Sunday, May 10, 2015

Marmalade (again)

The problem with my first recipe for making marmalade is that peeling and preparing the raw fruit throws up a lot of the volatile oils in the orange peel that I cannot stomach, leading to needing to round up a helper to do that bit for me.

This time I tried another method in which the fruit is poached whole so that the peel is already soft and cooked when it is chopped up, and doesn't therefore spray orange oils around the place.

You will need a pound or three of oranges or other citrus fruit, including one lemon for every pound of fruit.

Preheat the oven to a very low setting, around 80-90 C.
Pack the fruit closely into a large nonreactive close-lidded stockpot or casserole dish and add hot water to just cover the fruit. Pop an upturned saucer or small plate on top of the fruit to keep them all submerged, and then pop the lid on the pot. Place the lidded pot into the oven and leave to cook very gently for 3-4 hours, so that the fruit gently poaches without boiling.
Once the time is up, turn off the oven and leave the pot unopened to slowly cool overnight.

The next day, fish the fruit out of the poaching liquid one by one and prepare, reserving the poaching liquid:

Mash up the lemons and put in a saucepan for pectin.

Peel the cooked oranges or other large citrus fruit, and cut the now soft and flexible peel into fine shreds or small dice.
De-seed and chop the fruit on a dish so as to catch all the juice. Put the seeds and any thick or fibrous pieces of pith into the pectin pan with the lemons.
Note the total weight of peel, fruit and juice that you collect and put into the maslin pan.

Take a pint or so of the poaching liquid and add to the pectin pan. Heat gently and simmer for ten minutes, then strain through a muslin bag into a bowl. Squeeze out the lemon pulp in the muslin thoroughly, to extract as much of the pectiny goop as possible. Note the total weight of pectin-rich liquid and goop that you get, and add this to the maslin pan.

Now weigh the remaining poaching liquid and add that to the maslin too.

Sum up the total weight of fruit, peel, pectin and poaching liquid and weigh out an equal quantity of sugar. Add this to the maslin.

Pop the sugar thermometer in the maslin pan and put over a low flame, stirring the contents.
Once the sugar has all dissolved, turn up the heat.
Keep stirring as the water boils off and the marmalade gradually reduces down.
Once setting point is reached, turn out the heat and let the marmalade cool for a few minutes. Pack into warmed sterile jars and seal in the usual way.