It's been some years since I last made marmalade and home made is SO many times better than shop bought. Seville oranges are coming to the end of their short season now - so get your hands on some quickly if you get the chance.
I actually made this a couple of weeks ago, late one evening. I had not managed to get hold of any seville oranges, but the normal ones are superb anyway at the moment - so I just used those.
Normally, white granulated sugar is used in marmalade. Sometimes, if you want a really dark and strong marmalade - a big spoonful of black treacle will be added to the pot.
In a moment of genius, I decided to use light brown soft sugar instead of regular white granulated. It adds soft caramel tones to the marmalade. It makes the marmalade taste is really smooth and it's full of flavour but not bitter.
1.7litres of water
150ml Scotch whisky
How you prepare your oranges may vary. I chose to squeeze the juice out of mine into the pot with the water, scrape out the pith and seeds and suspend these in the pot in a muslin bag. I left the lemons whole and finely sliced my orange peel. Boil for approx 2 hours until the orange peel and lemons are softened.
After that - I decided it was a total waste to chuck the lemons away ! Instead, I cut them open and squeezed out the juice. It's much easier to remove the pith and also to slice the peel up AFTER they've been boiled first - so next time, I'd boil the fruit more.
Discard pith / seeds and add sugar and whisky. Boil until temperature reaches setting point on a sugar themometer. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 mins before bottling into warm sterilised jars.
I sterilise my jars in my halogen oven cooker. It will generally take about 8 jars at a time. With no preheat and only using 1/3 of the power of my conventional fan oven, it's quick and energy saving.
Ok ok.... you want to know what REALLY happened ???
Well - Oliver had been a little poorly, so I had not been out with him that day to feed the ponies. When my husband came home, the oranges in water were boiling away nicely. I asked him to keep a check on it whilst I went to go and feed the animals.
By the time I got back, he'd forgotten about the pot on the cooker ..... The oranges / lemons were close to having boiled dry ! The kitchen was full of steam with the amount of water that had boiled off.
I added some more water to the pot... not really knowing how much it needed along with the whisky but guessed it would need to boil a bit longer thna normal with the sugar in to reach setting point..
I brought a bag of sugar from the cupboard to add to the pot and on the way fell over a toy fire engine that had appeared by magic. The sugar was all over the floor and not fit for use. After a clean up, I discovered that the only sugar left in the cupboard was light brown soft. That's how it got to be in my marmalade. A lucky emergency ingredient that made a wonderful addition and amazing substitue !
Sometimes things don't go smoothly....
Sarah-Jane Nash - http://www.siliconemoulds.com/ silicone bakeware moulds cookshop and online store.