How To Make Marmalade

homemade marmalade

If you mastered baking sourdough in either of the previous two stints of staying at home, then perhaps it’s time to move on to making something to spread on it? Making marmalade is a lovely way to spend a day one a wintery weekend, filling your kitchen with bright colours and the summery smells of citrus.

orange trees in spain 

You can make marmalade with any citrus fruit, however the traditional choice is Seville oranges, a bitter and sometimes knobbly variety that contains a higher concentration of the pectin. Pectin is a type of starch that occurs naturally in many fruit and that, when heated with sugar and acid, causes the mixture to thicken and set. The season for Seville oranges is notoriously short (just a few weeks through January and into February) and in 2021 it is even shorter thanks to unseasonably bad weather in Spain. So, whilst we have them available to add to your Fruutbox order, we thought we’d share a traditional marmalade recipe with you. A bit of googling will reveal that there are two common methods used to make marmalade: the sliced fruit method and the whole fruit method – we’ll be going with the whole fruit method as it’s a bit quicker and easier, albeit a bit more “rustic”: 

Makes approximately 6 standard (450ml) jars. Cost: £13.60

seville oranges

INGREDIENTS

 

METHOD

  • Put a small plate in your freezer to chill (all will be revealed) 
  • Scrub your oranges and remove the hard little buttons at the top where the fruit was attached to the tree.
  • Place in the largest pot or pan that you own, cover with 2.5 litres of water and weigh down with a smaller saucepan lid if they keep bobbing to the surface. Bring to the boil, reduce to simmer, put a lid on and let it bubble away for about 2 hours. When the skins are soft enough to be pierced with a fork, they’re done.
  • Take the fruit out and let them all cool.
  • Measure the cooking water – you will need 1.7 litres so either return to the boil and reduce if you have more, or add a splash more water if you have less.
  • Wash your jars and lids in warm soapy water and leave to dry on a draining rack – don’t touch the insides!
  • Cut the cooled fruit in to halves or quarters and use the tip of a knife or a fork to remove the pips into a sieve set over a bowl. Then shred the flesh and peel (how finely depends on how you like your marmalade). Tip the shredded fruit and any juice that’s drained from the pips into the cooking liquid. Many recipes will tell you to put the pips into a muslin and drop that in too because of the pectin that they contain, but there should be more than enough pectin in the skin and pith to set your marmalade.
  • Place the jars and lids in a preheated oven at 180c/160c fan/gas 4 for fifteen minutes.
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Keep the pan on a rolling boil (so the bubbles don’t disappear when stirred) until the mixture has reached the setting point – this could take anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes (depending on the size of your pan, how much pectin was in your fruit, etc) so test for set regularly. To do this, take your pan from the heat and that plate from the freezer, and drop a spoonful of marmalade onto the cold plate. Leave it for a minute or two to cool and then push it with your finger. If it has formed a skin and crinkles, then you’re done. If not, return to the heat for another 5 minutes and then test again.
  • Once done, leave the marmalade to cool for 10 minutes or so, skim off or stir in any foam on the surface, and decant into your jars. If you have a jam funnel then amazing, if not use a ladle. The jars need to be warm still to prevent them from cracking with the heat. Put a disk of waxed paper on top of the marmalade (waxed side down) and screw the lid on. Once the jar has cooled you can label it, and you’re done!