Monday, December 19, 2011

Marmalade

A glut of oranges appeared in our fruit bowl the other day. They had been acquired to make Christmas decorations out of (stuck with cloves and suspended around the house from festive ribbons) but there were plenty left over, so I made some marmalade. The recipe comes from Lynda Brown's Preserving Book.


Ingredients
(makes 4 small jars)
1 kg oranges
2 lemons
1.2 litres water
1 kg granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of whisky

Method
  1. Halve and juice the oranges and lemons, set aside the juice, and tie the pith and pips from the juicer in a muslin square.
  2. Put the orange and lemon shells into a large pan, add the water and the muslin bundle, bring to the boil, and simmer with the lid ajar for 1 hour.
  3. Discard the muslin bundle, and strain the shells through a colander over a bowl to collect the liquor.
  4. Allow to cool, remove any mushy pith from inside the shells with a spoon and discard, then cut each shell into three segments, and slice each crosswise very thinly.
  5. Meanwhile, sterilise at least four 450g jars, together with their lids and any other equipment, and place a few saucers in the freezer to use for testing the set.
  6. Return the sliced peel to the pan, together with the reserved liquor. Add the fruit juice and the sugar, and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Bring to a fast boil and cook for between 5 and 20 minutes until you have achieved a set. (To do this, drip a few drops of the marmalade 'juice' onto the cold plate. Leave to cool for a few seconds. If it is ready, then the surface will wrinkle when you push the drop with your fingernail. Or you can just stick your finger in it and see if it has a slightly sticky, jammy consistency rather than a syrupy one. It may take a good 20 minutes of boiling to reach the setting point; keep testing at regular intervals and make sure you don't overcook it.)
  8. Once you have a set, turn off the heat, skim any scum from the surface, and allow the marmalade to sit for about 15 minutes. Add the whisky, stir well to make sure the peel (and the whisky) are evenly distributed, and transfer to your sterilised jars.

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