Updated: Sep 26, 2019
A friend gifted me eight pounds of perfect Seville oranges this spring. She had extras! The rain made citrus so abundant this year.
We make several kinds of marmalade, but there’s something about Seville… the deep sour flavor is what marmalade is supposed to taste like. It’s the orange that we used to make the Scottish marmalade I grew up on. This British recipe is simple and good. A touch of Meyer lemon rounds out the flavor. If you don’t have Meyer lemons, substitute 2 small regular lemons and a sweet orange.
This recipe does not include basic details about how to make jam in general, so you’ll need to get up to speed before sterilizing jars and sealing the marmalade in a water bath. For basic jam and marmalade instructions, use a reference guide such as the Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing and Dehydration; The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, by Rachel Saunders; or Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting up Small Batches of Seasonal Food, by Eugenia Bone.
Seville Orange Marmalade
Yield: 8 half-pints
2 lb. Seville oranges
2 large Meyer lemons
2 ½ quarts Water
8 c. granulated white sugar, warmed in oven
Wash and scrub the oranges and lemons. Cut them in half, squeeze out the juice and pour the juice into a large preserving pan (8 quart-size). Add the water to the pan. Place the seeds and any pieces of pith sticking to the juice squeezer on a piece of muslin. If there are any thick pieces of pith inside the citrus peel, scrape those out and add to the muslin.
Slice the orange and lemon peel into thin shreds. Any seeds and spare pith you find as you cut should be added to the muslin, because they contain a lot of pectin. Tie up the seeds and pith loosely in the muslin to form a bag, and tie onto the handle of the pan, or tie it to a large wooden spoon propped across the top of the pan, so that the bag is suspended in the liquid. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil, then simmer gently for about 1 ½ hours, until the peel is very soft. It should disintegrate when squeezed between the fingers. Remove and discard the muslin bag, squeezing it well. Gooey pectin will emerge; scrape this into the preserving pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the warmed sugar. Make sure it is completely dissolved before returning the pan to the heat and bringing back to a boil. Boil rapidly for 15-20 minutes, until the setting point is reached (about 120 degrees at sea level.) Citrus fruits contain plenty of pectin and therefore have a good setting quality, but the setting point is quickly passed, so test carefully and don’t boil for too long.
When setting point has been reached, skim the surface with a slotted spoon to prevent foam adhering to the pieces of peel. Allow the marmalade to stand for about 10 minutes, then give it a final stir to distribute the peel before ladling marmalade into sterile jars and placing in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Adapted from Beatrix Potter’s Country Cooking, by Sarah Paston-Williams, pg. 155