I made the most fantastic thing yesterday and itís called marmalade. Yes, you all know it, but have you ever made some for yourself? Forget that sour crunch you remember from a misguided assumption that marmalade is just like citrusy jam, we all thought that before our first taste. This is a rindless, chunky and sweet delight of a spread.
4 cups of sugar
about 1kg sugar
50g packet of Jam Setta (get if from the baking isle at your local supermarket)
Chilled saucer (just pop one in the fridge before you start)
Start by cutting all the rind off your oranges and lemons. Make sure you take that white, soft pith off too as this can make the marmalade quite bitter.*
Roughly chop the flesh in the size chunks you could see happily slathered on a piece of toast (I like mine chunky so I cut 2cm cubes).
Pop all the fruit flesh in a saucepan and cover with 4 cups of water. Bring this to the boil and then reduce to a simmer until it has reduced by one third.
Remove the pulp from the heat and measure out 500g of sugar for every 2.5 cups of pulp (I had 5 cups so I used 1kg of sugar).
Add the sugar to the pulp and pop it on a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Add the Jam Setta and bring to the boil. Boil (not simmer) this for 20 minutes. You will need to keep an eagle-eye on it because the last thing you want is boiling hot marmalade on your hands or stove.
Stir it occasionally to make sure itís not sticking on the bottom. When the buzzer goes, turn off the heat.
Grab your little saucer out of the fridge (bet you were confused about that until now!) and drop a small amount of the sticky, golden marmalade onto it. Leave it for 20 seconds and run your finger through it. If it crinkles a little and the finger mark divides the jam like Moses did the Red Sea then let it cool.**
I use these great little canning jars I found at a cheapie store a little while ago. They are the ones which have a hinged porcelain lid and rubber seal. Just give your bottles a rinse with boiling water from the kettle and pour the slightly cooled marmalade in. Leave out to cool completely overnight and then pop a pretty label on it. Now itís ready to eat or gift to a special friend.
I keep mine in the fridge as we have a pretty bad ant problem at times but you could easily keep this in the cupboard for about 3 months unopened. Once youíve popped the seal, I would try to eat it up in 4 weeks (if it lasts that long!).
The pith and the seeds contain pectin which is usually the setting agent for all jams and marmalades. If you wanted a bitter marmalade, chop up the rind (removing the pith) quite finely and add it to the chopped flesh before reducing. Pop all the pith and the seeds in a muslin bag and dunk it in until just before the last boiling stage when you extract it and squeeze the bag before tossing it away. You would not need the Jam Setta in this case.
** If for some reason the marmalade isnít setting, pop it back on the stove and give it another 5 minutes boiling time. This should fix the problem. If itís STILL all runny, you might want to add a little more Jam Setta and boil again for 5 minutes.
I've been planning fir either my younger daughter ir I, to make marmalade for weeks, as oranges are so good at the moment nd so cheap! I'm thinking of adding some whisky to it, as someone gave me a jar of Scottish Whisky marmalade once, so might try that.
Great directions and tips. Think I'll try it again after many years now! c&c