OFM editor Allan Jenkins joins film-maker Howard Sooley on a fishing boat pilgrimage to the Lagavulin distillery on the Hebridean island of Islay The pla...
Sunday, 20 February 2011
There is nothing quite like the tang of marmalade made with these bitter oranges. I am not fond of thick cut marmalade so I strain it and add a some finely cut peel to give it a little texture. It is a great job on dark January days when the weather keeps you indoors. So obliging of these fruits to be in season at such a time. It's a three day event but so worth it.
Makes About 2 Kilos/4 1/2 lbs
450gms/1lb Seville oranges
1.75litres/3pints/7 1/2 cups water
1.3kgs/3lbs/81/2 cups preserving or granulated sugar
60mls/4tablespoons lemon juice
Wash and dry the oranges using a soft brush to get into all the wee dimples on the skin.
If you want some fine peel through your jelly thinly pare off the skin and finely shred the rind from 2-3 of the oranges. A zester is good for this. Place it in a muslin square and make a little bag tying off with a long piece of string.
Squeeze the juice from the oranges and place the juice and pips into a large pan.
Chop up the remaining orange skins including the pith and add it to the pan.
Add the bag of shredded peel tying the string to the handle so you can fish it out easily later.
Cover with the water and leave to soak overnight.
Bring the mixture to the boil,reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours
Remove the bag of peel and set to the side for later.
Put the kettle on
Line a large strainer with a double layer of muslin.
Now pour some boiling water through the muslin to scald it.(or you can use a scalded jelly bag if you have one)
Place the strainer over a large bowl and leave to strain overnight.
Don't be tempted to squeeze or push the fruit pulp as it will make the resulting jelly cloudy.
Heat your oven to 150.C/300.F and pop your clean jam jars on a baking tray and set inside the oven to sterilise and heat.
Pour the strained juice into a large saucepan discarding the pulp.
Add the sugar, lemon juice and rind .
Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about twenty minutes or so until setting point is reached(105.C/220F) Sometimes this can take longer so don't be alarmed. A lot depends on the amount of juice and the vigour of the boil.
If you don't have a sugar thermometer use a chilled plate. Drop a little jam onto it and wait for a few minutes and if the surface wrinkles when gently pushed with your index finger it is done.
Remove the scum with a slotted spoon.
Leave to cool for a while then pot up into your nice warm jars.
Put the lids or covers on and leave to set.