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How to Make Seville Marmalade

5 Feb

It’s Seville orange season. Seville oranges appear in December and disappear in February, so this is the time to stock up on these slightly odd looking, bitter oranges so you can make delicious marmalade. It’s the perfect way to brighten up a winter weekend. They’re not good for eating (I like to nibble a little flesh and rind as I go along but definitely couldn’t stomach a whole fresh one!) but wonderful for marmalade, as Seville marmalade has an intensity of flavour beats other marmalades (especially shop bought ones) hands-down. It just tastes so very orangey

Seville marmalade

1.5 kg Seville oranges
1 lemon
2 regular oranges
About 2.8 kg of caster sugar (you can mix in a little demerera if you prefer a darker coloured marmalade).

Makes about 9 decent sized jars.

(Tip: I always prepare more jars, as better to have too many ready than not enough! I save jars, so my jars are all different sizes).

Scrub the fruit, cover with water and boil whole for about 2.5 – 3 hours until totally soft (your kitchen will smell divinely orangey!). Leave to cool completely (either overnight or for several hours). Do not throw away the water!

Once cooled, remove the fruit from the water and reduce the orange infused water massively (by at least three-quarters). You may find that some fruit has split during boiling – if this happens, strain the water through a muslin before reducing (as you don’t want any pith in the marmalade).

Meanwhile, chop the oranges and lemon in two, scoop out the centres, seeds and as much pith as possible. Gently strain the centres/seeds/pith through a muslin into the orange water. You can also use a sieve but push it through gently, as you don’t want any pith in the water.

Discard the lemon and regular orange rind (or use in another recipe if you can) and all the pith/centres/seeds.

Thinly slice the Seville orange rind (willing and helpful children come in useful for this part!). Add the rind to the orange water.

Bring to the boil and add most of the sugar (tip: warm the sugar gently in the microwave first).

Keep boiling (and stirring) until it’s sticky – about half an hour to an hour. As it’s boiling, taste and add more sugar if needed.

While it’s boiling, put a plate in the freezer so that it’s nice and cold for when you need to test if it’s set. To test if it’s set, place a small spoonful of marmalade on the cold plate. Let it cool and then run your finger across it. It it wrinkles then it’s ready.

Be careful that it’s not too set/over hard, so it’s better to start checking early. If it’s too set, then just add a little more water.

Ladle into sterilised jars (I sterilise jars in the oven, as I find it the easiest way to sterilise while also making preserves – see here for great tips on how to sterilise). Leave to settle for 15-20 mins before sealing.