Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the bitter with the sweet

Seville oranges, being closer to the ancestral form, are not only a lot more bitter and sour than sweet oranges, but are FULL of seeds. These have been boiled for almost two hours to soften the peel, and then cut in half ready to be prepped for marmalade
The softened halves get the seeds removed and set aside (they will be used to add their super-pectin power to the finished preserves), then the very bitter pulp is scooped away, leaving nice smooth bright orange peel to be sliced...
Don't they look lovely waiting to be sliced into thin ribbons of bittersharp goodness...
The sliced peel is simmered until it is all translucent, needs to be cooked thoroughly to remain soft in the final preserve. The seeds, in a muslin bag, are firmly encouraged to release additional pectin into the mixture...
Once the sugar is added, it takes a bit of time for the marmalade to be cooked down... I love my maslin pan, the right tool for the job!
Twelve jars of golden Seville marmalade to be stored away for future delight. It feels so good to begin to replenish the stores cupboard with homemade preserves.

and in the live and learn category: it sounds odd to say, but the new thing I learned from reading Saving The Season by Steven West, is that up 'til now I've been doing my set test wrong.
To test for a gel set: put 1 teaspoon of hot marmalade on a chilled saucer and place in the freezer for 1 minute. If the puddle of marmalade has formed a "skin" that wrinkles when you push your finger through it, then you have a gel set. If not, if the puddle is still syrup, then bring the preserving pan back to a boil and cook for another minute or two. Don't overcook the marmalade.


  1. Mmmm...marmalade...I may have to raid your cupboard! ;-)

  2. It looks so lovely and rich. Enjoy it on your toast, if that is the way you eat it.

  3. thank you for the appreciation - I wish you all could taste it for yourselves! This particular marmalade has a strong almost bitter flavor, that the sweetness tempers. I don't usually eat toast, but am fond of greek yoghurt with a teaspoon of jam or marmalade as a sort of dessert for breakfast thing.

  4. Those jars are a beautiful color!! Well done!