Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making Marmalade

I love marmalade. Real English marmalade made with bitter Seville oranges. My family once spent all out leftover English coins at Harrad's duty free store at Gatwick on marmalade. Sigh, in these days of heightened security they probably wouldn't let us on the plane with a dozen jars of marmalade.

I've made marmalade from regular sweet oranges and so has my daughter, Jennie, and it was good, but I've always wanted to make it from Seville oranges. So did my friend,Betsy and I could hardly believe it when she found them at a grocery store in Seattle. Pricey little jewels but we both decided to make the splurge. Betsy found a great recipe from Delia in the Uk.

She found the recipe through a neat blog, the Cottage Small Holder, from England, and also a link to the annual marmalade festival in Cumbria, England. It's held in February so we won't make it this year but we can dream about next year.

Anyway I am having a great deal of fun with this marmalade recipe which is one where you simmer the stuff for hours on the back of the stove. I'll let you know tomorrow how it turns out.


  1. Well, I did intend to follow Delia's recipe, and I started out just fine. But then my cheapo cheesecloth disintegrated in my hands, so the whole squeeze-the-pulp step devolved into a mucky (though fragrant) disaster. I pitched it into the trash.

    Left then with liquid of uncertain pectin content, and nice sliced-up peels, I resorted to Pomona natural low-sugar pectin. Not as elegant as using the oranges' own pectin, certainly, but a nice fall-back option.

    I used less sugar than Delia calls for, since it didn't matter anymore (Pomona pectin gells with calcium) and made sure the jars were sterile and the marmalade boiling when I filled them.

    My outcome: good-tasting but slightly grainy marmalade. I suspect the pectin is responsible for the graininess.

    Also, Delia's recipe calls for such long poaching and cooking that the orange skins become very very soft. I'm fond of keeping a little chewiness in them, so I want to revise that part.

    Longwinded post. I'll trade you tastes of marmalade!

  2. Yeah, my cheesecloth gave up the ghost, too. They must have something sturdier in England. Of course, i've been using the same piece for probably 20 years. But I'm going to go ahead and just cook it down tomorrow and see what happens. The pectin should be dissolved in the juice. Definitely let's have a marmalade party.

  3. ohh! it's so uncanny! i was JUST at Gatwick Airport scrounging around for tiny jars of marmalade because they took away my big jar in security!!! haha.

    then when i get home i thought about making it myself, but felt intimated. i'm absolutely going to try this! i can't wait!!!