There's nothing better than freshly baked bread and homemade marmalade to brighten up your day. With Seville oranges in high season during January, it's the perfect time to get preserving.
1.3kg Seville oranges
2 lemons, juice only
2.6kg caster sugar
- Put the whole oranges and lemon juice in a large preserving pan and cover with 2 litres/4 pints water. The water needs to cover the orange if it doesn't, you'll need to use a smaller pan. If you need to, weight the oranges down with a heat-proof plate to keep them submerged.
- Bring the oranges and water to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for around 2 hours, or until the peel can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Warm the sugar in a very low oven for about 10-15 minutes.
- When the oranges are ready, pour off the cooking water into a jug and tip the oranges into a bowl. Return cooking liquid to the pan.
- Allow oranges to cool until they are easy to handle, then cut in half. Scoop out all the pips and pith and add to the reserved orange liquid in the pan. Set aside the empty orange skins for later.
- Bring to the pan to the boil for 6 minutes, then strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl and press the pulp through with a wooden spoon - it is high in pectin so helps set the marmalade.
- Cut the peel into fine shreds. Add the peel to the liquid in the preserving pan along with the warm sugar.
- Stir, for about 10 minutes, over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Then bring the pan to the boil and bubble rapidly for 15- 25 minutes until setting point is reached.
- Take pan off the heat and skim any scum from the surface. (To dissolve any excess scum, drop a small knob of butter on to the surface, and gently stir.)
- Leave the marmalade to stand in the pan for 20 minutes to cool a little and allow the peel to settle; then pot into sterilised jars, seal and label.
Your marmalade will be ready to eat straight away but will also keep for 12 months in a cool dry cupboard.