Chunky Seville Marmalade

An abundance of citrus fruits means it’s marmalade-making time. Sweet oranges, lemons and grapefruit are available all year round but the bitter Seville oranges which make the best marmalade have only a short season from about the middle of January to the end of February.

Ingredients

  • 1.25 kg/3 lb Seville oranges
  • 2.75 litres/5 pints water
  • 2.75 kg/6 lb granulated or preserving sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle (optional)
  • juice of 2 large lemons

Method

Scrub the oranges and pick off the small disc at the stalk end. Place in a large saucepan and cover with 2.25 litres (4 pints) of the water. It may be necessary to use two saucepans with half the oranges and a generous litre (2 pints) water in each. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 1½ hours, or until the oranges are quite soft – test with a sharp knife. Lift out the softened oranges, reserving the water they cooked in.

Cut each orange in half and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the pith and pips into a small saucepan. Add the remaining 0.5 litre (1 pint) of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes – this extracts extra pectin from the pith and pips.

Cut up the soft peel, coarsely or finely according to how you like the marmalade. Return the peel to the original saucepan containing the water. Add the sugar, add the treacle if a dark marmalade is preferred, then add the lemon juice and the strained water from the pith and pips. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for a set – about 15–20 minutes. Draw the pan off the heat, skim and pour into warm, dry jars. Cover with waxed paper discs while hot and seal when cold.

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