Traditional English Breakfast Marmalade
My Love for all preserves and Kitchen Garden Crafts began with me when as a little girl I spent time with a family friend.. a completely magical time ! a widow lady who had very little money, who lived in a Post WW2 pre fab type House, with a Garden..She had very little money but my goodness she knew how to make the Pennies go round, several times in fact.
I spent much time with her, and it was stuff of childhood dreams and cosiness. Big feather mattresses, crochet blankets, quilts, afternoon teas and cakes with Big Brown Betty Teapots and cosies. Jigsaw puzzles, chickens to feed, plants to grow and fruits to pick.Now breakfast was always good white bread, laid out on the bread board with a bone handled bread knife, Tea, toast and marmalade, and if the chickens were laying well , we had boiled eggs too!! in the cutest little egg cups..so breakfast Marmalade for me transports me straight back to those childhood happy Days. But Marmalade to me has to be with Seville Oranges, from Spain!! and I was always given the history lesson too of the Origins of this incredible preserve. It was probably very enjoyed by her, as it must have been impossible to get during the war!! and she still relished the luxury of it in the sixties …she always had a little smile around her mouth when eating it… If made with sweet Oranges there is just no comparison, still good, but a different experience altogether!
Its a little bit of a ritual for me every year and I love each and every stage of it.. I always make lots of regular recipe marmalade, au naturel, with no additions. I do however allow myself a few small batches every year to experiment with flavour additions.. and I guess as one grows up , tastes and experiences change !
This is a very grown up and Adult version however, with a very cheeky name, named after the Cocktail!! I think , or rather hope my childhood friend would laugh at this, she was rather cheeky herself.. I can imagine the morning Toast being rather embarrassed at Table.. or, having a rather knowing smile !!!
The story of Dundee Marmalade begins back in the 18th century when a Spanish ship took refuge from a storm, in the harbour at Dundee, Scotland.. On board was a consignment of Seville Oranges – which a local grocer decided to purchase.
On taking them home to his wife, the couple discovered the oranges were too bitter to eat. The grocer’s wife saw the potential in the oranges and boiled them up with sugar, to create the delicious preserve now known as Dundee Orange Marmalade, so it has a strong History!
Preserve making has moved on and progressed and I think becoming very much back in vogue. Lots of reasons, people like to know what they are eating, healthy choices, preserving their Harvests and fruits..living off grid, I like to move with the times and preserve my foods safely..so have joined many Preserving and Canning Groups on Facebook.. and I have certainly Changed my food handling techniques.
.I have followed Marisa at Food in Jars , for a while..and she has initiated a 12 month food Preserving Challenge.. which rather intrigued me and I have joined in..
The First Month is Marmalade…
which really thrilled me as it is my most favourite preserve to make and to eat..and I make what seems gallons of it every year, for probably almost the last 40 years !! ssshhh!!! don’t tell!! Now the next 11 monthly challenges will probably stretch my knowledge and patience a whole lot more.. this is going to be one very interesting year of challenges..
If you would also like to join in here is the link
1lb.8oz Seville Oranges, washed and scrubbed well.
3 pints water
juice of 1 lemon.
3lb Granulated white sugar
1/2 oz butter. this may be needed at end of process .. whisk in and it helps clear the scum on surface.. More often I just skim the surface and remove with a spoon.
equals for every 8oz fruit its 1.lb sugar and 1 pint water… so this recipe can be doubled.. i do about 4lb fruit at a time and thats quite comfortable fit for my pan!
**This is the whole fruit method…**
Scrub oranges well,Slice in half and put in large saucepan. Bring to boil and then simmer gently until the skins are soft. Leave to cool. Lift oranges out and remove pips and put them to one side and put in muslin bag and tie bag up with string.I sometimes leave overnight to soak more at this point, just transfer the mixture into a non metal bowl and return to pan in the morning. Sometimes time wise..its better to make into a two day process , rather than be stuck to the hob for hours! It also helps to soften the peels more too.. once the sugar goes in that process will stop..
Chop oranges in food processor . I just use pulse button…or slice by hand if preferred.. Put orange mix back into pan with the orange water… Strained of pips….,bag of pips, sugar and lemon juice.Add the sugar and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves.Then boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
a plate which has been chilled in the fridge or freezer is useful for this setting test..take a small spoon of marmalade and put on plate.Turn off heat at this stage.. leave for a few minutes and then do the wrinkle test, when the small blob is moved and wrinkles you know you have achieved a good set. If not turn on heat and cook for another 5 minutes and repeat, until this happens.
Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal with lids. Hot water Bath for 10 minutes
This is a method using the whole orange which is quick and easy, it is a strong taste more like a British Oxford marmalade.It keeps well and is great for gifting!.
Seville Oranges are the Traditional Oranges from Spain which are specifically for Marmalade making, and often for culinary purposes too, such as Duck with Orange. They are very strong tasting and on the bitter side, which are perfect for the Traditional English Breakfast Marmalade. There is no comparison between this and a marmalade made with sweet oranges, although good too, its a different taste experience..
Now I like to make this recipe often, and a lot of it too, but I allow myself the luxury of a few batches to experiment with..
Sloe Screw Up against The Wall….Taken inspiration after the cocktail..
at the stage when the sugar has dissolved I added a couple of Bay Leaves, 2 dessert spoons each of Galliano, Sloe Gin, and Vodka.Please not that when adding alcohol, it will take slightly longer to get to the setting stage..but persevere it does get there, and adds a gorgeous depth of taste to the preserve.Just continue cooking until set is reached , remove Bay leaves and continue to pot up..
The beautiful Oranges that I use are from Waitrose Supermarket..they are completely Organic Sevilles from Spain.. from the amazing Ave Maria Farm..they are on Face book and also this link to their website..