Seville oranges are in the shops through January & February so it’s that marmalade time again! My favourite recipe is below – but first a bit of background.
The Seville orange is also commonly known as bitter orange. It has been used to make essential oils, and in Chinese medicine to treat nausea, indigestion and constipation. The name is originally from quince jam, “marmelo” is the Portuguese for quince, and in Spanish the name is what we here call jam.
Marmalade first appeared in Scotland – and according Scottish legend, the creation of orange marmalade in Britain occurred by accident, when a ship carrying a cargo of oranges broke down in the port of Dundee, resulting in some locals making marmalade out of the cargo. The clever Scots also changed our habit of eating it in the evening to having it for breakfast!
So here is what I have worked out as the best recipe to make our favourite marmalade. By squeezing the juice & adding it toward the end of the cooking you keep more of the the lovely tangy, citrus taste.
3lb seville oranges
4 pints water
4-5 lb sugar (depending on taste)
Squeeze the juice from the oranges & lemons then set aside. Scrape out the pith & pulp with a spoon and put in a separate bowl with the pips from the juice. Thinly slice the orange rind & soak in a pan with the water overnight to tenderise the rind. Next day boil the orange slices & water for 1-2 hours with the pith & pulp in a jam bag (this helps add to the pectin levels). After softening the peel add the orange & lemon juice, along with the sugar. Bring to boil & cook at rolling boil for about 20mins. Cool a little & fill sterilised jars. You can it straightaway, best with sourdough toast!