Thursday, 29 December 2011

Granny's Marmalade

Granny lived most of her adult life in Dundee and was famous for her Dundee Marmalade. She was making marmalade on the day that she died - the fruit and the sugar were all weighed out and the jars were ready.  The following day my Mum finished the marmalade in her honour and family members all received a jar at the funeral.  I have a copy of Granny's recipe in her handwriting and I use her old preserving pan.  Seville Oranges have a fairly short season so I adapted this recipe and substituted clementines for Christmas which worked just as well.

Preparation Time: 35m  Cooking Time 35 m (These were Granny's times, I think it takes longer!)

3lb seville oranges
3 lemons
3 sweet oranges
6 pints of water
6lb preserving sugar (but granulated sugar is fine)

Wash the fruit, put in a large preserving pan with the water and cover with a lid.  Bring to the boil and cook over a low heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the fruit presses easily.

Weigh the sugar and put it in a low oven to warm, together with your jars (minus lids - the heat will melt the rubber seal).  Boil the lids then leave them to cool separately.  Make sure they are completely dry or the marmalade will go mouldy.

Lift out the fruit and leave to cool.  Reserve the liquid.  Scrape out the fruit from their rinds and separate any pips, putting the fruit (chopped if necessary) into the liquid and the pips into a muslin bag.  Add the muslin bag to the liquid and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, finely shred the orange and lemon rinds with a sharp knife (you can do this in a food processor but it won't look so pretty).  Remove the bag, leave it to cool and then squeeze it into the marmalade.

Add the rinds and the warmed sugar and slowly bring back to boiling point (sugar should always be dissolved slowly or it will crystallise).  Boil the marmalade until setting point is reached - about 30-35 minutes. 

What is setting point?  Officially it's 104c with a sugar thermometer.  However, my experience is that thermometers are not always accurate and the pan you use makes a difference.  I use my Mum's easy method - ie the marmalade should turn more syrupy - dip a wooden spoon in the marmalade and hold it high above the pan.  If it runs straight off like water it's not ready yet.  If it forms a slow, sticky drip it's there.  Alternatively see

Put into heated, sterlised jars and cover whilst warm.  Pretty labels and lid covers optional!

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