Marmalade is not a task to be undertaken if you are short of time, put aside a morning or afternoon, or split it over two days. I cook my oranges the night before and then finish the process the next day, and I also cook them halved and then scoop the flesh out and chop the peel later. This method gives a darkish, slightly more bitter marmalade with a softer set. Which is how I like mine.
4 hours makes about 2kg A little effort
Seville oranges 1kg
lemon 1 (you need this to help the pectin set)
preserving sugar 1kg
light muscovado sugar 1kg
Halve the oranges and the lemon and put them in a preserving pan or other large saucepan, cover them with 2.5 litres of water and bring to a simmer, simmer for 2 hours or until the orange rind is completely soft (poke a knife in to check). If it isn’t soft enough now it won’t soften any further once you add the sugar. Lift the fruit out and drain it through a sieve, tip any liquid back into the pan. Scoop the flesh and pips out of the fruit and squeeze any excess liquid out of it by using a piece of muslin or by pushing it hard against a fine nylon sieve, liberate the pips and tie them into a piece of muslin or a large tea infuser. Tip any liquid back into the pan.
Cut the orange peel into the size you would like it (I like chunky marmalade). Put some saucers in the freezer. Wash your jars in hot soapy water and put them in a low oven to dry.
Add the sugars to the liquid and bring the liquid slowly to the boil, making sure the sugar has dissolved. Add back the peel. Allow the mixture to boil until the marmalade reaches setting point, test this with a thermometer (105-110C) or by looking for the point where the bubbles subside from a mass of small bubbles to bigger, slower bubbles. Test by spooning a little of the liquid onto a cold saucer, leave for a minute then push your finger through it, if it wrinkles up then it is ready. Keep testing every 5 minutes until it is ready. Then turn of the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Transfer to the hot jars, if you have a jam funnel then this makes the process easier, if not use a spoon or heatproof jug. Do be careful though, hot marmalade can give you a nasty burn. Don’t forget to fish out the pips. Put the lids on and wipe the outside of the jars.