I have inadvertently stumbled upon a way to bring sunshine in to my home in the depths of January.
It was Sunday and the sky was filling up with a January grey. January has a different light to the one before Christmas and it can seem less than cosy. I look towards Spring at this time of year with hope and excitement and I realised on Sunday that I can hasten its return by doing one thing, by making marmalade.
Making marmalade sends the scent of Seville Oranges coursing through my home, lighting up everything in its path. And the taste they produce invokes happiness and lightness as it is spread on my toast, bread or scone. The jars sit in my pantry like bright amber orbs of Winter goodness. Waiting to be consumed by yours truly or given, like a handful of sunshine, to an unwitting recipient.
Making marmalade is easy, life affirming and right. It lasts forever and tastes like nothing a factory could ever produce. It is sunshine in a jar and reminds me how wonderful life is when I notice that Seville Oranges are for sale in the greengrocers during the toughest time of the year.
Sitting and waiting for us to release their magic, their scent, their taste and then bottle it.
Here’s how to make Marmalade. Do not be put off by the number of steps. I have simply gone in to detail and wanted to make it all very clear.
Makes approx 2 Ltrs of Marmalade
- Take two pounds of Seville Oranges. Approximately 7 Oranges. They are lighter than other Oranges and contain more pectin (setting agent).
- Wash them, remove the button from the top and place them in to a Maslin pan or large heavy bottomed pan.
- Add four pints of water, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for about an hour or until you can poke a wooden skewer in to the flesh easily.
- When they have softened remove them from the liquid and set the liquid to one side. Then set the oranges aside to cool for a few moments.
- When cool enough to handle, slice the oranges in half, scoop out the fleshy insides, including the pips, and place the flesh back in to the pan with the liquid.
- Set the skins to one side, you’ll need them.
- Place the pan back on to the heat and boil for about 15 minutes to extract the pectin from the pips.
- Then, place the liquid and the fleshly pulp through a fine sieve. Reserving the liquid and placing it back in to the pan.
- Do not put it back on to the heat just yet.
- Add 4 pounds of sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
- Returning to the orange peel you have set aside, slice the peel in to small pieces. If you like a more bitter taste then keep some of the pith on the pieces.
- Place the cut up peel in the pan a return the pan to the heat. Bring it to a rolling boil.
- Keep the pan at a high simmer/rolling boil (not a nuclear boil) for twenty minutes or until it reaches 220f
- Meanwhile place three small saucers in to the fridge to chill.
- After twenty minutes take a teaspoon of the marmalade liquid from the pan and place it on the chilled saucer.
- Put the saucer back in to the fridge for a couple of minutes and then remove it.
- Push the marmalade with your finger or the back of a spoon. If it has set and is crinkly when pushed you may remove the pan from the heat as it has reached its ‘Setting Point’.
- If not return the pan to heat and test again in another five minutes.
- Mine took thirty minutes and I believe I could have left it for forty as I would have liked it to be a little firmer.
- When you are happy with your Setting Point remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool for approximately forty minutes. This helps the peel to settle throughout the Marmalade and not just on top.
- Place your jars (I recommended La Parfait as they are designed for this) in to a hot oven or pour boiling water over them to sterilize them. But remove the rubber seal first.
- Allow them to air dry in the hot oven
- When the pan of Marmalade has cooled, use a funnel and pour the marmalade in to the jars you have chosen.
- After sterilizing the rubber seal place it back on to the cooled but still warm jar, close, and leave to set on the kitchen worktop overnight.
Serve next day with your favourite bread and a hot cup of tea. Don’t keep it for breakfast but serve throughout the day when the fancy takes you.
It’s delicious, divine and delightful. And it makes those darling Spring-like days seem just around the corner. Which of course they are. Aren’t they?
Huge love to you, Cherry x
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mmmm. marmalade. yum! One day, when I’m feeling brave, I’ll give it a go!
My word Cherry. What gorgeous photographs and recipe. You’ve really brightened up my day with todays post. I am now craving marmalade on a scone with a nice cup of tea. Much love. Jasmine. x
Looks simply delicious Cherry.
Sue, Cornwall. x
I’ve stumbled across your site this morning looking for jam recipes. You are very talented Cherry and very inspirational. I will try your Marmalade jam recipe and let you know how I get on. Best wishes and thank you, Brenda. Chester
Oh, how lovely your marmalade looks! Yesterday I used the very last bit of the first marmalade I ever made just last year. A friend took a marmalade making class and brought me the cut up oranges to cook complete with printed instructions. It was quite fun, tasted fantastic but I froze it simply because canning terrifies me. I’ll follow your instructions and give it a go. My home town is bulging with Seville orange trees and the fruit goes to waste. They were planted as decorative trees to line the streets of Victorian houses and on the grounds of the state capitol, so you can imagine how old they are. I tried to organize a yearly festival and haven’t given up yet!
Here’s my blog Seville follies from last year! Oh,that was one terrific cake.
I am also ready for spring,,I love looking at all snow pictures but I really like the spring weather and all the pretty flowers..you brought back memories for me with your marmalade,,my mom was an awesome cook and baker and she would make marmalade all the time,,I am glad you were able to add a little sunshine to your home..
Your home looks like a home should be. Can I come and stay?
It’s so cold outside that I’m having lunch at my desk, thus flicking through your website. Sunny. Sunny. Sunny. That’s my word for the day. You’ve brought sunshine to my day.
That looks scrummy Cherry, I will definitely be making some marmalade this weekend.
Thanks for sharing.
It’s funny really because I never liked marmalade as a child, I always preferred jam, but now I am older I can’t get enough of the stuff!!! My cupboard always has at least two jars of the stuff for breakfast time (I have a large family that also enjoys marmalade).
Your marmalade looks delicious, hmmmmmm…. in fact, I think I can hear my marmalade cupboard calling me now… 😉
Wow, that really does look like sunshine in jar! Beautiful pictures.
Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing Cherry.
I love your site and I love your pictures, it is all so inspirational. More please!
Another visual treat for the taste buds Cherry. Now … I feel the need to give you a strong talking to. You are clearly a very clever lady, so why aren’t we seeing a book of yours in stores. You would be a crazy lady if you don’t bottle what you do here. Consider yourself told ‘off! ; )
I really like your website. I’ve discovered a secret world online.
Ive had a cronically bad part of my day today and feel horrible. But reading this has made me want to go and pick myself up and preserve a whole lot of plums I was recently given. What better way than to right a horrible wrong than to preserve something!! Thanks for the inspiration
I agree with Martha from New York. Yes a book please along the lines of the Ralph Lauren one for our coffee tables not one that goes on the “Used cook book shelf,” all splashed with oil and grimy but a delight to behold with EVERYTHING you do in it.
Cherry, Cherry, Cherry !
I cant stand marmalade, really cant eat it BUT (there is a but) this post still made me smile, as they all do. Ive posted before to tell you I check in every day, sometimes from work, sometimes from home. When I check in from work, and read up on whats been happening in your home, I literally cant wait to get home and get going,(but sometimes i lose the enthusiasm and just hit ths sofa instead for a tv night:) so although I’ll give the marmalade a miss, Im open to more homemaking suggestions !! I was thinking about you the other night (not in a weird, stalker way :), but i had just bought some new fairy lights for next christmas, in the shape of snowflakes but instead of putting them away for next year, I put them up round my dresser in the kitchen to add a gentle light, this was one of your tips, see I was paying attention !
I would love to make your marmalade. I wonder If I can get Seville oranges in the States? Or maybe another kind of orange would work. I will ask the “produce lady” in my local supermarket.