Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Marmalade Making

There was a time when I would buy loads of Seville oranges and then spend hours peeling & pulping and feeling saintly about myself - that was when I was in my twenties - young, impressionable and newly married - trying to be a perfect housewife like someone from a 60's American sitcom!

But times have changed!

I no longer try to impress anyone with my homemaking skills - that ship has well and truly sailed!

I do not have the time to spend preparing large amounts of fruit & veg to make my jams & chutneys 

So since my Dad has introduced me to the joys of canned Seville oranges - someone else has already done the hardwork & prepared them - I can make my marmalade & claim it's homemade - all well within an hour!

So to make up for the short amount of time this marmalade takes to make I indulged myself & took loads of pictures of the process to show you.....

You will need:

1 can of Seville orange pulp
4lbs sugar
3/4 pt water
A knob of butter

A very large pan
A wooden spoon
A ladle
preserving jars - washed, dried & sterilised

There are a few companies who sell Seville orange pulp - this is the one I use.....

They write handy instructions on the back.....

First open your can - as you can see all beautifully prepared bitter Seville orange pulp....

Now weigh out your sugar......

Tip your pulp into the pan along with the sugar. I like to give this a good stir I think the acids in the orange helps to start the sugar dissolving....... it probably doesn't but I like to bring a bit of science to my cooking - chemistry & all that! Makes me sound knowledgeable!!

Add your water and give it a good stir.....with a wooden spoon

Place it over a high heat and bring to the boil - stirring to help the sugar to dissolve 

This is my patented peg attachment - every kitchen should have one! it stops my spoon from slipping into the liquid!

Once it has come to the boil, & all the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat so you have a gentle boil going on......

this boil is still a bit vicious

Ahh that's better.......add a knob of butter to help disperse the foam. Leave to boil for 15 minutes
stir occasionally

Whilst thats boiling away, clean out your tin, fill with water and arrange some flowers in it!

See very pretty.......

the flowers are from my courgette plants and the green steams from my rosemary bush - just to keep a cooky kitchen theme.......

I put it on the shelf below one of my Granny's Dundee Marmalade pots - very juxtapose!

 Then I moved it to brighten up my draining board......

 Then I remembered my marmalade............

 After 15 minutes you need to check for 'setting point'

Take a cool plate (temperature not design! you could have both though!) and drop a teaspoonful of marmalade onto said plate. Leave for two minutes to cool, push your finger into it and it should be able to hold it's shape & form a skin on it's surface. If it doesn't it hasn't reached the 'setting point' so continue to boil until it does.

After setting point is reached remove from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes.

Whilst the marmalade rests gather your jars together.

These need to be clean and sterilised - I pop mine through the dishwasher to sterilise but pouring some boiling water from the kettle will do the same job.

Pour or ladle your marmalade into the jars........

 I didn't get any picture of me pouring it into the jars - I can make a very sticky, messy job of that and my camera would not like it!

Seal the jars and label........

As I said before, my Dad makes his marmalade this way but he adds and extra dimension with some crystallised stem ginger. Dad uses a whole jar full, cuts the ginger into slithers, and adds them & the syrup to the finished marmalade just before pouring into the jars. It's really yummy, I have another friend who adds slithers of almonds - I keep mine 'plain' because I don't just spread it on my toast - I use it in lots of sweet & savory dishes.

If your peel looks like it's going to float to the top give it a gentle stir just before it all sets in the jar.

Phew ...... that was hot & sticky work 

Writing this post took longer than making the marmalade.......time to get out the toasted muffins and butter to put the marmalade on!