Seville Orange Marmalade – Made Easy

For me, the new year heralds the arrival of Seville oranges and getting to know my kitchen intimately as I juice, slice, simmer and boil the fruit into marmalade. Seville oranges have a short season, from late December to the end of February. Recipes for orange marmalade have been recorded since the early seventeenth century, but the marmalade we enjoy today was developed by the Victorians and Seville orange marmalade is the king of marmalades.

Seville Oranges at Ave MariaThe walls of Seville oranges are tough and the inside full of pips.They provide masses of pectin, a gum-like substance and helps the marmalade to set. When it is combined with the correct percentage of sugar it creates the traditional jelly-like consistency. I select Sevilles with a rich orange colour, and a characteristic aroma.They are an economical fruit as 1kg of Sevilles will yield 3kg of marmalade. I use organic Seville Oranges from Ave Maria, their oranges have an intense aroma and flavour; so hunt then out.

Sevilles are not great keepers, but you can freeze the fruit whole for later use, although fresh Sevilles produce a far superior marmalade and give it a stunning bright colour in the jar. If time allows, I make as much marmalade as I can with fresh oranges and then freeze some in case my stocks run out. Make plenty of marmalade – it is a perfect gift, and once you are established as an ace marmalade-maker, your friends and family will, like Oliver, be begging for more.

Making marmalade involves four stages, preparation, simmering, boiling to a set and filling the jars.

Here is my guide with brilliant images from Robert Walster, BigBluDesign.

Preparation

Marmalade recipe

Juice the fruit

Marmalade recipe

Remove the inner membranes

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Sliced peel

Simmering

Marmalade recipe

Simmer the ingredients

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Adding the warmed sugar

Boiling to a set

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A rolling boil

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The set test

Filling the jars

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Warming the jars

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Jars left upright to set

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Extract the pips

Marmalade recipe

Ready to slice the peel

Marmalade recipe

Soak ingredients over night

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Squeeze out the muslin bag

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Ensure all the sugar is dissolved

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Near setting point

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Removing the scum

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Filling the jars to the brim

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Recipes

Recipes for marmalade using Seville oranges and other citrus fruits are included in my books First Preserves: Marmalades Jams, Chutneys and First Preserves: Marmalades – an ebook. These books include a chapter about competitions which explains a set of rules and how to avoid common faults.