My first escapade with marmalade making for my market stall I will unashamadly admit, was a complete disaster. It took hours to make and prepare and the disappointment was mighty. Jams and chutney aren’t too much of a challenge in this old cottage kitchen, so I was determined to conquer marmalade.
My kids nicknamed this ‘Vampire Jam’ (currently in the phase of Scooby-Doo vampires and Indiana Jones). They usually won’t eat marmalade, but love this less bitter version, after picking out all the ‘asgusting’ rind that is.
Mammy’s Hi-Tech Lab
This was an experiment, bypassing all the faff and traditional preparation in marmalade making by just chucking the halved oranges into a food processor. It’s straightforward and a little bit sweeter than Seville Orange Marmalade, and if I can make it successfully, go out and buy a couple of blood oranges and give it a go. The trick is to make small batches, as modern-day domestic cookers sometimes are unable to bring the temperature of a large quantity of liquid to the very high heat or rolling boil required for reduction or set, plus the added bonus is the quality of taste is so much better than large-scale production.
Hunting For Jars?
As for a lack of jamjars, check your fridge or pantry for near-empty jars, whatever size. If you can’t remember how long it’s been there, the chances are it has gone off. Most jars once opened only last 4 weeks in the refrigerator. Voila! You do have jars. This recipe yields 1 litre, so thoroughly wash out whatever jars you’ve discovered, measure with water the amount each jar will hold to total 1 litre.
Blood oranges are nutritious, with their red pigment called anthocyanin (also found in other plants, flowers and fruits) which is an antioxidant that may diminish the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, cholesterol accumulation, and cataracts, plus of course full of vitamin C.
You Will Need –
Yields 1 Litre
5 200ml jars or whatever size washed recycled jars you have
7 small blood oranges, weighing about 600g
juice of 1 lemon
1.5 litres water
1.1 kg granulated sugar
To Do –
Peel rind of 3 of oranges, and chop very finely.
Cut oranges in half and whizz in a food processor.
Squeeze juice over a sieve into a saucepan, keeping the pulp and seeds.
Pour in water and chopped rind.
Juice the lemon, saving seeds, and place in the pot with the sieved orange juice. Discard the rest.
Put the pulp and seeds of orange and lemon into a muslin cloth or clean new j-cloth tying tightly and securely. These pips and pith contain pectin, the setting agent.
Pop this into the pot. Do not add the sugar yet.
Boil over a medium heat for an hour or so until reduced by half. This reduction is important as you wont get a set.
Remove muslin bag, squeezing gently to extract any juice, and discard the pulp, the muslin can be washed and re-used however!
Put a saucer or plate into the refrigerator.
To Sterilise Jars see here..
Strain orange juice again through a sieve into a Pyrex jug and measure until you have 800 ml. If you have less, add some water, if not reduced enough put back into pan and boil again.
Turn heat down to simmer and add sugar.
Dissolve sugar slowly stirring for 5 minutes or so.
Turn up the heat to the highest and boil rapidly (rolling boil) for 10 minutes.
If you have a sugar thermometer, once it reaches 220C it’s ready
Test for set on plate – put a teaspoon on the plate from the refrigerator and leave for about 20 seconds. Gently push the marmalade with a finger and if it wrinkles slightly it’s ready.
If not boil again for a few minutes.
Test again on the plate.
Let the marmalade sit in the pot for 20 minutes. This prevents the rind floating to the surface when potted.
Carefully using a ladle, pour into the sterilised jars filling to an inch below rim.
Wipe any spills with a damp clean cloth or kitchen paper around the rim and jar and seal immediately with a lid.
This jam will keep unopened in a cool dark place for a year. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 4 – 6 weeks.