My annual Seville orange marmalade expedition in pictures…

Last year, I adopted a new annual tradition of Seville orange marmalade making. I’d never attempted it before last January and haven’t tried it again since, that is until last weekend. This is mainly because the Seville orange season is only a short one (Dec-Feb), which is now nearing it’s end. To be honest, I think it’s something about the transience of these gnarly, nobbly citrus fruit that appeals to me, along with the fact that they produce awesome, bitter sweet marmalade that really packs a punch! I like a full bodied, brash marmalade, Robinson’s Golden Shredless will never grace the shelves of my fridge!

I decided to use the same Nigel Slater recipe as last year (recipe here) but to double it to make a batch of 10 jars. Before even setting to work I had assigned homes to a number of jars and I wanted to make sure there was enough left to satisfy my own addiction!

In the space of a year I seemed to have forgotten the amount of work that goes into chopping the peel of 24 oranges and 4 lemons…

2 Hours later, there I was still (not so) patiently shredding the peel…

I got there in the end though, all be it with one arm that would have made Popeye proud!

The peel and juice went in a couple of pans to soak over night, along with muslin bundles packed with the pith, pips and general leftover orange goodies…

The next day I set to work boiling up the pots of peel until they were tender…

Before adding the sugar…

and bringing them to a rolling boil…

This part of the process is the most nervewracking and time consuming. I spent the best part of two hours watching my boiling pots, skimming scum from the surface and testing it every 10 minutes to see whether it had reached the optimum setting consistency, whilst marmalade laden condensation dripped down my kitchen windows!

The magical moment eventually arrived and I was delighted to have produced a vat of beautifully deep, dark, tangy Seville marmalade goodness…

Which I spooned into a motley crew of jars…

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been drawn into quite a few marmalade based discussions and have realised that preferences in consistency, density of peel and coarseness vary greatly from person to person. The beauty of making your own marmalade, apart from the pride you feel afterwards, is that you can make it exactly how YOU like it! Mine is getting better year on year…can’t wait ‘til next January’s attempt.

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