Seville oranges are also known as bitter oranges, and as the name suggests, they are bitter but they make the best marmalade. It is the striking contrast between sweet and bitter that makes this marmalade one of my favourites. Given that the whole intent of marmalade is preserving the fruit peel, it does pay to take time slicing the fruit rather than just chopping it up. This recipe makes the slicing easy and fast because the peel is soft and tender
Preparing your equipment before you start is always a good idea. You will need 8-10 jars of about 250ml each. These should be sterilized by placing the jars in a water bath and then into an oven at about 200°C for about 20 minutes. It’s a good idea to have the jars ready just before you start the final stages of cooking so that you can pour the hot marmalade into the still warm jars. You will also need a sugar or cooking thermometer, unless you are familiar with jam setting stages and textures.
2kg Seville oranges, washed (approximately 4)
200g brown sugar
Juice of one lemon
Water, at least 2.5L
Place the oranges in a large pot with a plate on top of the fruit to ensure they remain submerged during the cooking. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the plate and place the lid on the pot. Bring everything to a gentle simmer and continue to cook the fruit for two hours.
Remove the soft fruit with a slotted spoon and set them aside to cool. Do not discard the water. You should have about 2L of liquid remaining. You may need to top up the volume with more water.
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Slice the fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop the soft pulp from the peel. The remaining peel should be clean and free of the white flesh. Slice the remaining peel into thin strips, as thin as you can possibly cut and set it aside. Place the pulp and pips back in water and bring it to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes.
Spread all the sugar in a foil lined baking tray, preferable one that allows the sugar to spread evenly into a thin layer. Place it in the preheated oven to warm for 10 minutes. Do not let the sugar melt.
Strain the pulp and pips from the liquid. Discard the pulp and pips and return the liquid to the pot together with the thin strips of peel and lemon juice. Add the warmed sugar and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Continue to boil the mixture until it reaches 105°C, after which, remove it from the heat and carefully pour or ladle the hot syrup into the prepared jars. Take great care not to splash the scolding mixture.
Seal the jars well and place to the side to allow them to cool completely. When the mixture has cooled completely, it should be at a good jam consistency.