The weather has been really wet and windy recently which has resulted in so many oranges falling off our tree. There’s only so much orange juice one can drink and cakes don’t actually use that many oranges so we decided to make orange marmalade. I have never attempted to make marmalade before but our fig jam was such a huge success that I thought we should give it a go. I always worry that my jam, marmalade and preserves won’t set but I’ve never had a problem so far.
I wanted an easy recipe without pectin or canning. I also can’t be bothered with straining (I do enough of that on the loo with my IBS – ha ha) and I did not want to have to source expensive jam making utensils like muslin bags or jam funnels (what ever that is!). Unless you are making a jam factory I feel it defeats the object if you go out and spend multiple euros on utensils. We save our old jam jars for jam making and for Christmas decorations so we have a huge amount of recycled jam jars in our kitchen cupboard.
We get through a jar of shop bought jam each week. Some jam recipes can be very time consuming to make so I needed a quick recipe preferably without preservatives. I always only ever make about 4-5 jars per batch so they can easily keep fresh in the fridge for around a month. If you want to make more jars and keep them in a cupboard and not refrigerated you will need to explore recipes with a preservative and sterilise the jars properly e.g. canning method. If you have difficulty with your marmalade setting then apparently using some of the pith and pips can help firm it up. I always sterilise my old jam jars by running them through the dishwasher and then place them in a hot oven.
I wanted to try a Portuguese recipe this time and found a great recipe on Tia Maria’s blog.
I doubled up on the ingredients so I used 12 oranges, 2 lemons and just over 1KG of sugar. This made X4 450g large jars of marmalade.
Same weight in sugar as peeled oranges
- Zest 3 of the 6 oranges and peel all 6. Peel the lemon. Remove any seeds and place the orange and lemon in a food processor.
- Pulse a few times to mince slightly leaving orange and lemon pieces.
- Measure out the same amount of sugar as the minced citrus and place into a heavy saucepan.
- Cook on low heat for about 1 hour and 1/2 stirring often. When you can trace a clear line in the bottom of the pan, the marmalade will be ready.
- Remove from heat and pour the marmalade into clean, hot sterilised Mason jars.
- Wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids.
- You can also place into small jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
This marmalade is epic. Not only does it taste amazing but it set really well, maybe too well as it’s super thick and is a lovely colour and texture. It’s super simple to make and the most lengthy process was peeling all the fruit. We lost some fruit as I kept eating it (ha ha). These oranges taste so great, really sweet and juicy with hardly any pips at all. We share an orange tree with our neighbour as it sits between the boundaries of our land. The oranges on this tree are not sweet in winter time, quite sour and have loads of pips. My neighbour has another huge orange tree and a lemon tree in her garden and we just help ourselves (with her permission of course). She doesn’t live there and only comes back to tend to the garden now and then so she invited us to take whatever we want which is so nice of her. On this occasion we used the good oranges from her tree which are very sweet and tasty.
I highly recommend this recipe especially if you have your own fruit trees and access to a lot of fruit. We always have too many oranges and never know what to do with them all. It would make a good gift too. It’s very affordable as all we needed for this recipe was a bag of sugar which cost 65 cents. In my opinion homemade jam and marmalade always tastes better than shop bought. Stepping outside and picking fresh organic fruit from a tree and knowing exactly where your produce has come from is great. It’s so satisfying making your own marmalade, why not give it a go!