Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Marmalade

My Mother made marmalade the day I was due to be born. I was late so the marmalade was finished. Two years ago, I was making marmalade waiting for my baby to be born. He was born a bit late too which meant that I had time to use up all the fruit that I had brought. Most years, between these times either my Mother or I would have made marmalade.

Making marmalade isn't toddler friendly. The boiling sugar solution is very hot. I tend to make mine in the evening or when they are having a nap.

Marmalade is yummy! Orange jam or grapefruit or lemon or lime or a mixture to make sure nothing is wasted. Sevilles are the best oranges to use; others don't produce such a good set or flavour. Sevilles only appear in the shops for a few weeks in January and sometimes disappear fast.

Marmalade is best on toast with butter and homemade bread but good in bara brith (Welsh fruit cake).

Ingredients:
2lb citrus fruit (Seville oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes)
2 extra lemons
4lb sugar (ordinary granulated is fine although lime is special with brown sugar)
2 pints boiling water

Method:
Wash the fruit, then cut in half (grapefruit in quarters) and put in the slow cooker with 2 pints of boiling water over night.

Turn the slow cooker off first thing, then when the fruit has cooled, put the juice into a large saucepan or preserving pan. The suacepan needs to be large-I use the base of a pressure cooker without the lid and weights. Scoup out the centres of the fruit with a metal spoon and put these in a metal sieve above the saucepan. Crush the fruit, in the sieve, with a metal spoon to release extra juice.
Cut up the skins into strips with a sharp knife. It is possible to use a food processor but I have obtained odd shapes this way.
Put the skin into the saucepan and add the sugar.
Cook over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and allow to cook at a "rolling" boil until reaches setting point.
To test for having reached setting point, put a small amount on a saucer, allow to cool and push gently with a finger. If set, the top of the marmalade will wrinkle. Marmalade which has reached setting point will also drip slowly off a wooden spoon but the last drop will stay on the spoon.
Turn off and leave for about 20 minutes. Stir and then pot into sterilized pots.


Enjoy!

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