The Richest, Darkest Marmalade ever.


H-G has just made his 2015 batch of marmalade. Here is the post with recipe that I posted last year.

Husband-Gusto is a bit of a whizz at making jams, chutneys, sloe gin, apple vodka, orange brandy. (Reader, I married him).

He also makes the darkest, stickiest most bitter marmalade you will ever eat. It is scrumptious on croissants, with loads of butter. Seville oranges are a must. Last weekend he made his latest 2014 batch, and wrote the recipe down. I replicate it below in full.

Dark Marmalade

Disclaimer:  This recipe produces a marmalade that is very dark, slightly bitter and not that sweet.  If you normally eat “Golden Shred” marmalade you probably won’t like it.

The ingredients list is given as a set of ratios so that you can make whatever quantity suits you.  The limiting factors are the size of your largest pan(s) and of course how much you are actually likely to eat.  As far as the pan size goes the volume after all the ingredients are added should not exceed 3/5ths of the maximum pan volume.  When the volume has reduced during boiling the marmalade tends to froth up and with a full pan life becomes rather messy


Per 1kg Seville oranges;

1.5kg sugar

150g honey

75g black treacle

As a guide, using 5kg of fruit will provide about 20 jars. (so if using 5 kg you need to times by 5 the quantities above)

Wash and lightly scrub the oranges, put into a pan and add enough water to barely cover the fruit.  Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and put on either a close fitting lid or a layer of foil and then the lid and very gently simmer for about 3 hours.

Leave to cool (overnight is easy) and then pour off the cooking water through a sieve (to catch any bits) and put aside.

Now scoop all the flesh out of the oranges.  I find the easiest way is to break them in half with your hands and then use a soup spoon.  Now chop the peel into about 1cm square pieces but a little variety is good and exact measurement not required.  Put aside.

Now push as much of the flesh through a sieve as you can and put the remnants into a pan.  Add enough of the cooking water to make a soup like consistency, bring to the boil and then repeat the sieving.  Repeat the operation again.  If you want repeat a third time.  This will push quite a lot of the flesh through the sieve as a fine puree and also the pectin in the fruit.

Add the sieving liquid/gloop to the cooking water and then add enough fresh water to bring the total up to 1.5 litres of liquid per kilo of fruit originally used.  (If you find that you already have more than this then boil the liquid until it’s reduced – although just a little over is not that important.)

Now put the liquid into the boiling pan, bring to the boil and then turn off the heat.  Now add the sugar, honey and treacle and stir until it’s all dissolved.  Once this is done add the peel, turn the heat on and bring back to a medium boil.

The whole lot now needs to boil for 2-3 hours.  After about 2 hours the mixture has a tendency to start frothing up so you need to keep an eye on it.  (If the mixture does boil over stop everything and clean up immediately.  If you leave it to the end it sets like concrete on the stove and is nearly impossible to get off (been there).)

When the mixture is nearly ready to set it becomes much darker.  If you have a jam thermometer so much the better.  If not then the traditional method is to put test amounts at about 5 minute intervals onto chilled saucers.  Personally I find that a better way is to use a metal pan lid floating in cold water in the sink.  When the test amounts (about a teaspoonful is right) show signs of setting then boil for another couple of minute and then turn of the heat.  It’s important not to boil too long after the mixture will set as you will then get orange toffee – which although not bad is not what we’re trying to produce.

You now need to let the mixture cool for a while (to roughly 80 degrees) as if you put it into jars when everything is still very liquid the peel will tend to rise to the top.

Whilst the mixture is cooling preheat the jars a little in the oven so that they do not crack when the hot liquid is added.

Pour into jars and seal.

The bad news is that this marmalade improves enormously on keeping – up to several years so you may need to exercise some restraint or simply make sufficient so that you eat some and keep the rest.




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