Monday, 4 February 2013

Marmalade and Sunshine

 

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When I began slicing the Seville orange peel into pretty slivers, the sky was dark and the treetops were doing a dance in the wind, whipping violently from one side to the other in a maniacal tango. By the time I’d finished, the sky was blue and golden light tumbled across the garden. It’s official. Marmalade makes the sun come out.

I’ve been mainlining citrus recently. It is one of winter’s greatest compensations, along with crocuses, porridge with cream and log fires. Each morning, as I walk back from the park with Barney, I drop in at my favourite greengrocer. At this time of year I often pick up some blood oranges, sherbet-y Sicilian lemons or juicy little limes. And when the Seville oranges appear in all of their bumpy-skinned loveliness, I know it’s time to drag out the preserving pan.

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So good with simit rolls for breakfast.

I used Dan Lepard’s recipe. It’s delicious as it is, or if you like you can add 50ml of whisky at the end of cooking to give your breakfast toast an extra kick.

This year my marmalade making was made a little easier by my new eBay bargain, a citrus press. I bought it because I’ve been making a glass of blood orange juice for breakfast (Tip: add a splash of rosewater. So good.) each morning and I wanted to shorten the distance between my half-awake state and good humour. But it certainly made quick work of juicing all those sevilles and left smooth, clean orange halves all ready to chop up. I’d say that was a tenner well spent.

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Seville oranges, ready to go.

 

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Putting my ebay bargain through its paces.

 

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Chopping the peel.

 

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Soaking the peel.

 

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Already well into the first jar.

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7 comments:

  1. I do love your writing Debora. And the photograph of the nearly empty jar with a sweep of marmalade glistening up the sides is quite superb.

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  2. Sue, Thank you so much, that's very kind and I'm delighted you enjoy my blog. X

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  3. I make strawberry jam and a few different jellies but marmalade seems more complicated. You have a way of instilling confidence, I might screw my courage to the sticking point and give it a go. Thanks for another lovely recipe.

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  4. Debs, if you make jams and jellies you can definitely make marmalade. It's no more complicated, just a little more time consuming. I rather love all of the chopping - best excuse to sit down for a bit! Plus, delicious results.

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  5. I made marmalade for the first time this year. Very easy and so satisfying. I made Delia's recipe because I was nervous. She doesn't soak - what does the soaking do?

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  6. TM, You soak the peel to soften it so it's, more tender, less chewy in the marmalade and it also helps release the pectin which helps it to set. Next year I might make two batches to see how big a difference there is. Like you, I find it deliciously satisfying to make.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting...I'm very pleased with mine as it is but will stayed tuned next Seville season to say how your two batches go!

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