Marmalade

This January, preserve the glut of seville oranges you no doubt have in the garden by making lovely marmalade in a slow cooker.  The first time I tried this recipe I just used any old oranges and it worked perfectly well, so don’t worry if you can’t get hold of sevilles.

Marmalade

makes 6-8 jars

1Kg / 2 lbs  seville oranges
1.7 litres / 3 pints near-boiling water
juice of 2 lemons
2Kg / 4 lbs sugar

Wash and scrub the oranges.  Cut them in half, squeeze the juice and keep it somewhere for later.  Remove the membrane and pips and tie them up in a piece of muslin.  Slice the orange peel into strips, chunks, or whatever you prefer.  The slices you cut at this point will determine the size of the shreds in the finished marmalade, so it’s up to you, and don’t feel you have to put it all in.

Put the peel and the muslin bag full of pips and orange flesh into the cooking pot of the slow cooker.  Pour over the water and lemon juice.  Cover and switch to high, leave for 6 hours (you have to get up early for this one.)  The peel must be really soft before adding the sugar.

Remove the muslin bag and leave it until cool.  Squeeze the liquid from it into a large pan.  Add the rind and cooking liquid from the slow cooker, and add the sugar.  Finally pour over the orange juice you squeezed from the oranges earlier.  Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.  Stick a plate in the freezer at this point to test the setting point later.

Bring to the boil and keep boiling rapidly for 15 minutes until the marmalade reaches 105°C/220°F on a sugar thermometer.  If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, you can put a few drops of the liquid onto your frozen plate out of the freezer, and leave it for about a minute.  Push it along a bit with a finger.  If the liquid wrinkles then it has reached the setting point.  If not, keep boiling.
Once the setting point has been reached, turn off the heat and skim off any scummy nastiness from the top.  Leave it all to cool for about 15 minutes.
This is a good time to put your jars into the oven, at about 120°C/250°F, so that they are hot when the hot marmalade goes in later.

Stir the marmalade to distribute the peel evenly, then ladle into the heated jars.  Seal with waxed paper, clean and leave to cool with a cloth over the top.  When they have completely cooled, top with jam pot covers and lids and label.  Store somewhere cool and dry and use within a year.

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