I’ve always loved marmalade, one of my favourite memories was being a kid in my auntie’s kitchen in Ireland, eating her homemade marmalade on homemade brown bread with a cup of tea, so delicious! Today I’ve finally had a go at making my own marmalade after receiving a delivery of 28 Mason jars yesterday.
Firstly, the recipe I used asked for Seville oranges, but I don’t think these are in season here yet, so I went to my local grocery store to see what they had in stock. They had the standard Navel oranges imported from the U.S. and 3kg bags of Australian Valencia oranges, as well as lots of Imperial mandarins. I decided to mix things up a little, and ended up using 1.5 navels, 4 valencias and 1 mandarin, as well as 1 lemon.
I filled my pot with 2.25 litres of water, added all the juice from the fruit to it, saved all the pith, pits and skin and popped the pith and pits into some muslin cloth. I made sure to remove all excess pith from the orange skins, then julienned it. I then tied up the muslin cloth and put both it and the julienned peel into the pot.
I let this simmer for a little over 2 hours, until the peel was nice and soft. Then I removed the muslin cloth bag, squeezed out as much of the liquid as I could, then added around 700g of caster sugar. The recipe I used said to use 1.8kg of sugar, but this seemed like way too much, so I started off with just the 700g. When I tasted it, it was already sweet enough, maybe even too sweet, so I added the juice of half a large lemon which seemed to balance it out ok. I let the sugar dissolve and come to a rapid boil for around 20 mins, then began testing to see if it had reached its setting point. I ended up waiting another 30 mins until removing it from the heat because I didn’t think it was set enough.
I then let the marmalade rest for 20 minutes, before pouring it into sterilised jars, sealing them and labelling. The photos below document the main steps I took in the whole process.
I just had a piece of toast with my marmalade on it, and it may sound like I’m bragging or biased, but I think it is one of the nicest marmalades I have ever had, success!