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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Oxford Marmalade

This 'Oxford Marmalade' is made with Seville Oranges, a special bitter orange only available during January and February, absolutely perfect for making marmalade! This Oxford marmalade is a bit more special than your average marmalade because it is cooked for longer giving it a lovely caramel colour and flavour. I would definitely make it again even though it was a bit extra work. This recipe is adapted from a brilliant book: 'Jams, Jellies and Marmalades' by Maggie Mayhew.

900g/2Ib Seville Oranges
1.75 litres/ 3 pints water
1.3 Kg/ 3Ib granulated sugar (warmed)

1. Wash the oranges and then peel off the rind using a vegetable peeler. Slice the rind as you prefer (thick or thin), remembering that it will swell a little during cooking. Pop it into a large pan.
2. Remove all the white pith and pips and put into a muslin bag (if you have loads of pith, only use half in the muslin bag). Chop up the remaining fruit and put it into the pan with the rind, trying to save all the juice as well. Finally add the water and put the muslin bag into the pan too.
3.Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add more water during cooking to keep it at the same level.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it overnight.
5. The next day, remove the muslin bag and squeeze out all the juices into the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer again for 1 hour.
6. Add the warmed sugar and stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved (to test this, lift your spoon out of the mixture and when cool enough, touch it with your fingertip and if you can feel any grains of sugar you need to keep stirring a bit longer).
7.Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 15 minutes or until setting point (105 degrees C/220 degrees F). To test for setting point, place a small saucer into the fridge before you start the rapid boiling and take a teaspoon full of marmalade out when you think you have reached setting point. Put it onto the cold saucer and wait a few minutes. If it wrinkles when you press it with your finger it's done, if not, boil for 5 more minutes and test again.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any surface scum. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, stir and then pour into warm sterile jars and seal. This quantity makes about 6 jars.

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