This is my foolproof marmalade recipe. I cook the fruit whole, which makes it set more easily. If you are organised enough, cook the fruit the night before and leave to cool overnight – this makes the fruit easier to handle. It is really important to use Seville oranges, a variety of orange that is very high in pectin, and which also guarantees that traditional bitter marmalade flavour.
1kg Seville oranges (about 8 oranges, available for another month)
1.5 litres water
1.2kg caster sugar
20g dried chamomile flowers
juice of 1 lemon
1. Remove the stalk ends from the oranges and place them, whole, in a heavy-based saucepan with the water. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to the boil. Once it has started boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30–35 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down completely.
2. Once cool, remove the whole oranges and put in a bowl. Strain the cooking liquid, reserving 1 litre. Transfer the reserved liquid to a bowl.
3. Halve all the oranges and scoop out the flesh over a sieve set over the reserved liquid. Once you have strained as much juice from the flesh as possible, discard the flesh.
4. Slice the orange rinds according to your preference and put into a clean preserving pan with the reserved liquid, sugar, chamomile flowers and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Boil for 20–25 minutes, until the marmalade reaches setting point, 105oC on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool, dark place.
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