Happy St. Patrick's Day! This year I am hiding out from the Irish extravaganza in Denmark, visiting relatives, but I still have a (somewhat) patriotic recipe up my sleeve.
We've just come to the end of the Seville orange season and therefore the end of marmalade season. Last year for my first ever attempt to make marmalade and I found this article by Felicity Cloake to be incredibly useful. In fact, it was so useful that it forms the basis of my own Tricolour Marmalade recipe, a three fruit marmalade that contains all the colours of the Irish flag (see the tenuous Paddy's Day link yet?)
In this recipe I've just put in the total weight for the citrus fruit needed. I made up my kilo of fruit with 3 Seville oranges, 3 limes and 4 lemons but you can try a different combination. You also need to add an additional lemon, which I listed separately to the rest of the fruit.
You can also try making a plain Seville marmalade or a three fruit marmalade made with grapefruit or even a ginger and orange marmalade. The choice is endless!
First assemble all your fruit (including the additional lemon) and cut it in half. Squeeze the fruit into your large pot, making sure that you have a sieve in place to catch the pith and pips.
Pull off the rest of the pith using your fingers and a knife, so that you're left with peel that has very little flesh left on it.
Put all the pith and the pips collected in the sieve into your muslin bag or into the centre of your square of muslin and seal up with an elastic band.
Add the water to the large pot and put in the bag of pith and pips. Leave to one side while you prepare the peel.
Using a sharp knife shred the peel of the fruit into the size of pieces that you prefer. Personally, I like a mixture of fine and thick peel.
Add the peel to the pot and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 2 hours until the peel gets soft.
After the 2 hours, remove the muslin bag from the pot and allow to cool in a bowl. It will take a minimum of 30 mins for the bag to cool enough for you to handle, unless you have heatproof gloves or asbestos hands. At this point you can leave the marmalade to stand overnight.
While you're waiting for the bag to cool, prepare the jam jars as in my Apple Butter recipe.
Once the bag is cool enough to handle, squeeze it so that lots of goop comes out. You want to squeeze out as much of this as possible into your marmalade mixture. Do be careful during the squeezing that none of the rough contents of the bag escape.
Once you squeezed lots of goop into the pot, bring the marmalade mixture back to the boil and add the sugar.
Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and bring to the boil. Do be careful during this part, as boiling sugar is dangerous. If you have a sugar thermometer, now is the time to use it.
While the marmalade is coming to the boil but a set of saucers into the fridge, so they get nice and cold. This is to help tell when the marmalade is ready.
When the marmalade reaches 104°C, or, if you don't have a thermometer, after the mixture has vigorously boiled for 15 mins, take a spoonful of the mixture and put it on to one of the cold plates and put it back in the fridge for 5 mins. If the marmalade is ready, the marmalade will wrinkle when you push your finger through it. After the initial boil, try the marmalade every 5 mins until you get the wrinkle.
Once the marmalade is ready, let it stand for 15 mins before ladling it into the warm jam jars you have in the oven.
Clean the jars and seal them. Leave the jars to cool and you can label them. Check out Jamlabelizer for cool labels.
You can eat the marmalade the next day, but it tastes much better if you leave it for a couple of weeks.