Get making that marmalade! It’s just a short window of time in January & February for Seville oranges to be in season. They’re now in stock in Lobbs Farm Shop and here’s a couple of recipes to inspire you…
Simple seville orange marmalade recipe
This is a quick guide. Arm yourself with some muslin, string, a
good heavy-based saucepan and buy or borrow a proper sugar thermometer.
Makes about three jars
400g Seville oranges (about four)
1 litre water
800g white sugar
1 tsp soft dark brown sugar (optional but it makes the colour rosier)
With a potato peeler or sharp knife remove all the orange zest in strips, cut away any white pith then shred the zest and tie it in a small square of muslin. Finely slice the oranges; pith, flesh, juice and all, and the whole lemon, and tip into a heavy saucepan. Add the water and your muslin bag of zest and simmer for about two hours until the pith is tender.
Pick out the bag holding the zest, and leave to drain on a plate. Line a colander with a few layers of muslin, place over a bowl, tip in the contents of the pan, and leave to drip for an hour – you need all the liquid as it contains the vital pectin that makes the marmalade set. You could squeeze any remaining juice from the pith, but it will make the marmalade slightly cloudy.
You should have about 750ml of liquid. Boil it down if you have more, or add water if you have less.
Return the liquid to the pan, add the zest from the bag, and the sugar. Bring to the boil, then quickly simmer until it reaches 104°C. Keep the temperature constant for five minutes. A spoonful on a cold saucer should form a crinkly skin after cooling for five minutes. If it doesn’t, simmer for a few minutes more; but you may have to settle for soft-set. Switch off the heat, leave for 20 minutes, spoon the marmalade into hot, sterilised jars, seal with cellophane and rubber bands and leave somewhere cool overnight to set to a jelly.
Seville oranges freeze beautifully. You do not need to do much with them apart from wash them, stick them in a bag and put them in the freezer. When you run out of marmalade you can cook them from frozen as per your favourite recipe.
Or for something completely different try this fabulous desert:
Seville Orange Tart
This recipe should not be underestimated; it is one of the very best puddings we have ever eaten. And it’s pretty easy to make. You can only make it in January and February while Seville oranges are available. Buy masses and make some proper marmalade too.
For the pastry:
4oz/100g Trewithen Cornish Farm Dairy butter, hard from the fridge, cut into pieces
5oz/150g Doves plain flour
1oz/25g Billingtons icing sugar
For the filling:
grated rind and juice of 4 Seville oranges
4 large Colin Carter eggs
4oz/100g Trewithen Cornish Farm Dairy butter
10oz/300g Natures Garden caster sugar
If you have a food processor, put all the ingredients for the pastry into the bowl and process until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. If you are making the pastry by hand, put the flour and icing sugar together in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until you have a crumb-like mixture.
Pat the mixture around the sides and bottom of an 8in/20cm flan dish. Put the flan in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Bake in a moderate oven (350˚F/180˚C/gas mark 4/bottom right oven in a four-door Aga) for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
For the filling, put the Seville orange rinds in a large bowl. Beat the eggs in a jug. Add the butter and sugar to the orange rind. Add in the beaten eggs. Mix all together and rest the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, then take the pan off the heat. Stir the orange juice into the buttery mixture. Don’t be tempted to add the juice along with the rind at the previous stage – it just doesn’t work. Pour the mixture into the baked flan case and carefully put the flan back in the oven. Bake at 350˚F/180˚C/gas 4/bottom right oven in a four-door Aga for 15 minutes, or until the filling is just set to the touch. Take out of the oven and serve either warm or cool with cream.