January 15, 2013
Posted in View from the table
I almost forgot it was Seville orange season until I saw a big pile of them in the green grocer’s last weekend. I love making marmalade and in a Ground Hog Day style each year I forget how many damn pips Seville oranges have – if you’ve never been acquainted with them then take it from me, it’s a lot.
I’ve only ever used the Goddess’s recipe so I know not of sugar thermometers and muslin bag trickery, only boiling the oranges intact for hours and then chopping them up and adding them to the pot. Oh yes, and removing about 400 pips.
It’s worth it though, it really is. I know you can buy damn good marmalade in the shops but I like that we don’t get Seville oranges all year as we can every other kind of fruit and veg. I like that there is only a short season to get the bitter, pippy little buggers into a jar and then it’s over again until next January.
- Fill a large pan, I use a preserving pan, with water and add in the whole oranges, bring the lot to the boil and let the fruit bubble for about two hours
- Either wash the jam jars on the hottest setting on a dishwasher or wash in hot soapy water, rinse well and let them dry in a low oven
- Fish out the oranges, put them to one side, keep a few ladle fulls of the water and discard the rest
- Let the oranges cool a little and then cut them in half and de-seed them, don’t throw the seeds away, put them in a separate little pan
- Pour the reserved water over the seeds and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes, set aside
- Once the oranges are free of pesky seeds scoop out the flesh and then chop the skin finely, discarding the knobbly bit of the skin at the top and bottom of the fruit – you know the bit I mean..
- Put all the flesh and chopped skin back in the preserving pan, strain the seeds from the boiling water and pour the water over the fruit, stir in the sugar and lemon juice
- Gently bring to the boil stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve quickly
- Let the whole lot simmer for about 40 minutes until the mix has reached setting point – when it looks thick and jellyish and like something you’d like to eat on toast. Remember, it will set more as it cools
- Pour in the alcohol if you’re using and give it a good stir
- Carefully ladle the mixture into sterilised jam jars