The summer sun may produce sweet, succulent jams, but in winter the more sophisticated and complex flavour of marmalade is the best way to liven up your morning toast. Like jam, marmalade is best made in a large batch, so you’ll have plenty for yourself and you’ll be able to give some away as a gift too.
Classic orange marmalade jars
The quantities given should fill about eight 300ml jars, so it makes sense to bulk buy orange marmalade jars. If you are giving some of your produce away, consider some decorative shaped jars and don’t forget some pretty labels and maybe ribbon to make your gift look attractive.
A recipe for those orange marmalade jars
Seville oranges tend to be used for marmalade over other varieties due to their strong, bitter flavour. Apart from the ingredients and some jars for marmalade, you will also need a muslin bag and a funnel.
- 1.25kg Seville oranges, scrubbed clean
- 1.5kg granulated sugar
Place a couple of saucers in the freezer – you’ll need these later to test if your marmalade has reached setting point. Place the oranges, whole, into a large stainless steel saucepan or, if you have one, a preserving pan, with 2.25 litres of water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about an hour – the fruit should be soft.
Using a slotted spoon, take the oranges out of the pan and leave to cool. Reserve 1.7 litres of the cooking liquid – you may need to top up with extra water. Return this liquid to the saucepan.
When the oranges have cooled enough to handle, chop them into halves and remove the flesh, pith and pips, putting them into a muslin bag. Tie the bag securely with string and add it to the saucepan. Chop the orange skins into fine shreds, which should also go into the pan, along with the sugar.
Put the mixture onto a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil for a good 10 minutes, skimming off any scum that floats to the surface. The marmalade should now be reaching setting point – test it by dropping a blob of the mixture onto one of your chilled saucers. After a few moments, prod the blob – if it wrinkles the marmalade is ready to set. If it hasn’t reached that point yet, keep boiling and retest regularly until it does. When the mixture is ready, remove the pan from the heat and fill your marmalade jars while it is still warm. Seal the jars carefully.