I keep making things, taking photos and then never getting around to blogging them. I am going to try and work through the backlog in the next few weeks and then hopefully the excitement of spring will give new things to blog about.
Starting with my most recent experiment, marmalade.
I had never made marmalade before, but figured it would be a good way to get small jars of shreddless marmalade. I used the Everyday marmalade recipe in Jams and Chutneys by Thane Price as a starting point.
The seville oranges were a bargain at ten for £1 on the market. The recipe uses seven, but I added the juice from the extra three anyway as I didn't want to waste them. A lemon and a couple of sweet oranges went in too.
The fruit was boiled whole for about an hour, until the skin is very soft. The boiling water takes on an orangey colour and smell. Some of the fruit popped open, but only juice seemed to have escaped.
The fruit was taken out and allowed to cool, then the insides scooped out and the peel finely sliced. I only sliced the skins of three seville oranges as some of the marmalade was destined to be shreddless.
I took a detour from the recipe here. The shredded peel was kept to the side and all the rest of the fruit chopped up and put in a jam bag. The bag was hung into the pan of water and simmered for a while until there was about 2 1/2 pints of liquid.
The bag of mushy oranges was taken out and the peel and flesh removed. The bag went back in the pan with just the pips in. Internet knowledge tells me they contain most of the pectin so I figured having them in a little longer would help the set.
Sugar went in next, a mixture of caster, a little ja, sugar and some golden brown suger. A radom combination, but that was what I had in the cupboard. The mix was stirred until the sugar had dissolved, then the marmalade was cooked at rolling boil, testing every 5-10 minutes until a set was reached. It took about 40 minutes, much longer than the book suggests.
Once it had reached setting point the heat was turned off and the bubbly scum on the top skimmed off.
About half the marmalade was put into jars, the rest was left to cool for a further 5 minutes, then had the sliced peel stirred in. The cooling stops the peel floating to the top. Then into jars.
It took a few days to summon up the courage to actually taste it. I was worried it would be far too bitter and totally inedible.
I am pleased to report it tastes right. The set is a bit odd though, not very jelly like, more thick and sticky, still goes well on toast.