I really enjoyed making this Chilli Marmalade. Blood oranges, like Seville oranges have a short availability but unlike Sevilles they are low pectin fruit. To make a successful marmalade with these jewel coloured oranges, they should be combined with high pectin citrus, otherwise they will be difficult to set into a marmalade with a gelled consistency. As with all marmalades made from citrus, the weight of sugar should be double the weight of fruit. Reducing the weight of sugar combined with too much weight of low pectin fruit delays a set and usually produces a gloopy marmalade with an unbalanced flavour.
The idea for this marmalade comes from the Orange Lime and Chilli recipe on Tate & Lyle’s website Taste and Smile. This year, as first time sponsors of the Marmalade Awards, Tate and Lyle are adding marmalade recipes to their website. My version of their recipe gave me an opportunity to use frozen homegrown chillies. When using chillies in marmalade beware the difference between homegrown and those sold in supermarkets. I find the strength of heat varies even between the hot varieties. Select thin skinned limes for this recipe unless you have the patience of a saint as extracting the inner membranes of thick skinned limes can be testing. I find the easiest way is once juiced, turn them inside out and scrape off the inner membranes with a grapefruit spoon.
Blood Orange, Lime and Chilli Marmalade
345g blood oranges
2 orange habanero chillies
1.4kg (3lb) granulated, cane sugar
1.75 litres water
1. Halve and juice the fruit. Pour the juice and water into a large lidded pan with a minimum capacity of 6 litres.
2. Remove the inner membranes ( not the pith) from the oranges and limes. Finely chop these, one of the chillies and the remains from the lemon. Mix with the pips and any pulpy remains from the juicing and tie up in a piece of thin cotton muslin, 36 x 36cm. Add the bag to the pan.
3. Quarter the halved oranges and limes Turn them peel side down and shred into strips. Add these to the pan. Leave overnight to soften the peel, especially important as lime peels are notoriously tough.
4. Next day, bring the pan to the boil with the lid on, turn down the heat and simmer gently, for two to two and a half hours, reducing the contents of the pan by a third.
5. Squeeze out the liquid from the muslin bag back into the pan. Discard the muslin bag. Warm the sugar in a low oven, 140C. for 20 mins.
6. Finely chop the second chilli. Add the chilli and the sugar to the pan.
7. Dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Place clean jars in the oven to warm through. Bring the pan to a rolling boil and test for a set after 7 minutes. Scoop out a spoonful of marmalade, turn the spoon horizontally and look for a flake hanging from the side of the spoon. Once setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat to cool for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the jars from the oven
8. Remove any scum with a metal spoon by pushing it to the side of the spoon and then discarding it. Gently stir the marmalade to distribute the peel. Ladle the marmalade directly from the pan into the jars using a jam funnel. Fill the jars to the brim and seal them immediately with new twist top lids. Leave the jars upright and undisturbed to cool completely.
First Preserves, please let me know by email if you would like it signed by me as the author.
For jars, Bottle Company South