Thursday, 4 February 2010

Marmalade Magic

I've been making marmalade lately. Its the first time I've done it. Last week I made Seville Orange Marmalade and that seemed reasonably successful. As I had a few oranges left over, this week I decided to make Three Fruit Marmalade. I used Delia Smith's recipe for the Seville Orange Marmalade which you can find here .

For the second lot, I used a different recipe which you can see here . (I had a slightly different mix of fruit but the overall weight was the same.) Delia's recipe involves cutting the fruit up first  and putting all the pips and pith into a muslin bag, whereas the other one recommends boiling the fruit for an hour before cutting it up.

Both methods are a bit time-consuming and have pros and cons. Delia's marmalade turned out slightly clearer than the other one as it didn't contain so much pith, but I found chopping boiled fruit easier than chopping raw fruit. The only disadvantage of boiling first is that its hard to get rid of any very small pips (you have to discard the pips.) However, once the marmalade is on your crunchy toast, I doubt whether you'd notice a few tiny pips!
Once it was cut up, it went back into the pan and sugar added, dissolved and the brought to what is called a 'rolling boil'. You need to make sure the pan is large enough so that it doesn't boil over.

Once its been boiling for about 15 minutes, you test for the setting point by putting a small amount onto a cold saucer and leaving it for a few minutes. Then you push it with your finger and if you can see a crinkly skin on top, its reached the setting point. If not, boil some more and repeat.

Even though it's quite time-consuming, there is something quite satisfying about making preserves at home, don't you think? Of course they taste quite different from shop-bought stuff and at least you know exactly what is in them. Here are the results of my efforts - 16 jars - all nicely labelled!

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