Sunday, August 05, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #94

Kalyn is back hosting Weekend Herb Blogging and I'm sure she is counting down to that magic 2 years of WHB - last year coriander/cilantro came out on top as our favourite herb maybe this year we can find out what our favourite vegetable is?

This week it's not a herb or a vegetable but a fruit that I'm looking at - one that is right at the peak of its season....the Seville Orange

Seville Orange ©

It does look quite harmless but looks are deceiving - you don't want to start the day with a glass of this orange juice. Seville Orange is otherwise known as a bitter orange and belongs to the Aurantium species of Citrus. There are many varieties and they are used to make Orange flower water, Chinotto, Bergamot Oil and liqueurs such as Grand Marnier, Triple Sec and Curaçao.

Seville Oranges are best used in making marmalade, they are high in pectin so they set like a dream and produce that typical tart marmalade so loved by Englishmen such as Paalo. The season is relatively short, in Europe from December to February and here from July to September so if the desire to make real marmalade takes hold, act quickly!

Seville Orange Marmalade

Seville Orange Marmalade

4 Seville oranges (around 1kg in weight)
4 cups water, approximate
5 cups white sugar, approximate

Wash the oranges well and dry them.
Thinly slice off the top and bottom to create flat edges and then cut the orange in half lengthways.

Place it cut side down and slice into thin semicircles - save all the seeds as you go and place them in a small glass. The seeds are a great source of pectin which will help set the marmalade.

Finely slice the top and bottom pieces as well and place all the sliced oranges and any of the juice into a non-reactive container. Fill with enough water to cover the oranges - in this case I used 4 cups of water. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

In the glass containing the seeds just add enough water to cover the seeds and place this in the fridge as well.

This process will start softening the skin and releasing the pectin into the water. If you don't have time to do this you can continue from the next step but just cook for a little longer.

sliced oranges ©

The next day place the oranges and the liquid from the seeds into a non-reactive saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer - cover and cook until the peel has softened. This batch took 20 minutes though the time will depend on the hardness of the peel and the thickness of the slices.

If you haven't soaked the oranges or the seeds overnight, tie the seeds in muslin and place them in with the oranges to simmer - the time needed to soften the skins will increase. When they have softened, remove the seeds and continue.

The simple equation in marmalade making is to use 1 cup of sugar to every 1 cup of mixture. To clarify, you must measure the total volume, the oranges and the water remaining.
After the simmering time, I had 5 cups remaining so I used 5 cups of sugar.

Place the mixture over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, brush the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any remaining sugar. If you use a candy thermometer, the marmalade should be ready when it reaches 105°C/221°F.

It's best not to stir the mixture as it's cooking but do check to make sure it's not sticking. You'll notice a scum forming on the top as it cooks, just skim this off.

Once it's cooked let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the fruit to distribute evenly through the mixture and then pour into sterilised jars and seal.

marmalade jar ©

When it sets it should have a quasi translucent appearance and the slivers of peel should be suspended through it

marmalade ©

With thick slices of toast and perhaps a good lashing of butter, a spoonful of this and a warming cup of tea might just be the perfect way to start Sunday...

marmalade spoon ©

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  1. i have to make sure not to miss the season this year. when i lived in england i had this marmelade all the time. just wonderful!

  2. mmmmm marmalade
    great recipe! i will have to try it out

  3. Good morning Haalo. I am always looking for marmelades and jams recipes as it is something I love to make. I already did this summer, apricot and walnuts jam, cherries jam and strawberries and balsamic vinegar preserve. For winter I love making orange jams with cinnamon and anis star, lovely but had yet to try a marmelade. Ths one is going to be on my jam repertoire for this year.Thank you Haalo.

  4. Ok, let's try this again without so many typos! I had been thinking about what to do for the two year anniversary, and I love the idea of having people write about their favorite vegetable. And what a great collection of vegetable recipes that would be too, if everyone sends their best recipe. Great idea!

    The marmalade sounds just lovely. I saw this type of orange growing in Greece when I went there a few years ago.

  5. this really looks too tempting to try out.Must say i've always bought my marmalade but now u've got me thinking twice.

  6. Thanks for the very clear instructions, Haalo. How many cups/ml do you get at the end? My partner goes through one jar of marmalade every fortnight. There was one organic marmalade that I bought made with whisky that we liked a lot. Do you know when and how much whisky I can add when making marmalade?

    p/s: I hope you don't mind that I seem to always have questions...

  7. Sunshine in a jar!
    I am not usually a great marmalade fan, but it tastes totally different when it is homemade! Yum!

  8. Thanks Myriam - you could have home-made marmalade for christmas!

    Thanks Missnoma!

    Thanks Rose - what delicious sounds jams, such wonderful combinations. You shouldn't have any problems with marmalade!

    Thanks Kalyn - it's a much loved fruit of the Mediterranean.

    Thanks Kate, if you enjoy marmalade it's always a bit of fun to make your own.

    Hi Nora - Love the question so keep asking! I filled about 4 jars so I'm guessing it was around 6 cups.

    If you want to add whisky you would add it right at the end when the marmalade has reached setting point - just stir through about 1 tablespoon, maybe stir through half a tablespoon and taste and then add the rest or more to suit your liking.

    Thanks Holler - love that description!

  9. I must try this before the end of the season... I'm thinking of grapefruit too, or both fruits mixed, yum! Thanks for all the details.

  10. I never knew marmalade good look so good. It's absolutely beautiful and a wonderful choice of recipe. Somehow toast and tea are so perfectly simple yet unbeatably comforting.

  11. This is just wonderful, Haalo!

  12. Wow. This is my first time to your site, but it looks beautiful. The preserves are enough to drool over. I have only once before dabbled in making jams, but this really makes me want to try again.

  13. Hi Sil - if you use other citrus combinations you can probably decrease the amount of sugar needed. I would start by putting in half as much and then add on at 1/2 cup at a time

    Thanks Truffle - it's hard to beat those simple combinations

    Thanks Patricia!

    Welcome SG and thank you for those kind words - I do hope you decide to dabble in marmalade making, there's so much satisfaction when it all comes together

  14. such beautiful color itturned out. I've always wanted to make orange marmalade one day. i love the bitterness....

    inspriational and beautiful.

  15. Hey Haalo, That is glowing....great recipe!

  16. Hi Haalo
    A quick note to congratulate you for winning on the DMBLGIT. Cute little hearts indeed. Just want to dip them in the chocolate.
    Have a great day.

  17. Marmalade has always been kind of like the Final Frontier for me... I realyl do need to get down to makign some! There is nothing to beat the unique flavour of Seville oranges and the pictures are absolutely stunning.

  18. Thanks Aria - I hope you do give it a try.

    Thanks Poonam - the glow is courtesy of the sun, just a matter of positioning.

    Thanks Rose - you always bring the best news, I had no idea! That is a total surprise.

    Thanks Jeanne - it's probably the simplest type of marmalade to make but the most definitive and if you have made another other type of preserves you shouldn't have any problems.

  19. wow, do you make these recipes and take the photos? What a great blogsite, very impressed.

  20. Just between you and me, it's really Paalo that does everything I just take the credit ;)

  21. Hi Haalo, thanks for another great recipe:):)
    I have just sliced my oranges ready for the fridge.
    I didn't have any seeds in any of the oranges. Should I add some pectin of some type? I notice that CSR have sugar that have pectin added.

  22. Hi Karen - there should be enough in the skin and pith so you shouldn't need to add anything. I have noticed those sugars but they seem to be a bit of ripoff when pectin can be easily added naturally. I hope you enjoy the marmalade tomorrow!

  23. Thanks Haalo, I'll let you know how it turns out:):)

  24. Hi Haalo,
    Well you know the problems I got into with my first batch of marmalade, due to my not reading the recipe correctly. However, your suggestion of adding the pectin worked well.
    Then I made another batch and am happy to report success:):)
    I've learned a few things along the way and want to thank you for your helpful suggestions in making my marmalade lesson a pleasant one.

  25. Hi Karen - you don't know how happy I am to hear that. I'm so glad the marmalade worked out in the end. Hope you have many more happy marmalade making experiences!


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