Thursday, 22 January 2015

the bitter comes out better with a Seville orange

It's proper marmalade-making season at the moment, so we've slipped some Sevilles into a pan.

The myth goes that Keiller cheaply bought up a cargo of stranded Seville oranges in Dundee. Turns out they were too bitter to eat, so his mother cooked up a rind-inclusive marmalade.

I'm told that marmalade is dwindling in popularity nowadays, with only 5.6% of English eating it, with a mainly 'over 45 years' demographic. It might explain why many hotels have those little pots of jam in flavours like apricot and raspberry for breakfast which, to me, just seems wrong. The Scots still have it ranked at number three amongst the morning preserves, after strawberry and honey.

So for a simple recipe:

Wash the fruit. Cut the oranges in half around the middle. De-pip (any excuse to use the food processor).

Cut some 2-3 cm strips of rind and whack the rest through a julienne blade in the processor.

Add the rind and juice to a pan with water at around 1 cupful per orange. The pips could be added to this in a muslin bag for later removal. Simmer for around an hour to release the pectin. About 1/3 of the liquid will have been reduced away and the rind will be soft and transparent.

Slowly add sugar at approx 2:1 weight ratio and boil for about 20 minutes.

Check a few drips for that not-runny, wrinkle-on-a-cold-plate effect to know when it's done.

Tip into jars.

A yummy jam.

And it's orange.

Even better with home made bread.

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