Marmalade from the Autumn Goods
After receiving a heap of citrus from a friend, I put myself straight to work making marmalade. The first round of 'Marm' I'm making is with a couple of orange, kumquats and mandarins. I haven't made marmalade in years, this will be a good old stroll down memory lane.
750g citrus - I used 2 medium sized oranges, 3 mandarins and about 8 kumquats
400g caster sugar
2 litres water
Wash the fruit under cold running water ( this fruit was straight from a garden so it had all kinds of hangers on).
In a big pot, place the fruit and cover with water. I used 2 litres but it could take a bit more depending on the size of the fruit and the pot. The fruit needs to be submerged. I use a pot lid that has a little bit of weight to it and fits nicely inside the bigger pot.
Bring the water to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer the fruit until its soft but not disintegrated. We need to be able to scoop out the flesh/pulp but also keep the skin sliceable. The simmering process should take about 2 hours. Have a couple of checks during this process, just be careful of the steam and hot water.
Once the fruit is ready, strain and water off and set aside. During the simmering, the pectin and oils have come out into the water and it will form the base of the marmalade.
Once the fruits are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the pulp. Place the pulp back into a pot with the strained citrus water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Strain again and set aside. Thinly slice the skins and add this, along with the pectin water and sugar to a good, solid bottomed pot.
Place the pot on a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon, gently and sporadically. It is important that the sugar doesn't catch but also, sugar (like anything, hah!) doesnt like too much agitation. Bring up to a simmer and stir occasionally. Once simmering, turn all the way down so it is on a low simmer. Let it tick away until it reaches the best consistency (105C). My thermometer decided to misbehave so I did the old fashioned chilled plate test. Place a little plate in the fridge to chill. Once cool, drop some marmalade onto the plate and leave to set. It should sit like how marmalade should - like a jam but with an almost jelly like texture. When I made this the other day, the consistency that I ultimately wound up with was more like a thick, creamy honey. This was from the initial simmering stage where I boiled it instead of simmering. The flavour was amazing but the texture wasn't a classic marmalade. Still good for buttered toast, crumpets, english muffins etc.
Once the marmalade is ready to go, find some clean glass jars and carefully pour it in. For glass jars, it is important for the jars to be clean and sterilised. I also like to have the jars warm when I pour jam or marmalade into them. This is called tempering. Once the marmalade is in the jars, leave to cool and set at room temperature. After this, put the lids on and keep in a dark, cool place.
I am thinking about using marmalade in all sorts of way - not just on toast. I'm thinking some kind of marshmallow biscuit, an ode to Paddington and possibly some kind of cocktail. I'll be working through these ideas over the coming weeks - my thoughts and workings can be found on Instagram (@dinswithdins) on stories and posts. Keep an eye out for those if marmalade exploration sounds like something you want to be a part of.