Oh! How how my heart sank when I saw this snippet in the Sunday Times recently.
More than half those who buy marmalade are aged over 65! I used to buy marmalade but I’ve stopped now. And not because of this article but because I’ve just made a year’s supply of my own.
It is January and Seville oranges are in plentiful supply. These sour, pippy oranges are grown in Spain almost exclusively for the British, and Irish market, with the bulk of the crop going directly to jam factories. Luckily I managed to pick up a few at the weekend and set about making marmalade for the first time ever. I used a Darina Allen recipe and, as expected, the result was amazing.
- 1.5 kg Seville oranges
- 3.5 litres water
- 2.6 kg Sugar
This recipe is unusual in that you boil the oranges whole. Wash the oranges really well and then place them in a large pot. Cover them with the water and boil them for two hours. Then remove the oranges from the water making sure to save the water and allow them to cool.
Cut the oranges in two and remove the pulp, making sure to save the pips. Chop the skins very finely and place them back in the water. Put all the pips into a muslin bag and place into the pot with the chopped peel. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid by about two thirds. Then add the warm sugar and boil gently until setting point is reached. Allow the marmalade to cool for fifteeen minutes before bottling it. At the bottling stage you can add some liquor. I added Cointreau to mine and it tastes divine.