Seville oranges are in season in January and February as they require cool temperatures to promote the release of the orange pigments. Oranges in the summer come to the UK from the southern hemisphere. Luckily for us the Spanish are not fans of marmalade and as Seville oranges are too bitter to eat most are exported to the UK. Here’s the marmalade recipe we made at the weekend.
1.5 kg of Seville oranges, £1.96
3 kg sugar, £2.01
2 lemons, £0.48
3 litres water
Peel the oranges so they look like the photo below. It’s good to try and get the peel off in long strips, it makes the snipping easier! With scissors snip the peel into the bits you want to see in the marmalade. Halve the oranges and squeeze out all the juice, flesh and pips. Add the juice and flesh to the pan with the peel. Keep the pips separate. Finally pull out all the membranes and add to the pips in a second pan. The pips and membranes can also be tied in a muslin bag and left in the main pan.
Split the water between the two pans, with most going with the peel in a large pan. The pips and membranes in a small pan don’t need so much. Simmer both pans for about 2 hours until the peel has softened and about half the water has evaporated. Don’t skimp on this stage it takes time to soften the peel. Drain the pip and membrane mixture (with all its pectin) through a sieve into the main pan. At this point we split the mixture equally between to pans, adding a table spoon of treacle to one for a darker colour. Finally add the sugar and boil rapidly for around 15 minutes. Test for set on a cold plate, when it wrinkles we’re done. It’s important to leave the mixture to cool for another 15 minutes or so before potting or the peel will rise to the surface.
We prepare the jars by washing thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing then placing in the oven at around 120C for 20 minutes.
We finished up with about 4 kg of marmalade in 12.5 jars. The total cost of ingredients was £4.45, so around 36 pence a jar! 😀