The middle of January brings the first cold snap of the year and a longing to hibernate. I want to stay cocooned in bed, or curl up by a roaring fire and never leave. Everything feels a little flat after the festive period, a sense of stillness, as if waiting for the first signs of Spring. The timely arrival of Seville oranges, in season for a few precious weeks, brings some much need kitchen therapy. I love the ritual of making marmalade, the smell of the oranges bubbling away fills the house with warmth and cheer.
It’s as if these bittersweet Spanish citrus fruit bring with them the promise of sunshine to come.
Every marmalade enthusiast has their own take on the best way to make it. The ingredients are pretty much the same, essentially oranges, sugar, water and lemon juice, but the method can vary considerably. I have tried several different methods and my recipe takes something from each of them, which I find works like a dream. Most marmalade fans have their preference when it comes to peel, whether chunky or fine cut and I definitely fall into the latter camp. Some prefer the dark sticky variety, but I like mine as clear as a bell, with the thinest shards of translucent peel suspended like bright jewels.
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