Delicious Orange Marmalade Recipe
Traditionally orange marmalade is made using Seville oranges, but as these can be difficult to obtain many people choose to use the normal sweet oranges they can buy in their local supermarket. The results are still delicious and can be enjoyed on hot buttered toast as a breakfast treat (or any other time you want to spoil yourself). Of course you also have the option to make a number of jars of marmalade and give this to your friends, either as a perfect Christmas gift, a thank you present or simply to surprise them.
I have recently begun to make my own marmalade, so far with excellent success and great feedback from those who have sampled it. To say this hobby is addictive is an understatement, and now any kind of preserving has become really enjoyable to me, especially when the jars you make can be kept for at least a year, and will frequently still be perfectly edible if you keep them for a number of years (on the assumption they last that long without you scoffing the lot!!).
Why not try a simple recipe such as the one I have listed here, and once your confidence has been boosted by your own success you can have a go at many more.
Approximately 6 x 1 lb preserving jars (it is possible to recycle your own kitchen jars so long as they have plastic lined metal lids, or you are using waxed discs and cellophane lids sealed with rubber bands as tops for the finished jars and can therefore produce an airtight seal)
A Large Saucepan (ideally stainless steel)
A Small Saucepan
A Juice Extractor
A Baking Tray
An Oven Proof Dish
A Wooden Spoon
A Plate Chilled in your Fridge or Freezer
A Sharp Knife
A Slotted Skimming Spoon
A Serving Spoon or Ladle for Bottling
A Small Dish
A Jam Funnel (Optional)
- 2 lemons
- 2 lb oranges
- 6 UK pints cold water
- Half a tsp butter
- 1 lb sugar, per pound of pulp achieved
- Chop off the very ends of both the lemons and the oranges and place to one side.
- Score slits one inch apart vertically around the fruits from top to bottom, being careful not to pierce the flesh within.
- Ease the knife between the skin / peel and the white pith that surrounds the fruit and carefully remove the skin trying to leave as much of the pith attached to the fruit as possible.
- Chop up the skin / peel of the fruits either finely or coarsely depending on your own preferences.
- Use a juicer to squeeze the juice from the fruit and reserve both the juice, the pith and the remaining flesh and pips.
- Weigh your saucepan and make a note of the weight.
- Place your chopped up skin / peel into the saucepan along with the juice.
- Place all of the remaining pith, pips and flesh into a suitable sized piece of cooks muslin and tie the top with the cooks string. Add this parcel to your saucepan.
- Top this mixture up with the 6 pints of cold water and leave to soak overnight.
- The following day bring the contents of the saucepan to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for approximately one and a half to two hours, or until the mixture has roughly halved in volume.
- Test for pectin levels (the natural setting agent found in the fruits), by adding 1 teaspoon of the cooled saucepan liquid into 3 teaspoons of methylated spirit in a small separate dish. If the saucepan liquid forms a nice 'clot' then the pectin level is adequate, if the mixture forms 'strands' continue to simmer and repeat the experiment every 10 minutes or so until a nice 'clot' forms.
- Squeeze the muslin bag against the side of the saucepan using the wooden spoon to get the pectin out.
- Remove the muslin bag, squeeze against the side of the saucepan with the wooden spoon, and then discard, or empty contents into the bin and wash muslin for future use.
- Reweigh the saucepan and deduct the original weight of the empty saucepan in order to determine the weight of your pulp.
- Warm 1 lb of sugar per 1 lb of pulp by placing in an oven proof dish in a low oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Add warmed sugar to your saucepan and stir (off the heat) until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Wash your jars in hot soapy water, rinse and place upright on a baking tray in an oven at approximately 140 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes to sterilise them.
- Boil a kettle of water and place your lids, tongs and bottling spoon in a pan and pour the boiling water over them. Keep on a low simmer on the stove if possible.
- Return to your main saucepan and bring to the boil rapidly. Continue to boil rapidly for about 15-30 minutes, or until setting point is reached. Setting point is best determined by using the cold plate, dropping a tiny amount of the liquid on to the plate, cooling and then using your finger push the liquid gently. If it wrinkles setting point has been achieved and you can proceed to the next stage. If not continue to boil, testing every 5 minutes until the correct stage has been achieved. Make sure to remove the pan from the heat each time you test for a setting point to avoid the marmalade overcooking.
- Once setting point is achieved add half a teaspoon of butter and stir in to reduce the scum level. Use the slotted spoon to skim off any remaining scum before it sticks to the chopped up peel in the liquid.
- Allow the marmalade to rest for 15-20 minutes so that the mixture thickens slightly. This will prevent all your peel rising to the top of the jars once bottled.
- Remove your jars from the oven.
- Carefully spoon or ladle the marmalade into each jar up to about half an inch from the rim, (using a sterilised jam funnel makes this less messy, but is not essential).
- Place a waxed disc (wax side down) on to the top of the marmalade, followed either by a sterilised lid from your saucepan (removed carefully using sterilised tongs and without touching the inner surface of the lid with your fingers), or once cooled with a dampened disc of cellophane sealed with a preserving band. In the latter instance the cellophane disc will shrink to form a tight seal over your jars.
- Wipe your jars and leave to cool.
- Label the jars with the contents and the date of bottling.
- The marmalade can be used straight away.