Jamming…

I’ve been going through a bit of a preserve phase as of late.  In the last week I’ve not only made my own Lime Pickle (it blows your socks off it’s that hot) but have also made a batch of Seville Marmalade.  I had some on toast for my breakfast today and no word of a lie it’s fucking amazing.  I’m never buying shop bought ever again.  I’m now demanding that friends and family save me all of their old jam jars as I can see this new past time consuming me big style.  I decided against buying brand new jars as it’s much more environmentally friendly if I can just scrounge ones otherwise destined to recycling/landfill.

Traditional Seville Orange Marmalade

Ingredients

  • 1kg of Seville Oranges
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2kg of Granulated Sugar (You can also use the type with added Pectin if you like)
  • 4 pints of water
You’ll also need
  • 1 huge heavy based saucepan
  • Muslin
  • A funnel
  • Sterilised jam jars (this recipe makes around 6-8 jars)
First add the water to the pan, then cut the lemon and oranges in half and squeeze the juice out of them. Add the juice to the water and place the pips and any bits of pith (the white spongey bits) into the square of muslin (laid over a cereal bowl).

Cut the orange peel into thin shreds (this is quite time consuming and will hurt your arms after a while).  Add any further pips or pith that you come across to the muslin.  (The pith contains a lot of pectin which helps the marmalade set therefore is essential.  Also don’t worry about any pith and skin that clings to the shreds as this will dissolve).  Add all of the shredded orange peel to the pan.

Tie up your muslin so that it forms a little bag and tie this to the handle of the pan so that the bag is suspended in the water. Bring this concoction up to simmering point and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 2 hours until the peel is completely soft (test a piece carefully by pressing it between your finger and thumb). Stick 2 saucers in the freezer.

Once the 2 hours is up, remove the muslin bag and leave to cool back in the cereal bowl (or hang it from a cupboard door handle with the bowl underneath as I did). Pour the sugar into the pan and stir it over a low heat until all of the crystals have dissolved.  Increase the heat to very high and squeeze the muslin bag of pips over the pan to extract all of the sticky, jelly-like substance that contains the pectin. As you squeeze you’ll see it ooze out  (as gross as it sounds it’s like squeezing a huge massive zit). If you like you can do this by placing the bag between two saucers but I found using my hands worked the best (be careful not to burn yourself). Stir your pectin jelly into the pan (a balloon whisk is pretty good).

As soon as the mixture reaches a really fast boil, start timing. After 15 minutes spoon a little of the marmalade onto one of the cold saucers from the freezer, and let it cool.  If the marmalade has reached setting point you’ll be able to push the mixture with your finger and it’ll go wrinkly.  If it doesn’t then continue to boil the marmalade and give it the same test at about 10-minute intervals until it does.  This normally happens around 220-222°F/105°C.  If you have a jam thermometer then use it but make sure you stick it in the pan at the beginning.  My thermometer cost about £6 from a Bargain Books store.

Once your marmalade has reached setting point, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to settle for about 20 minutes.  In the meantime you can sterilise your jam jars.


Sterilising your jars is really easy.  Make sure all of your jars and lids are washed and dried and then place them in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes.  All thats left to do now is to pour the marmalade, with the aid of a funnel or a ladle, into the jars and seal them whilst still hot. Label when cold and store in a dry, cool, dark place until time to slather onto toast.

This song always pops in my head whenever I’ve indulged in making preserves.  Weird really since I don’t really like reggae.

Lolly

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