The ‘queen of all marmalades’ is the Seville orange marmalade. Seville oranges are slightly bigger than normal oranges and have an exquisite bitter-sweet taste. The main season for Seville oranges is January/February time. Have a look at the LWTM calendar and look out for the jam jar symbol, as these indicate the best dates to make jams and pickles.
If you prefer a lighter, slightly sweeter taste, then use the Seville marmalade recipe below, but instead of Seville oranges use
a standard variety. The next question is how much peel should I use. Again, that is a question of taste. Some people add lots of coarsely shredded orange peel, others prefer the peel to be thinly sliced and then there are marmalades that don’t contain any peel at all. The beauty of making the marmalade yourself is that you can choose how thick or thin you want your shredded peel to be. The choice is all yours.
Where does Seville orange marmalade come from?
At the turn of the 18th century Janet Keiller’s husband, a sailor, brought some Seville oranges back with him when he returned from a ship voyage from Spain back to his home in Dundee, Scotland. In order to make this precious cargo last longer, Janet decided to make a preserve. The recipe she used was loosely based on ‘marmelo’, a Portuguese quince paste. Her jars proved
to be such a hit that it formed the basis of the Keiller marmalade factory, founded in Dundee in 1797.
Some marmalades leave the peel off, others include it in shredded or thinly minced form. Below you will find the Scottish version with the peel added. This recipes produces around 1.3kg (3lb) of marmalade.
Ingredients: 900g (2lb) Seville oranges (best unwaxed or organic), 1.4l (2 ½ pints) water, 900g (2lb) caster sugar, juice of 2 lemons
1) Wash and scrub the oranges well and put them whole into a clean pan. Add the water and slowly boil the oranges for around 90 minutes. Then take the boiled oranges out and keep the water.
2) Carefully peel these oranges and then cut, shred or mince the peel into small strips.
3) Peel the pith from the oranges and discard it. Then take out the pips and put them into a small muslin bag.
4) Cut the peeled oranges into halves and then slice each half into thin slices. Finally put the orange slice, minced peel and the muslin bag containing the pips into the orange water. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for another 5 minutes. Then take out the muslin bag and discard it.
5) Take the pan off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
6) Then put the pan back on the stove and bring it again to the boil. Do this quickly and once it bubbles, take it off the stove and fill it into sterilised glasses. Cover with cling film and let the marmalade cool down.