We love January – it is marmalade making season! There is nothing nicer than a bubbling pan and a kitchen filled with refreshing citrus smells. Seville oranges are in season for a very short time and now is the time to make Seville orange marmalade.
I began making marmalade 12 years ago to supply my parent’s bed and breakfast. Although my parents retired in 2007, my customers now includes local shops & guest houses as well as regular customers who come direct to buy their jars throughout the year.
Each batch is made traditionally using the open pan method and yields about 12 jars. It is a time consuming process of juicing, pithing, slicing, simmering and boiling. Luckily I have a Victorian heirloom, a Marvellous Marmalade Slicer, which really helps speed up the slicing process.
This year I have dispensed with the muslin bag. Instead and here is a real tip, I add all the pith and pips and a pint of the total liquid to a pan and boil rapidly for 10 minutes – this is then strained through a fine sieve and the resulting puree is just pure pectin (our setting heaven!) no worries about waiting for that illusive 105c temperature. I add this puree at the same time as I add the sugar.
Finding the setting point can be challenging to begin with. I test for a set with a frozen china plate, add a couple of drops of the boiling marmalade, wait a minute and setting point has been reached if a skin has been formed. When complete the jars should be perfectly set, clear & golden in colour, with fine slices and with just the right combination of sweetness and acidity.
In 2012 my marmalade achieved a prestigious bronze award at The World’s Original Marmalade Awards in the Artisan Marmalade Makers Open-pan method. The awards have been held for the last 8 years with over 1,800 jars of marmalade entered and judged from all over the world.
Would you like to order marmalade or book a time to visit us next year when we will be offering a few open kitchen slots so that you can help make our award winning marmalade and take a few jars home.