I have been remiss in posting this recipe for Seville Orange Marmalade. I feel badly about this because, alas, Seville Orange season is over. These bitter, made-for-marmalade oranges are only in season during the winter, and only a brief part of the winter, namely late December through early February. On the plus side, you now have time to plan for marmalade making next year. If you like authentic orange marmalade, this recipe by David Lebowitz, from his book, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes, is definitely the one to use. One bite and you'll be transported to Scotland.
Winter is generally considered the off season for canning and preserving, something I love to do, so having found this recipe along with another soon to be shared one for lemon marmalade, I can see myself making jams and jellies all year long.
The best way to tell you how to make marmalade is to show you how with this photo tutorial and Lebowitz's text. It is not difficult, and the work may be spread out over the course of two days.
Seville Orange Marmalade
1 navel orange
10 cups water
pinch of salt
8 cups sugar
1 tablespoon Scotch (optional)
Wash oranges and wipe them dry.
Cut each Seville orange in half, crosswise around the equator.
Set a non-reactive mesh strainer over a bowl and squeeze the orange halves to remove the seeds, assisting with your fingers to remove any stubborn ones tucked deep within. (NOTE: I have a juicer and found this a quick and easy way to juice the oranges and separate seeds and pulp.)
Tie the seeds up in cheesecloth or muslin very securely.
Cut each rind into 3 pieces and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the rinds into slices or cubes as thin as possible. Each piece shouldn’t be too large (no more than a centimeter, or 1/3-inch in length.) Cut the navel orange into similar-sized pieces.
In a large (10-12 quart/liter) stockpot, add the orange slices, seed pouch, water, and salt, as well as the juice from the Seville oranges from step #1. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the peels are translucent, about 20 to 30 minutes.
(At this point, sometimes I’ll remove it from the heat after cooking them and let the mixture stand overnight, to help the seeds release any additional pectin.)
Stir the sugar into the mixture and bring the mixture to a full boil again, then reduce heat to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally while cooking to make sure it does not burn on the bottom. Midway during cooking, remove the seed pouch and discard.
Continue cooking until it has reached the jelling point, about 220F degrees, if using a candy thermometer. To test the marmalade, turn off the heat and put a small amount on a plate that has been chilled in the freezer and briefly return it to the freezer. Check it in a few minutes; it should be slightly jelled and will wrinkle just a bit when you slide your finger through it. If not, continue to cook until it is.
Remove from heat, stir in the Scotch, and ladle the mixture into clean jars.
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