Friday 25 October 2013

Marmalade Recipe = Yummy

Each year I make a big batch of marmalade - it is one of my early Christmas/Holiday season traditions and it fills the house with an amazing orangey scent. This year, I am a bit early because I'll be taking a bit of a back seat in the run up to Christmas this year.

Most people will swear by using only seville oranges to make marmalade and I have been told off by one professional jam maker and at least one keen home-cook for using regular oranges. My reasons for using normal bog-standard oranges are these:
(A) Seville oranges are only available for about 2 weeks, usually at the end of January, if you miss this window of opportunity, or your local store has sold out, you have had it. This time scale hardly fits in with my Pre-Christmas Marmalade Tradition now does it?
(B) Seville oranges are pricey, normal oranges are cheaper...
(C) My marmalade tastes amazingly lovely and keeps well, so I don't see the problem. ;o)

Enough of that, here we go.

1.6 Kg normal oranges (about 10)
4 lemons
2 Kg normal white sugar
(feel free to do half a batch if that seems more manageable, just stick to the ratio)

Stick the oranges in your washing up bowl and give them a good clean with hot soapy water - oranges are usually covered in wax to make them look shiny or keep better (I'm not sure which) You don't want the wax in your marmalade though so clean it off and give them a good rinse. While you are at it, pick out the green knobbly bits (I use a teaspoon to lever them out)

Put all your cleaned oranges in a large pot with enough water to make them all float about a bit and bring it to the boil. Stick the lid on and boil for 2 hours (this is the bit where your home is filled with that amazing orangey aroma)

Use tongs to lift the oranges out of the water and pop them in a colander to cool down (about an hour)

Save a ladle-full of the water in a small pot and pour the rest of the water away (Random-Top-Tip It makes a great drain-cleaner)

Cut each of the oranges into quarters and pick out all the pips (I use two forks to do this), put the pips in the small pot with the saved water. Put the oranges into a food processor to chop them - you could chop them by hand but it will be time consuming and messy.

Chop all the oranges (yup, skin and all) and put them back into the big pot with all the sugar and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile Juice the lemons and put the lemon juice into the big pot too. Put the lemon pips in the small pot and bring to a rolling boil for 10 mins (this removes the pectin from the pips, which will help your marmalade to set)

Strain the pectinated (yes - it is a word) water into the big pot.

Bring your marmalade up to setting temperature, 105ºC if you can.... I always seem to get stuck at about 102º but it sets OK.

Sterilise your jars and fill them while still warm.

I thought about printing out some fancy labels for them, but I think getting your kid to do them is much more fun and homely.

One day I will boil and chop the lemons too, but I keep forgetting until it is too late, Obviously the sugar would need to be increased then too. I'd also love to try making this with pink grapefruits instead. If you want to try something else a little different, add a slosh of Whisky - That is Scotch Whisky, of course. Having said that a slosh of Jack Daniels is especially good (or another good quality bourbon) Add it right at the end, after you have hit setting temperature and stir in well before jarring.

I think I'll wait till next year though as my baby belly is getting somewhat in the way of both the photographing and the cooking, another week or so and I won't even be able to reach the worktop.


  1. Hi Ann
    Have just got myself an old singer treadle sewing machine and while searching for info online i came across your blog - I love it!
    I'm off to get some oranges in the morning to make marmalade - the sewing can wait for another day!!

    1. Hi Riversidemurphy,

      So glad you like the blog :)

      Hope you enjoy your marmalade too.



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