Seville oranges give marmalade its distinct tangy flavour and thats what makes it unique. Of course you can make it with other types of oranges (and other citrus fruits) but whilst these beauties are in season make the most of them as they are not around for long.
The joy of sourcing seasonal ingredients in my mind is as much fun as cooking with it. This year was no exception!
Ave Maria Farm is a grower and producer of organic Seville bitter oranges and exports their fruit to the UK. Once I found out from them who they were supplying I jumped in the car to track them down at Waitrose in the scenic town of Lewes in East Sussex. It was a good excuse to have a potter around the wonderful shops and cafes there and also to take a lovely but muddy walk along the river Ouse which meanders its way through the town and surrounding countryside.
SEVILLE ORANGE AND CARDAMOM SEED MARMALADE
2 hours 30 mins
2 hours 55 mins
A traditional and full flavoured Seville Orange marmalade using Cardamom seeds for an amazing aromatic pinch of spice. Serves: makes approx 1.6 kg.
- 900g Seville oranges
- 1 heaped tablespoon cardamon pods, husks removed
- 1.5 kg granulated sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Put the oranges onto a preserving pan and completely cover with cold water. Put a couple of small plates into the fridge to chill.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours and 15minutes (make sure you turn the oranges every so often so that they cook evenly and top up with boiling water if needed, you should be left with about one third of the water) or until the orange feels really soft when pierced with the tip of a knife.
- Allow the oranges to cool in the cooking water.
- Reserve the cooking water.
- Cut the oranges into quarters, pick out the pips with the tip of a knife and discard the pips.
- Scoop the flesh away from the skin with a teaspoon and chop the flesh up finely. Put this into a measuring jug and add the cooking water and add more water to reach about 1.3 litres if necessary.
- Finely slice ( or to how you like it ) the orange peel.
- Put the peel, flesh and water, sugar, cardamom seeds and lemon juice into a preserving pan and over a low heat stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn up the heat and bring to a full rolling boil. After 15mins check for setting point. Take the pan off the heat and put a dessertspoonful of the marmalade onto the cold saucer. Allow it to cool then push your fingertip through the centre of the pool of marmalade. You want the surface of the marmalade to wrinkle and for the marmalade pushed to each side not to come back across the channel. If it does this you have reached setting point but if the marmalade is still runny put it back onto the heat and repeat the process every 5 minutes. Remember to take the pan off the heat each time. Or use a jam thermometer or digital thermometer and once the marmalade has reached 105℃ ( 221 ℉ ) it should have reached setting point.
- Skim any scum from the surface of the marmalade.
- Leave the marmalade to cool for 20 minutes. Stir then spoon or pour into sterilised jars ( I sterilise the jars by putting them though a hot wash programme in the dishwasher ).
- Cover with waxed paper discs and cellophane tops. This is my preferred method as I am constantly re- cycling jam jars.
- The marmalade should store for up to 2 years.