Unless you’re making orange marmalade and then they’re fairly essential. Seville oranges, to be precise. Unfortunately the season for Seville oranges seems to be a short one and they’re only available in this country around the New Year. I started making marmalade this year after reading about all the nasties in the shop-bought stuff – loads of glucose-fructose syrup and other additives. I like to know what’s going into my food! Due to AlphaMale’s penchant for a nice bit of marmalade on his toast, this year’s batch has now been dispatched, although a jar a month isn’t too bad. So now we are out of marmalade, and that just won’t do. So I did a bit of Twitter research and found that those nice people at Lakeland sell tins of ready prepared Seville oranges. At the time of purchase it was just £1.99 a tin – and on a BOGOF offer too. A bargain! No chopping, de-pithing or messing around. Just open the tin, tip the contents into a pan, add sugar and water and Bob’s your proverbial male relative. Give it a whirl, its easier than you think. Just be prepared for the stickiness. You have been warned.
About 6-8 clean, empty jars. Wash them in the dishwasher and then pop them upside down on an oven tray lined with a tea towel and leave in a low oven – 100C – for half an hour. ALWAYS put hot marmalade into hot jars, never cold ones!
An 850g tin of prepared Seville oranges
1800g of preserving sugar
425ml cold water
a very large pan – around 5 litre capacity
a wooden spoon
a cold saucer – pop one in the freezer ready to use
Empty the tin of oranges into the pan, along with all the sugar and water. Bring to the boil, stirring CONTINUOUSLY. Reduce the heat slightly but keep a good rolling boil going for the next 15 minutes. The contents of the pan will turn from this…
To test if the marmalade is ready, put half a teaspoon onto the cold saucer and leave for about 30 seconds. Push the surface with your finger – if it wrinkles, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, return the marmalade to the boil for a few more minutes and try again.
Allow the marmalade to stand for 5-10 minutes and then spoon into the hot jars. Place a circle of greaseproof paper or waxed paper onto the top of the marmalade and pop the lids on tightly.
The marmalade should keep for a good 6 months or so if it is kept in a cool, dark place.