I have already made marmalade (once), but being afflicted with a terrible memory, I couldn't remember how I'd done it or where I'd got the recipe from so had to start all over again. I seem to remember it didn't go altogether swimmingly then either, but I only had 4 oranges which made a frugal 2 pots so it didn't really matter.
Here is a master-class on how not to make 2lbs worth of marmalade.
1. Try and fit 6lbs of oranges into a Le Creuset pan that can take 2 at a push.
2. Find different marmalade recipes that give conflicting advice so that I don't know if I'm coming or going.
3. Take brief notes, get out calculator, decide to mix and match.
4. Start boiling oranges late in the afternoon.
5. Don't realise you have to put the lid on the pan (none of the recipes mention that little detail...) so that after 2 hours the oranges are still as hard as rock and the 4 original pints of water are now slightly less than a pint.
6. Put lid on pot.
7. Ring mother in a panic and get her recipe.
8. Fish out now soft oranges, put to one side, turn attention to making dinner.
9. Give up on marmalade for Day 1.
10. Take out jars from warming in the oven just in case I forget they're there and decide to bake a loaf at 240°C.
11. Day 2. Come home from work and top up orange juice in pan with 3 pints of water.
12. Cut oranges in half and scoop out insides into small pan.
13. Slice orange peel into nice chunks, chuck in big pan.
14. Boil up pith and pips for a good 10 mins.
15. Boil it a bit more for good measure.
16. Sieve pith into orange juice, beat the hell out of it.
17. Add lots of sugar to pan and boil.
|Looks good, eh, not far off setting point. Looks can be deceptive...|
19. Setting point doesn't arrive.
20. Twenty minutes, thirty minutes...
21. Setting point still not showing signs of making even a guest appearance.
22. Forty minutes. Saucers in and out of freezer.
23. Forty-five minutes. Enough. Setting point off on a weekend break evidently.
24. Take pan off heat and cover, leave to cool. Pray that setting point makes a late entry.
25. Pour cooled marmalade into jars. Fill 10 (TEN!) jars. Still no sight of setting point.
|You can't see how runny it is, but believe me, it is!|
27. Look up recipes that use runny marmalade...
28. Thank lucky stars I don't have a preserving pan and didn't muck up 6lbs of oranges!
Today I get word on Facebook that you can reboil it with some pectin. I have what they call here 'Vitpris' which is sachets of pectin. I have no idea how much I have to use, but I have poured the marmalade back into the pot, and the jars are back in the dishwasher as I write!
Fingers crossed... As I have another 4lbs to play with hopefully the next batch will not be such a pain in the pot. The only problem is, I'm running out of jam jars...! I didn't realise just how much marmalade you get out of 2kg of oranges!
Good thing we all love the stuff!