it. If there are no gritty granuals you are OK. 

It then needs to be boiled for about 15 mins or until you get a set. 
After 15 mins check for a set by taking the saucer out of the freezer and pouring some of the mixture onto it with a spoon. This is just so it cools down quickly. Take your (clean) finger and push it through the mixture. If it crinkles up in front of your finger it's ready. If not give it another couple of minutes and try again. 

When you are happy you've got a set turn the gas off.
Allow the mixture to rest for a couple of minutes while you get the jars out of the dishwasher and put them on a cooling rack. 

Use a ladle to pour the mixture into the jars. A jam funnel is useful if you have one otherwise you'll just have to wipe up the mess. 
Fill the jars right up to the brim and screw the lids down tight while its still hot. 
Allow to cool.

Make some labels and try to get the month right....................

Take some bread and make some toast. Butter the toast and spread with the Marmalade still stuck to the pan. 

Eat and enjoy.  

1 comment:

Bursledon Blogger said...

Hmmm, something about boats and marmalade then!!!