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How to make marmalade

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Picture of How to make marmalade
This instructable shows how to make a variation on traditional Scottish (Dundee) style marmalade from scratch. This is easy to do, and allows you to make it how you like. It also works out quite a bit cheaper than buying it if you are bothered about that.

Note, everyone who makes marmalade will have their own trusted method, and preferred flavour. This one works for me, and is thick, tangy and spicy.

It's probably not as frugal a jam as many others because traditionally it is made from Seville oranges, which are not the sort of fruit that you are likely to have a surplus of.  However it is as much fun to do as to eat.



 
 
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Step 1: Choosing the fruit

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Marmalade is traditionally made from Seville oranges. These have a strong sharp taste and are virtually inedible raw, but are very good for marmalade as they are very easy to peel and are high in pectin, the jelly-like fruit protein that causes jam to set. Seville oranges are seasonal and can normally only be obtained for a short time in January and February.

You can also add other types of oranges. This version used seven Seville oranges, three lemons  and two grapefruit.

Step 2: Washing jars

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One thing that you need to do is get hold of jars.  Any empty household food jars can be used, although be cautious about using ones that have oily food in (like pesto) or vinegary food (like pickle) as these can retain flavours, especially in the rubber seals in the lids.
Wash them, remove the labels (this is easier for some jars than others) and dry them.

Step 3: Peeling the fruit

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There are various ways to peel citrus fruits.  Seville oranges peel easily like a tangerine. Grapefruits are also easy. Lemons vary, but can be hard if the peel is very thin and limes are usually very difficult to peel.

Here the skins has been scored, so that the fruit is not broken underneath, and a spoon used to ease the skin off. This can be used to scrape excess pith off the peel too.
Thank you so much! I actually had the idea for this instructable this morning, but I wanted a lime marmalade, as they are my favorite fruit.
rosemarybeetle (author)  YellowZealot1 year ago
Glad it may be of help. It's quite easy to make.

I believe all citrus fruit have lots of pectin (the jelly-like protein that sets jam) in their skins, and that as far as I can tell from Googling, this would include limes.

You could a few of the Thai Kaffir limes if you can get hold of them. they have a superb fragrance. This is the fruit from the same tree as the limes leaves used in Thai cooking.

If you get it to work, post an Instructable - Good luck!
jaycall2 years ago
Great recipe and worked great with a touch of single malt! Especially useful for me as I have two Sevilana organge trees in my back garden, along with two navel orange trees and a couple of Meyer lemon trees (I live in Southern California) and the bumper crop of fruit often gets wasted.

One caution, though. For older folks on statins (for cholesterol control), DO NOT use grapefruit without carefully reading the labels that come with your medicine. I just use 10 Sevillanas, 2 navels, and four lemos.

Thanks again for a great instructable.
rosemarybeetle (author)  jaycall2 years ago
Thanks for the kind words. The malt idea was mentioned by piperjohn below. It's great to see you have tried this out - it sounds delicious.

I didn't know that about statins and grapefruit. interesting

you should try alcoholic lemonade/orangeade if you have lots of fruit!


geoper22 years ago
It looks a little like the traditional sweets that we make in Greece and we eat with the tea spoon. But i would easily use it with some bread really delicious thanks for sharing !
rosemarybeetle (author)  geoper22 years ago
They sound great - nice idea!
imbignate3 years ago
So, you're not actually processing this recipe in a bath canner- you're making marmalade and putting it straight into the fridge. Am I correct?

BTW- looks fantastic.
rosemarybeetle (author)  imbignate3 years ago
Hi There.

no bath canner. I don't even bother putting it in the fridge unless I have opened the jar. As long as it was sealed when piping hot, I find it will keep fine.

Thanks for the kind words too. I put a torch behind it to show off the lovely colour. It was so delicious-looking, it got its own photo shoot!
piperjon3 years ago
Now THAT is a thing of beauty! Brilliant!

If one were to add, say, a little bit of single malt, or perhaps some bourbon, do you have suggestions on how much would be appropriate to add the flavor without adding too much, which could crash the pectin from setting? Not that there's anything wrong with marmalade sauce, mind you, but it's hard to keep it on the toast.

I've had "single malt orange marmalade" and I thought I was in heaven...

Wonderful 'ible, keep up the great work! - Pj
rosemarybeetle (author)  piperjon3 years ago
That sounds good. Malt would be in keeping as marmalade has a Scottish connection, but bourbon would work.

I have not done this, but I would suggest that it is added right at the end after the set point has been reached, while the mixture is cooled a bit but still reasonably warm.
If you add earlier you will undoubtedly lose the whisky aroma and any alcohol will be boiled off. If you add when warm it will mix in easily. Adding it will just mean the jelly of the marmalade is slightly diluted and would be slightly thinner. You c ould compensate by boiling it for a little longer, but doubt it is required. It is similar to the classic vodka jelly ice cubes that you can make with pudding jelly (jello in the USA).

Don't leave it till the mix is really cooling or it will be setting and it will not mix in properly because of the pectin jelly.

You can actually do this with commercial marmalade if you want to try it. just take it out of the jar and warm up in a double boiler or microwave, then try out the whisky

Good luck
Ah! You know, I'd never really thought of the idea of simply melting marmalade in a microwave and adding single malt. Hm! That would definitely give me the idea of just how much I would want without possibly sabotaging a whole batch of homemade good stuff, eh?

Lovely, lovely, lovely! Thanks heaps! - Pj
rosemarybeetle (author)  piperjon3 years ago
Glad to help.
I nicked the idea of my dad who has been known to acquire the odd catering size tin of marmalade, then pep it up with other things.

cheers

I can't help but think of Scruffy the Janitor.

Great Instructable!
Thanks (and for the link, I had not seen that before)
"Scruffy's going to die the way he lived ::Explosion:: Oh Marmalade!"

Yay Futurama

Yay Marmalade! Def an awesome Instructable!
If you are planning to keep these for a "very long time", then it's safest to process these in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. And use proper canning jars.
Hi. thanks for feedback.

I agree that water baths are pretty good. This is definitely the best for the parts that are rubber such as ring seals for preserving jars, or in domestic jars, the rubber inside the steel lids. The advantage of using a water bath is that it avoids any risk of burning the rubber.

I washed my lids in hot (80 degrees C) water and this is adequate for my puposes. Traditionally a decent high-sugar jam is only covered with wax paper and string and this keeps for months, so I wouldn't consider it crucial. With marmalade the essential oils from the skin act as a further preservative too. In addition, it all gets eaten within too short a time to worry about this.

Personally I also don't bother with water baths mainly because I don't one and can't be bothered to set one up on the stove. It is much easier to use an oven and for the glass jars it is just as effective. In fact a low oven is actually hotter than a water bath (130 degrees C at gas mark half, compared to 100C in boiling water).

The other advantage is that the jars are dry when you fill them.

It is great to hear other approaches. Thanks for taking the time to comment
neonsk8er3 years ago
Awesome Instructable! Keep Up The Good Work! :)
rosemarybeetle (author)  neonsk8er3 years ago
Many thanks. I have had so many great ideas off other people's it is good to give it back!
jrossetti3 years ago
Great instructable, lots of clear instruction and nice photos! I'll have to try this. Where do you get seville oranges?
rosemarybeetle (author)  jrossetti3 years ago
Hi,

very many thanks for your kind comments.

I am in the uK, so they are fairly easy to get hold of. Proper greengrocers (fruit and veg shops) sell them and they are even in supermarkets nowadays, but they are very seasonal. They only appear for a few weeks in Januray/February.

I am not sure how far you can use normal oranges, although commercially pectin is made from citrus fruit, so I suspect many oranges, especially slightly under ripe ones will work. The flavour will be less strong, but you can use grapefruit, which is bitter (and gives more variety in colour.

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