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.
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.
Seville oranges, ready to go.
Putting my ebay bargain through its paces.
Chopping the peel.
Soaking the peel.
Already well into the first jar.