Recipe: Reynard's Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Marmalade

Citrus fruit is at its best at this time of year, and marmalade season is just about upon us. Or you might be wondering what to do with the last few sad-looking clementines or satsumas left over from Christmas. I ran across this, well, it's more of a method than an outright recipe, on a dog-eared newspaper clipping tucked into an old cookery book, and aside from a few tweaks, I've been making marmalade this way ever since. It's a lot less faff than most other recipes, and the beauty is, it doesn't matter how much or how little fruit you have.

A good, sharp serrated knife is a must, and I find that processing your fruit on a large, deep dinner plate helps containerize the juice.

1) Weigh whole fruit. Make a note of said weight.

2) Wash fruit.

3) Quarter (lemons, limes, tangerines) or cut into eighths (oranges, grapefruit etc)

4) Remove flesh from the peel (just run knife under it) and chop up flesh, discarding any pips.

5) Slice the peel as fine or as coarsely as required - pith side up, and it slices like a dream.

6) Put the flesh, peel and juice in a large (preferably stainless steel) pan and add enough water to just barely cover.

7) Cook on a very low simmer until the peel is tender and translucent. (A lid on the pan helps here.)

At this point, you can either a) leave to cool overnight or b) keep on going...

8) Weigh out as much sugar as there was fruit in step (1).

9) Add the sugar to the fruit (if the fruit was left to cool, warm it up first), stirring gently until dissolved.

10) Turn up the heat, bring to the boil and continue as for any other jam, jelly etc.

11) Test for setting point regularly (Marguerite Patten's cold saucer method is the bees knees here).

12) When setting point has been reached, take off the heat, let the marmalade stand for a few minutes before jarring up and sealing while still hot.

Any citrus fruit in any combination thereof can be used. Slivers of fresh ginger are a nice addition, as is a good slug of brandy or whisky. Just bear in mind that lime peel can be very tough and it does require about 1/3 more cooking time than other citrus peel. So if combining limes with other fruit, either cook the limes separately, or do those first and set them to simmer while then processing the rest of the fruit - there is nothing worse than tough peel in your marmalade. DAMHIKT... :laugh:

Happy marmalade making!
 
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Speicher

Vice Admiral
Moderator
What sort of sugar do you use? Please excuse my ignorance as I have never made marmalade.

If I wanted to just make two small jars of marmalade, how much fruit do I need? :scratch:
 
OP
Reynard

Reynard

Guru
Just ordinary granulated sugar, same as I'd use for any other preserve.

Hmm, a pound of fruit and a pound of sugar should make you a couple of 12 oz jars. That's about 5 or 6 clementines or three small oranges, there or thereabouts.
 
Most jams and marmalades keep for months if not years in a cool place.

I've seen jars that have grown a layer of mould on top.

My grandmother would peel off the layer and use the rest, which did taste as it should.

She had a strong culture of not wasting anything, partly due to the war and just after when some food was in very short supply.
 
OP
Reynard

Reynard

Guru
How long does it keep in the fridge when you have made it?
Sealing when hot gives you a vacuum in the jar, and as long as you don't open it and keep in a dry and dark place e.g. kitchen cupboard, it should keep for several years.

Once it's open, it never seems to keep that long, however... :laugh:

FYI just made a batch (gingered 3 fruit) with just shy of 2lbs of fruit, and I got five jars and a dollop. The dollop ended up on my lunchtime toast. :hungry:
 
OP
Reynard

Reynard

Guru
I've seen jars that have grown a layer of mould on top.
A common fault, easily avoided by either:

a) Sealing the jars as soon as you pour the jam / marmalade / jelly / chutney, which will give you a vacuum seal

or

b) Waiting until they are stone cold before putting the lids on. Leaving overnight is a good way of doing this.

If jars are sealed while warm, you won't get a vacuum seal, and the condensation formed on the inside of the lid etc is the perfect environment for mould to grow. Me personally, I seal while still very hot, and I've never ever had a problem with mould.
 

Speicher

Vice Admiral
Moderator
Gingered three fruit sounds lovely.

My parents used to make marmalade on a industrial scale, using a pressure cooker. They seemed to take weeks to do it, and the whole house smelled very strongly of oranges. That successfully put me off making marmalade for decades.

Do you faff (?) about with those waxy circles?
 
OP
Reynard

Reynard

Guru
Gingered three fruit sounds lovely.

My parents used to make marmalade on a industrial scale, using a pressure cooker. They seemed to take weeks to do it, and the whole house smelled very strongly of oranges. That successfully put me off making marmalade for decades.

Do you faff (?) about with those waxy circles?
It is lovely... I used six clementines, two lemons and two limes, plus a generous chunk of fresh ginger. No, I don't bother with the waxy circles - sealing jars while still very hot negates the need.

The traditional method for making marmalade does require a fair bit of faffage (been there, done that), plus it uses two parts water to one part fruit, which is why it can take so long to reach setting point. I prepared and cooked my fruit yesterday, then left it overnight and finished it off this morning.

I'd say that the one downside of this method is that your end product is more opaque than marmalade made by the traditional means, but it's easier to do and the flavour is more intense as you are using far less water, so it's a winner for me every time.
 
A common fault, easily avoided by either:

a) Sealing the jars as soon as you pour the jam / marmalade / jelly / chutney, which will give you a vacuum seal

or

b) Waiting until they are stone cold before putting the lids on. Leaving overnight is a good way of doing this.

If jars are sealed while warm, you won't get a vacuum seal, and the condensation formed on the inside of the lid etc is the perfect environment for mould to grow. Me personally, I seal while still very hot, and I've never ever had a problem with mould.
I think the other tip is to put a greaseproof paper disc on top of the marmalade - a 'waxy circle' as mentioned by @Speicher.
 

robgul

Guru
Marmalade manufacturing has been going on here - and more oranges should be arriving tomorrow with the veg box delivery. Usual volume my wife makes in January lasts until the following January. [That's just me eating it - two slices of toast and marmalade per day] Pretty much always the same method but sometimes a bit of ginger or some whisky]

Our allotment has a plentiful supply or raspberries so there's a lot of that turned into jam or compote during the summer months.

Rob
 
OP
Reynard

Reynard

Guru
Raspberry & apple jelly is really lovely @robgul :hungry:

Two parts raspberries to one part bramley (or any other windfall apples you can get your mitts on). The apples give a lovely "zing" to the flavour.
 
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