Strolling through the orangery here at Yumblog Hall it became clear we were going to have a glut of oranges again this season. A bumper crop no doubt thanks to both the skill of old Mr Fothergill the head gardener, and the relentless sunshine and arid terroir of West Yorkshire. We decided to use some of this surplus to make marmalade as not only would it make a welcome addition to the yumblog breakfast table, but could also be jarred up, over-packaged, branded as Mrs Bloggings Traditional Hand-Crafted Artisan Olde English Chunky Orange Country Preserve and sold in our ‘Farm’ shop for a price so shocking we only dare reveal it at the checkout.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2.5 hours plus cooling time
Serves: several jars
Skill level: medium
- Seville oranges – 2kg
- water – 4 litres
- granulated sugar – 1.3kg
- lemon juice – 100ml
First you should scrub the oranges and pick off the green bit from where the stalk once was, you know, that bit.
Next put your oranges in as large a pan as you can possibly find, assuming you haven’t bought a giant preserving pan for the very purpose. Cover them with 3.5 litres of water. Put the lid on and simmer for two hours until the oranges are fairly soft.
Once the correct level of softitude has been reached, transfer your oranges to a large bowl using a slotted spoon so as not to lose any of the cooking liquor.
After a while your oranges will have cooled sufficiently for you to be able to cut them in half and scoop out the pith, the pulp and the pips. Put these scoopees into a pan with 500ml of water and simmer for ten minutes.
Now chop the softened orange peel to the desired levels of chunk.
Add the cut peel to the reserved cooking liquid. Strain the pith/pulp/pip juice giving it a good press and pour into the big pot. Add the sugar and the lemon juice and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 15 minutes. Draw off the heat and test for the set by putting a small spoonful on a cold plate and seeing if it wrinkles. If not yet ready return to the heat and continue the testing at ten-minute intervals until you lose the will to live/your ceiling is dripping from the steam.
Leave to cool for about 20 minutes then pour into beautifully sterile jars.
Cover the jars once the marmalade no longer exudes mould-creating steam.
Verdict: Nice and chunky and a bit tart, good for a few Saturday morning slices of lightly buttered sourdough maison.
Drink: Tea in a pot – it’s Saturday you know.
Entertainment: Have we mentioned the Sausage Sandwich Game on Danny Baker’s Saturday morning 5Live show?