Today was the day to turn my soaked citrus peel into sunshiny marmalade.
The ruby grapefruit, orange, and lemon peel had soaked, along with the flesh and juice overnight, to start the softening process.
I tipped the lot into my preserving pan, covered with a lid, and gently simmered until the peel was soft.
This took about an hour. Don’t scrimp on this step, adding the sugar will retard any further softening.
Some jam makers measure their cooked fruit by the cup, I prefer to weigh it. Less mess and bother.
I ended up with 1.2kg of fruit, so I added the same amount of white sugar to the fruit, and stirred, over a low heat until the sugar dissolved.
The heat was turned up, and the mixture allowed to boil, stirring often, until it reached 105C on my candy thermometer.
My thermometer hasn’t failed me yet. I have had beautifully set jams, ever since I started relying on it.
Your marmalade will look runny at this stage, but it absolutely will set once cooled.
Take the pan from the heat, and allow the marmalade to cool for 10 minutes.
If you bottle your marmalade when it’s very hot, the peel will not be evenly distributed through your jar.
Have your hot, sterilised jars ready, and carefully spoon, or pour the marmalade in. Fill to the top, it will contract a little as it cools.
Wipe the jars clean, put the lid on, and label.
I don’t water process my jam and marmalade, but I do store the jar in the fridge once opened.
Best used within six months : if it lasts that long!
The verdict? Very, very nice!
Just the right amount of citrus bitterness, sweet, tangy, and very nostalgic. Bread and butter, with marmalade, it made me feel like I was in a John Betjeman poem…
’till next time