Marmalade Gin and Jam

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It’s that time of year again when Seville oranges appear in the shops; they are only here for a few weeks so you need to be quick (and sorry, due to my tardiness in posting you might have missed them!), but with their bitter flavour they do make the very best marmalade.

I’ve learnt my lesson not to go overboard (we’re still working our way through the last batch I made in 2012!), so I only bought 1kg and made the following:

Whisky Marmalade (about 3 jars)

500g Seville Oranges

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 litre water

1 Kg Preserving sugar

50 ml Whisky

Ream oranges and lemon into a double layer of muslin set over a sieve, scouring shells to get as much pith as possible (or a clean tea-towel, as I used).

Tie the contents of muslin into a loose bag and put into preserving pan with 1 litres of water and the strained juice.

Discard shell of lemon.  Slice orange shells into half again,  then slice finely. Add to pan, bring to boil then reduce and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours, until rind completely soft. It’s important the rind really is very soft as it will harden when you add the sugar and rapid boil later and hard peel in marmalade is nasty.

I had to add more water at the above stage as it was boiling away with so little in the pan originally and it took 3 hours for the peel to be really soft. I figured I needed about litre of peel liquid before rabid boiling.

Remove muslin bag and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible, back into the pan (this contains lots of pectin).

Add the sugar and stir over low heat until completely dissolved.  Raise heat and rapid boil for a set (15 mins).  Test small amount on a chilled plate (pop these in the freezer before you start), it should form a skin that wrinkles when pushed with a finger.  If needed boil for another 5 mins and test again. Repeat until a set is achieved.

Leave marmalade for 10 mins to cool before potting in clean warm jars, with wax discs on top and lids.

Fine-Cut Jelly Marmalade (3 jars)

500g Seville Oranges

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Kg Preserving sugar

Peel fruit with a vegetable peeler, taking the zest only and no pith.  Cut into very fine threads.  Add zest to a pan with 1 litre of water and simmer until tender (approx 1 hour) and liquid has reduced by half.

Ream the fruit and strain juice through muslin into a jug, cover and refrigerate.

Coarsely chop and pith, pips etc and add to another pan with 1 litre water.  Simmer for 1 hour then strain through double muslin.

Combine the zest and it’s liquid with reserved juice and strained pith liquid (should be about 800ml in total).  Put into a preserving pan with sugar, stir over low heat until sugar completely dissolved.  Raise heat and rapid boil for a set – approx 15 mins.  Test for a set and if needed boil for another 5 mins then test again.

Remove from heat and cool for 10mins before potting in warm, clean jars with wax discs and lids.

I almost wished I’d made my normal 2kg quantity but I know how slowly we work our way through jam.

If you have excess oranges I can recommend making some Seville gin (lots of recipes online). My last batch has been ‘brewing’ since 2012 so I sieved out the peel and decanted it into fancy bottles. For marmalade recipe suggestions I highly can recommend

Nigel Slater’s Marmalade and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream,

Bitter Orange Cardamom Martinis

Delia’s Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

I know there are other recipes but I can’t find the links at the moment (I’ll update later).

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Just a little note about the labels, they are original vintage ones via a museum website that I photoshopped. I was rather pleased with the results 🙂

 

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