I didn't have time to post about this yesterday. The panic was completely unnecessary as I didn't get to setting stage until well after the kids were home. It took ages. But having tasted it, making marmalade was undoubtedly worth it. I got my Seville oranges in my veg box delivery, once I heard they were available. I've never made marmalade before. I do like it but it doesn't go as well with strong coffee as bread and honey does so I don't eat it that often. However this year, that wasn't going to stop me.
There are numerous recipes for Marmalade, using all sorts of citrus fruit. This is a classic rough cut bitter marmalade from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook. If you grow your own or are interested in seasonal cooking, then this is a lovely book. I found it recently on a second-hand stall. I'd been coveting it for ages but couldn't quite justify buying it for myself given my addiction to cookery books and the resulting lack of shelf space. However at £12 for the hardback and barely a scratch on the book, I could no longer resist.
Seville marmalade (made 12 assorted but mostly 450g jars)
1.4 kg Seville oranges
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of two lemons
2.7kg granulated sugar
Scrub the oranges and put them whole into a large preserving pan, along with 2.4 litres of water and the salt. Cover with a lid and simmer the fruit gently until soft. This takes about 1 hour. Reserve the liquid and halve the fruit, scooping out the pith and pips with a spoon and putting this into a small saucepan. Add another 300 ml of water to the pan to pith and pips and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Coarsely slice the orange peel and add to the preserved liquid in the preserving pan. Strain the liquid from the pith and pips and add this liquid to the large pan. Add the lemon juice and sugar, and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar completely, stirring all the time. Increase the heat and bring to a rapid boil until the setting point is reached.
To test for the setting point, put a saucer in the fridge to cool. When you think the marmalade might be ready, put a spoonful of the boiling jam onto the saucer. Return the saucer to the fridge. Once it is cold, the jam should wrinkle when you push it with your finger.
After taking the marmalade off the heat, skim the scum from the surface with a spoon. Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes - or the fruit peel will all float to the top (mine has anyway, but what the hell). Stir once and pour into warm sterilised dry jars. Put a greaseproof disc on the top of each jar and cover immediately.