Wednesday 5 January 2011


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).

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

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.


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