Brrrr January! After plodding around the animals and the farm cottages on a soggy morning in Cornwall, I retreated to the sanctuary of an Aga-warmed farmhouse kitchen with the soothing tones of Radio 4.
Marmalade is unctously beautiful – in colour and smell – January preserving therapy. Here’s a recipe obtained from Sheba’s godmother Ali, which she inherited from her great grandmother.
My pre-schooler helps to make the shreds from peel – using a table knife rather than a sharp knife (not totally sucessful but she find it absorbing), and my elder daughter is in charge of chilling plates and testing whether the jam is set. Both enjoy cracking open the first jar to sample our produce.
It’s tastes great and somehow 8 Seville oranges makes 15 jars of this magnificent stuff. Seville oranges are in season now so banish the New Year blues and turn January orange!
1. Wash oranges and lemons, cut in half and remove pips and juice using muslin draped over small bowl, secured with string or elastic band
2. Keep the pips and mushy bits in muslin and tie up with string
3. Cut skins thinly or thickly, soak in the juice and 4 of the 9 pints of water for 24 hours with the pips wrapped in muslin
4. Put everything in a huge pan
5. Mark the level of the contents in the pan (can use a wooden spoon), then simmer the juice, skins in their water and pips, adding the remaining 5 pints of water for 1&1/2 hrs
6. Remove pips, then add sugar and boil quickly for 40 mins, mixture should reduce by 1/3
7. Test on a cold saucer, in fridge, marmalade should wrinkle. reduce heat on pan when testing.
8. Skim off the sugary top off the mixture before potting.