Wednesday, 18 January 2012

More Marmalade: Sevilles not required

Last weekend I knew I wanted to stay in, stay warm and potter. Hopefully you've already read the slow roast shoulder of pork that was one part of the outcome of this. If not, please do - it really was a simple, slow cooked wonder.

I found myself in that post Christmas position of having a fruit bowl with clementines, lemons, limes and oranges in. Also, randomly a grapefruit, which I don't eat, because  the fruit and juice make you metabolise medications more quickly which can a real risk with some conditions. I guess it turned up in a veg box and I hoped that inspiration would turn up for it, hence it was starting to look slightly sad in the fruit bowl. My original plan for this week just gone being that I was going to be working away all week I didn't want them to go to waste.

Post Christmas my jam cupboard was looking somewhat bare, preserves had been sent out as Secret Santa presents, gifts to my assistant Guiders and pretty much anyone else I could foist some off on! I was originally holding out for the Seville's but Mark's mum had mentioned to me a five fruit marmalade and I thought I'd give it a bash.

I didn't use a recipe as such. but used my original post on Marmalade as a guideline, ending up with gloriously rosy marmalade punctuated by the green and yellow shreds of the different fruits. It's lovely on toast, and my Great British Bake Off book has a lovely recipe for a Sticky Orange Marmalade cake that I think it would work beautifully in. I'll link back when I make that.

Fruitbowl marmalade

2lb of mixed citrus fruit - I used oranges, satsumas, limes, and a grapefruit
4lb of sugar
4 pints of water
3 lemons, juiced

You will also need:

Sterilised jam jars
Either lids or waxed discs and cellophane toppers
Heavy based pan and long handled wooden spoon
Muslin and string.
Sharp knife (I used a paring knife which was perfect for the job)

Wash your fruit.
Now cook the fruit (except the lemons) whole in 4 pints of water for 2 hours on a low heat. This softens everything and gives you your liquid for later (you need at least 2 pints left at the end of the cooking time, so top it up as necessary).
Take your oranges off the heat, and out of the pan using a slotted spoon or similar, and pop them on a chopping board. Quarter them as this will cool them down faster.

Take out the pips and pop these in a saucer or dish - you'll need them later

Scrape out the flesh from each quarter and pop that in the pan you're going to cook the jam in
Then really really finely (unless you like chunky marmalade of course) shred the skin. Because you've cooked the oranges this is much much easier than it would be otherwise, but it's still fiddly and takes a while. I have to admit my fruit is a bit randomly shredded as one arm is still in plaster.

You need to do this to all the oranges. Yes, all of them. Time to start up

Ok, so the oranges and the flesh is all in the preserving pan. Add 2 pints of the water from the water you used to cook the oranges in (you can top it up if you've not got enough) and bring to a boil. You do need some extra pectin and for this I just added the lemon juice, I left out the pips as I completely forgot about them.

Add the sugar - just granulated is fine.

Put an old saucer or little plate in the fridge now
Put the pan on the heat and bring to the boil whilst stirring. You want a rolling boil - biggish bubbles that pop on the surface.

Continue to cook whilst it bubbles, stirring all the while until it 'flakes' This took about 40 minutes in total, although I tested after half an hour despite knowing it was still too light in colour, but not wanting to wreck it I thought I should check.  Depending on the fruit you use, it will be faster or slower - If I remember rightly the Seville Orange and Whiskey marmalade only took about 20 minutes.

Once it's done this, take a teaspoonful or so and put it on your saucer that's been in the fridge. You want after a minute or so, the top to wrinkle as you run your finger over it but the underneath to be jam like in consistency.

While all of this is going on, sterilse your jars by washing them in hot soapy water and then drying in a low oven. Fill them with the marmalade and when slightly cooler, add lids or waxed circles and damp cellophane.

Mine is unlabelled as yet (I'm embarrased about my handwriting because of my broken wrist) but be sure to label it with the date, year and what it is.

I find that I always have a tiny bit left over that I pop in a ramekin and eat on toast over the coming days (keep it in the fridge).  If I know if it's sharp or sweet or how it tastes I'm going to be able to give it to the right recipient - or keep it for myself.

There you have it, one Saturday afternoon happily spent preserving in the warm. Result, jars of Fruit bowl marmalade in my jam cupboard.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh dear I didn't realise you had an arm in plaster at the moment, still that proves how easy this marmalade must be. I've never made any but always mean to every January though sadly I don't see it happening this year either... Get better soon!


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