Monday, 2 February 2015

Seville orange marmalade recipe

Here's the recipe for Seville orange marmalade that I've been making for the last few years. Marmalade is one of those things that I have to be in the mood for but it reminds me of happy childhood memories so it's always worth a jar or twenty in the cupboard. Seville oranges are only available for a short period in January so you have to make it when you can and then find somewhere to store all the jars for the year!

It's got so few ingredients that it seems really simple, but it's a lot more effort than making other jams. It's so worth it though and I enjoy the process. Couple that with knowing I've got food stored for just in case makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Anyway I digress, so back to the present...marmalade.


1 kg Seville oranges
2 kg sugar
1 lemon

The recipe calls for preserving sugar, the reasoning being that the larger crystals make a clearer marmalade. To be honest it's three times the cost of granulated sugar and as it's just sugar I can't justify the costs. If however you're into entering jams for shows or you are just a perfectionist then go for it.


1.  Wash and dry the fruit. Add 1.5 to 2 litres of water to a preserving pan or wide pan. The mixture shouldn't come up further than half the side of the pan.

2.  Juice the oranges and lemons and add the juice to the water. Throw away the lemon skin but keep the orange skins and the pips.

3.  Scrape the pith and pips out of the orange skins. Add them to the centre of a muslin cloth and tie with a piece of string. The pips and pith contain the majority of the pectin so they must be reserved and boiled, extracting the pectin to set the marmalade. Put the muslin bag in the water.

4.  Cut the orange peel into strips and add to the water. This can take a while and it goes quicker if you pile up a few skins and cut them together.

5.  Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for one and a half to two hours. The less water you add initially the quicker it goes, you do however have to boil it long enough to soften the skins.

6.  After the liquid has reduced by about half remove the muslin bag and squeeze as much liquid out as possible into the pan.

7.  At this point sterilise your clean jars in an oven at about 160°C. Leave in the oven until the marmalade is ready.

8.  Add the sugar to the pan and increase the heat until the mixture is at a rolling boil. Be really careful here as the sugar is extremely hot and it spits! It is ready to pot when it reaches 105°C on a sugar thermometer. If you don't have one of these then add a few drops to a plate that has been in the freezer. After a few seconds push it with your finger, if it wrinkles it's ready. If not give it another few minutes and try again. The recipe I use says this takes about 15 minutes. It really depends on your hob. My gas hob took about that, my electric hob never managed to get the mixture up to temp and my induction hob took about 5 minutes.

Adding sugar, a rolling boil and ready to pot

9.  Most recipes say to remove the scum. To be honest I never seem to get any, but if you do then use a slotted spoon to remove it. Take your jars out of the oven. Wait for 5 minutes or so for the bubbles to rise and use a funnel to add to the jars. Don't pot into jars straight out of the oven or the marmalade will boil and be all over the place and this stuff if sticky! Remove any marmalade that gets onto the edges of the jar with a clean cloth.

10.  Put a waxed disk on top. I always put the lid on immediately so that it seals and causes a vacuum whilst the mixture is still hot enough to kill any bacteria but I know lots of recipes recommend leaving to cool before putting the lid on. Do whichever you think is best, I really don't know the reasoning behind leaving it to cool first.

11.  Label with your most beautiful labels and be smug that you made marmalade ;-)

(P.s. I know half the text here is justified and half aligned left, blogger just won't let me justify it all and it bugs me, so sorry if it bugs you too!)

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