I have updated the more traditional English recipe I made for years.
Thinly slicing the raw fruit helps make the marmalade faster, and even more wonderfully fragrant. I start with this new version and then you will find the more traditional way. In both recipes I opt for less sugar as I love the tartness of citrus marmalade. If you prefer it sweeter you can increase the amount of sugar.
You can make the same marmalade using Mayo lemons, varying the amount of sugar you add, and also maybe cooking less time the lemon slices, as they are definitely more tender that the Seville oranges.
I often add some julienned tangerine, orange, and/or kumquat peels together with the sliced lemon or Seville orange to make a mixed citrus marmalade.
Makes about a dozen 8-ounce jars
4 pounds small Seville oranges (about 25), washed
2 cups water
3-4 pounds sugar, or more to taste
Lay a wet, double cheesecloth in a bowl.
Using a very sharp, or a good serrated knife cut off and discard the ends of the fruit, then halve each Seville orange and remove the core, making sure you carefully take out all the pips.
Drop the pips and core into the cheesecloth.
Carefully slice each fruit VERY thinly, and drop the slices in a large, heavy-bottomed stainless steel pot. This is the most important part of the job, and it will take some time…I spent about 1h 15 minutes slicing my small Seville oranges.
Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the peels are very soft. Add 3 pounds sugar and the cheesecloth with the pips etc. to the pot and cook stirring every now and then until the sugar dissolves. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover and let the marmalade cook overnight.
The next morning the marmalade will look jelly. Bring slowly to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, pressing and turning the cheesecloth to get the pectin out. Taste and add more sugar, one cup at the time, stirring to dissolve it, and tasting to see if you need more.
When it begins to look syrupy, place a teaspoonful on a cold plate. Let cool, and push with your finger. If it wrinkles, the marmalade is done. (see the photos below).
Pour into hot, sterilized jars, cover and let cool and seal as described below, in the traditional English recipe.
The traditional ENGLISH-inspired Marmalade
Makes about SEVEN 8-ounce jars
10-12 organic Lemons OR 4-5 lemons and 5-6 Seville Oranges
1 1/2 – 2 kg (3-4 pounds) sugar (to taste)
1.5 liters (quarts) water
Simmer whole fruits in water until soft. Place a plate over the fruits to keep them immersed, and pierce them after about 15 minutes, to encourage cooking.
Transfer the fruit to a colander over a bowl, and leave to cool a bit.
Dissolve the sugar in the cooking water.
Halve the soft fruit, scrape out the seeds and pulp and place in cheesecloth or jelly bag. Tie with cotton string and hang over the side of the pan.
Slice or chop the lemon (and Seville orange) peel thinly. Stir the peel into the liquid.
Bring to simmer, stirring to ensure that the sugar is dissolved, then boil hard, stirring occasionally, until setting point is reached. It may take from 5 -20 minutes, more likely around 15.
When it begins to look syrupy, place a teaspoonful on a cold plate. Let cool, and push with your finger. If it wrinkles, the marmalade is done. Pour into hot, sterilized jars, cover and cool.
Although the marmalade looks runny as you fill the jars, it solidifies when cold.