Saturday, 11 June 2011

Dad's Marmalade.

I made some marmalade yesterday. And it worked- really well.  Hooray!  For Christmas my Grandparents gave me a preserving pan, and earlier on in the year I had a go at making some jam with some left over cherries we had.  But I used a recipe for plum jam, and just figured I'd adapt it.  NO. Bad idea.  It turns out you need extra pectin for cherry jam.  Suffice to say it was a disaster!

But, that was not the case with my marmalade.
My Mum has raved about some marmalade my Dad made recently (Dad is a bit of an amazing Jam maker, but does not use recipes!) so I called him up and asked him for his recipe, which he explained to me, with lots of additions here and there.

I started the process of making it, and then checked something on line, which was a bit of a mistake, as I then saw that all of the other recipes for marmalade had lots of water in them (4 odd pints!) whereas my Dad's recipe had none.  This seemed like quite a discrepancy, so I called and checked- was he really sure there was no water added?!  Nope.  Apparently no water!  So then I agonised.  Should I go with his recipe, and ignore all of the on-line wisdom, or should I just follow a recipe carefully?  I very nearly went with the latter, but then thought "It's pretty rude (not to mention pointless) to have called up someone, asked for their recipe, and then totally disregarded it!" so I went with Dad's recipe.  And it was amazing!

Here is the recipe:

1 kg Jam Sugar
1 kg Oranges and one lemon

Remove the zest from the oranges and lemon- either with a knife, and then slice the peel, or with a zester (I did the latter, as we have a zester which produces nice little slivers of peel!). Place peel into boiling water and boil for 5-10 mins to soften.  Strain and set aside.
Then remove the pith and disregard (when Dad said this I did find myself making the terrible joke "are you taking the pith?"- I know, I am so ashamed!).
Cut the remaining bits of oranges and lemon into chunks (I did quarters) and liquidise, and then pour the mixture into a sieve over a preserving pan, and push the pureed fruit into the pan.  Disregard the stringy bits that are left in the sieve*
Add the jam sugar to the orange juice/puree mix in the pan, as well as the bits of zest, and bring to the boil.  Once the boil is rolling (where the mixture is twice its original volume) keep it at that temperature for 4 minutes (It's super-fast to make- I think the jam-sugar massively speeds up the process, but I don't really know!)
After that, take it off the heat, and place a teaspoon full of it on a cold plate (I popped one in the freezer for 5 mins before hand).  Once it has cooled, it should be a good 'marmalade-y' texture... at this point I realise that I'm not sure what you should do if it isn't a good texture, as mine was...!
Pour/ladle the mixture into some pre-sterilized jam jars and allow to cool.
Voila. Wonderful marmalade!

*This was the only place I deviated from Dad's instructions- he put the big chunks of fruit into the pan and mashed them down with a potato masher, and then removed the chunks at the end after the boiling.  I just figured this way would be a bit neater!

This morning we enjoyed home-made marmalade on home-made bread for breakfast. Delicious!

The moral of my story? Trust Dad. Particularly when it comes to jam making!

Hope your weekend is lovely.

C x


  1. Wonderful!

    1) Excellent fruit based puns. You have my peel of approval.

    2) That Marmalade would add a certain je ne sais quoi to a nice pan of gravy....

    Lou x

  2. This looks SO amazingly tasty!