This is the first preserve I made and it was such a success; friends and family loved it and it gave me the confidence to play with the ingredients to make different marmalade for example, change the type of sugar used or add limes instead of lemons or add a blood red grapefruit or add whiskey. Seville oranges come into the shops in January and I usually buy enough oranges to freeze and they last me a year. Oranges contain large amount of pectin so you do not need to use special jam making sugars.
Makes: 7 450g jars marmalade
2 1/4 litres water
1kg Seville oranges
2kg granulated or caster sugar
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Pour the water into a preserving pan. Cut the oranges and lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of the fruit into the pan (I put a large sieve over the pan to catch the pips and any pith). Separate the pith and pips and put the pith into the pan and the pips into a muslin bag and tie it up (the pith contains a lot of pectin so it is important to use this as it helps the setting process). Suspend the bag of pips in the water tying the bag to the handle of the pan.
Cut the remaining orange and lemon peel into thin slices and add to the pan. If you prefer chunky marmalade then slice the peel slightly thicker.
Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours or until the peel is soft. I test a piece of peel by chewing it to see if the peel has softened. If you don't like doing this then squeeze between your fingers to see if the peel is soft. Remove the pips from the pan and squeeze the pectin out of of the pips back into the pan. Be careful because the pips will be hot to touch.
Add the sugar to the pan and increase the heat to medium stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil the marmalade for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes spoon a little of the marmalade mix onto a cold saucer and let it cool. If you push with your finger and it wrinkles, it is ready. If not, continue to boil for another 10 minutes and test again. Repeat until you reach setting point.
Once setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. If there is scum on top of the marmalade remove by skimming or stirring in a knob of butter.
Boil the jam jars and lids in a pan of boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Remove with tongs and immediately add the marmalade with the aid of a jam funnel leaving a 2cm head space. Cover with a wax disc and put the lid on the jar to seal it. Leave the jars undisturbed to cool completely, then label. The next day enjoy your marmalade on some hot buttered toast.
Once you have made the basic marmalade start experimenting with different sugars and add whisky or brandy to give the extra kick.