This holiday week is whistling past in a haze of play dates and lunches. I've been enjoying myself and not taking too many pictures. So, especially for my Aga ❤ Love Flickr group, here are the marmalade sessions.
Place 3lb Seville oranges in a pan with 4 pints of water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Bring to the boil and transfer to the simmering oven overnight (pop an old plate on top to keep the oranges submerged!)
Measure out 6lb of sugar. I use cheap, ordinary granulated and mix in about 400g of muscovado sugar as we like our marmalade to be dark! Put this in a heatproof bowl on the back of the Aga to warm through.
The next day, when you're ready to get cooking, take the oranges out of the bottom oven and place all your clean jars into the bottom oven to warm through. Place a stack of teaplates into the fridge.
Remove the squishy oranges from the liquid and place in a colander over a dish. Leave to cool a bit until you can handle them.
I use an ice-cream scoop to remove all the bits and pith.
Plonk it all back into the pan with the juicy water (not forgetting the sticky liquid in the dish under the collander!)
Heat this through on the boiling plate for about 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile chop up the peel to your preferred size - we aim for goldfish sized lumps in the Kitschen household, but not everyone wants to chew their way through huge lumps of orange at breakfast!
Once the liquid has boiled, strain it through a sieve and really push through the pulp to catch all the sticky goodness.
This is the pectin rich liquid that will make the marmalade set.
Add the liquid to your orange peel and separate into two batches. This is to enable a good rolling boil without a horrid mess spilling all over the boiling plate!
Place the first batch into the preserving pan and add half the sugar and 1.5 pints of cold water. Heat through on the simmering plate until the sugar has thoroughly melted. If you are using a heavy based pan it should be fine, if not be sure to stir continuously to avoid burnt sugar at the bottom of the pan!
Once the sugar is all gone and there are no crystals in the liquid, move the pan across to the boiling plate and allow it to boil for 10-15 minutes.
Test for setting point - put a teaspoon of liquid onto one of the cold tea plates, pop it back in the fridge and then see if the surface wrinkles when you push it with your finger. If not, lick your finger, and the plate, then try again (with a clean plate of course!). It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes!
As soon as your marmalade is cooked remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then add 4 tablespoons of Single Malt Whiskey snaffled from hubby's decanter.
After another 5 minutes, remove your jars from the bottom oven and fill the jars using a jam funnel (this and the preserving pan are my two essential pieces of equipment for all preserving). Where possible use screw lids to close the jars; they are so much more practical for re-closing! Put the lids on either when the marmalade is still steaming hot or when it is completely cold; never when it's just warm! If you don't have the lids you can buy standard sizes from Lakeland.
I have made 4 batches this year so we are well stocked for my favourite Sunday morning breakfast; Thick buttered toast and Dark Seville Orange and Whiskey Marmalade.
Tomorrow the beautiful boy and I are spending a day at home doing some still life painting.
I'm really very excited about unpacking my inks and brushes and beginning to dabble. I just hope I'm not going to be painting a still life of 'Hot Wheels, iPod and a dinosaur' ... t.x