This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Making Marmalade

There are a lots of blog posts around at the moment on the subject of marmalade.  I've only once made marmalade from scratch with Seville oranges when a Spanish girl (from Seville itself) stayed with us and brought me some as a present.  She told me that the orange trees grow along the roadside and people can pick them if they want to, much as we do with blackberries.

Seville oranges are in the shops around now but they are pretty pricey so I thought I would post about how my friend makes marmalade. She uses a recipe that was in an ancient copy of one of Marguerite Patten's books.  She always uses this recipe and because it gives a fairly soft set, she adds half a tin of Mamade with the appropriate extra sugar and water. This guarantees a reasonable set.  You need to stir the Mamade before taking out half.  The other half will freeze if you don't need it straightaway.  Add the Mamade, extra sugar and water at the point where you add the sugar to your cooked oranges so you have it all together ready to bring to the boil towards a setting point.  This is another way of stretching the pennies because sometimes you can pick up a reduced price net of sweet oranges in the supermarket.  The combination of the flavour of the sweet oranges and the Seville oranges in the Mamade is really lovely. You do need a big jam pan or huge saucepan to accommodate everything, though.

To stretch the pennies even further, I have often added a half pint of apple pectin stock to the above mix along with an extra 8 ozs of sugar.  The result is a slightly more jelly-like texture but the flavour is still very good.  This produces an extra pot of marmalade really for the cost of the sugar because the apples were free windfalls.

One last point - I have tried this using a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time and therefore the amount of gas used.  Shirley Goode said in one of her books that the anount of liquid should be halved by the end of the cooking time.  So I tried cooking the oranges in the pressure cooker with just one pint of water and it worked really well.  I ended up with the quantity of marmalade that I was expecting and the orange peel was cut up in a fraction of the time using scissors. Result!

Sweet Orange Marmalade

1 lb sweet oranges
2 pints water
2 lbs sugar
juice of 2 lemons

1   Cut or mince oranges finely, removing the pips
2   Soak peel and pulp overnight in the water, together with the pips tied up in a piece of muslin
3   After soaking, put fruit, water and pips into a covered pan
4   Simmer slowly until peel is quite soft
5   Take out bag of pips
6   Stir in warmed sugar and lemon juice (Add the Mamade, extra sugar and water at this point)
7   Bring marmalade to the boil
8   Boil rapidly in an uncovered pan until setting point is reached. This will take about 20 mins but start   testing after 10 mins.

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  • At 7:31 AM, Blogger Fran said…

    You cannot beat homemade marmalade for taste. I make it and then my dad pinches it! Xxx


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