Making marmalade is a deeply satisfying if very time consuming activity, so far though I’ve only really dabbled with Seville Oranges, there was a brief flirtation with Lemon and Lavender which was okay but it didn’t really feel like marmalade, and Seville’s seem foolproof which fills me with confidence. Still nothing ventured nothing gained – Prospect books sent me C. Annie Wilson’s ‘The Book of Marmalade’ late last year so not before time I had a good browse through it – which delayed me actually doing anything effort related to the oranges – but it’s a cracking little book with loads of history, recipes, and general entertainment. Naturally I had to cross reference my findings with Pam Corbin’s ‘Preserves’ and after only a few hours happy reading I had a recipe.
Which told me to slice the oranges and soak the bits for 24 hours. Fine it was getting on for a Monday evening and I wanted to get to bed before midnight so I chopped and chopped feeling very domestic and a veritable goddess. I measured the water and filled the pan with orange juice and bits only slightly dismayed by its tendency to look like it was going to overflow (it’s quite a big pan as well) then went to bed. Where I did some maths. All well and good having pre chopped fruit but it would still want at least 3 hours messing around with and I wouldn’t get home on Tuesday until 9pm. Still no bed before midnight.
Due to it being a big pan of cold water and cold oranges it took far longer than I imagined to come to the boil, never mind for the skins to soften and sometime around 1am on wed morning I gave up in favour of sleep setting my alarm for stupidly early on a day off to finish the Marmalade (PROJECT) so having slept through my alarm there was a hectic and quite damp and sticky hour and a half today before going out to meet my delightful god son and his mother, who didn’t get marmalade because it was still molten sugary lava albeit in a jar. Given the stop start nature of the enterprise I’m really pleased with the results, it’s a sweeter marmalade than I normally make, but a very pretty colour and will I think be excellent for using in other recipes.
1.5 kg oranges
175 ml lemon juice
3.75 litres of water
Scrub the oranges, halve them squeeze out the juice and chop the skins into thin strips.
Put the juice, peel and water into a Very Large Pan (or make up a smaller quantity) and leave to soak overnight or for 24 hours,
Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of hours or until the skins are soft