Step by step
Put a muslin-lined sieve (or use a smallish, thin, clean cloth) over a bowl. Squeeze the citrus over the muslin to catch the pith and pips. Let the juice drip into the bowl. Keep the lemon peel to use in other dishes. Keep hold of the pips and muslin.
Play some music to shred the orange peel to, as it can take a while. A little Chopin, perhaps?
Half the halves again to help flatten them on a board. Any leftover orangey bits are fine - they add texture and flavour to the marmalade (but get rid of the stem). Slice as thick, thin, long or short as you like. Peel swells a bit as it cooks so cut it thinner than you want it to end up. Add any more pips you find to the muslin. They contain pectin to help your marmalade set. Tie the muslin up to secure the pips inside.
Place in a large preserving pot with the shredded peel, citrus juice and water. Cover and soak at room temp for 24 hrs. Place the pot over medium-high heat and cook at a gentle boil till the peel is soft, about 1½ hrs.
Remove the bag of pips. Squeeze it gently. Take the pan off the heat. Add 500g sugar for every pint (that includes everything – juice and peel). You'll need 1.5 - 2kg. Stir till completely dissolved. Return pan to the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly till setting point is reached, 30 mins to 2hrs. The amount of time really depends on the pan you use and the amount of pectin in the pips - use your instincts, keep an eye on it and when it looks thick and sticky, do the set test, below. Once it passes, it'd done!
Setting point is when a little marmalade, spooned on to a cold plate and allowed to cool, has a "set" surface and "wrinkles" when pushed with the finger.
Pour into warm sterilized jars. Seal immediately. Store and enjoy till next year’s marmalade season rolls around.
How to sterilise your jars
It’s absolutely fine to reuse old jam jars.
Wash in boiling hot water. Dry thoroughly.
When the marmalade's nearly done, place the jars and lids in a cold oven. Turn to 100C/Gas ¼. Let them warm for 10 mins.
Tuesday 8th November 2011