Sunday, November 1, 2015
Mrs Skyrme lived at Marlbrook Farm, near Leominster in Herefordshire, to which I was evacuated in 1940. She was a great cook and her marmalade was much sought after by her friends.
2 lb. seville oranges, 1 lemon, 4 pints of water, 2 lbs. of preserving sugar (I often use dark brown sugar for half of this)
Warm up the water and soak the oranges overnight, preferably in a warm place.
Cut the oranges into halves and scrape out the pulp, separating out the pips and the pith. Put these into a muslin bag and suspend in the water.
Cut up the orange peel into fine strips and place in the water. Grate the lemon peel and add, with its juice, to the water.
Simmer until the peel is tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Leave to cool until just warm.
Stir in the sugar, warming gently, until it is completely dissolved, then boil rapidly until setting point is reached, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. (If you can, use a jam making thermometer, otherwise test a teaspoonful on a very cold saucer. If it crinkles up as it cools, it is ready). Take out the muslin bag and discard.
Let the marmalade cool for fifteen minutes then pour into warmed and sterilised jars. (I find that taking them straight from the dishwasher, as long as they and their lids are dry, is fine – Mrs Skyrme used to put them in the aga oven).
Use commercial seals to close up the jars, BUT either do so whilst the marmalade is still very hot, or wait until it is completely cold. NEVER seal whilst just warm, as the moist air will encourage the formation of mould.
I find it will keep for several years – if you can resist eating it quickly!