Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Traditional Seville Orange Marmalade - Guest Blog Day
Today is guest blog day again! I know, I'm excited too. This weekend my mom and auntie got together in Toronto to create this incredible Seville Orange Marmalade, and lucky us, my mom is sharing it with us! Look at how good that bread looks, I want to reach into the screen and eat it, but I won't (no promises). So, without due, here is my loving mom...
Traditional Seville Orange Marmalade
In April 2007 I was in Rome with my sister where we sampled this delicious marmalade that Antoinetta (from Rome) and Michael (from Ottawa) had made. I got their recipe and when the Seville oranges arrived in February, a full 10 months later, my sister and I spent a Sunday afternoon cooking up a few batches. It’s a hugely tedious task, but well worth the effort. The marmalade was such a hit with family and friends that we made it again this weekend. We call it our “sunshine in a jar”.
Traditional Seville Orange Marmalade
adapted from Delia Smith’s book Delia's How to Cook: Book Three
Makes six 1 lb (350 ml capacity) jars
2 lb (900 g) Seville oranges
4 lb (1.8 kg) granulated sugar
You will also need a preserving pan or a large, heavy-based saucepan; a 9 inch (23 cm) square of cheesecloth; some string; a funnel; and six 1 lb (350 ml capacity) jars, sterilized.
Begin by measuring 4 pints (2.25 litres) water into a preserving pan, then cut the lemon and oranges in half and squeeze the juice out of them. Add the juice to the water and place the pips and any bits of pith that cling to the squeezer on the square of cheesecloth (laid over a dish or cereal bowl first). Now cut the orange peel into quarters with a sharp knife, and then cut each quarter into thinnish shreds. As you cut, add the shreds to the water and any pips or spare pith you come across should go on to the cheesecloth. The pith contains a lot of pectin so don't discard any and don't worry about any pith and skin that clings to the shreds – it all gets dissolved in the boiling.
Now tie the pips and pith up loosely in the cheesecloth to form a little bag, and tie this on to the handle of the pan so that the bag is suspended in the water. Then bring the liquid up to simmering point and simmer gently, uncovered, for 2 hours or thereabouts until the peel is completely soft (test a piece carefully by pressing it between your finger and thumb). Meanwhile, chill the saucers in the freezer.
Next, remove the bag of pips and leave it to cool on a saucer. Then pour the sugar into the pan and stir it now and then over a low heat, until all the crystals have dissolved (check this carefully, it's important). Now increase the heat to very high and squeeze the bag of pips over the pan to extract all of the sticky, jelly-like substance that contains the pectin. As you squeeze you'll see it ooze out. You can do this by placing the bag between two saucers or using your hands. Then stir or whisk it into the rest.
As soon as the mixture reaches a really fast boil, start timing. Then after 15 minutes spoon a little of the marmalade on to one of the cold saucers from the freezer, and let it cool back in the fridge. You can tell – when it has cooled – if you have a 'set' by pushing the mixture with your little finger: if it has a really crinkly skin, it is set. If not, continue to boil the marmalade and give it the same test at about 10-minute intervals until it does set.
After that remove the pan from the heat. Leave the marmalade to settle for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, the jars should be washed and sterilized. Pour the marmalade, with the aid of a funnel or a ladle, into the jars, cover with sterilized discs and seal while still hot. Label when cold and store in a dry, cool, dark place.