Pectin is a naturally occurring substance in fruit that makes sweet preserves gel. High-pectin citrus peel is what makes marmalade gel without adding artificial pectin. Keep in mind that it is the white pith or inner part of the citrus peel that is rich in pectin. Under-ripe fruits have more of pectin than fully ripe fruits. Grapefruit has larger pith, the white part of the citrus peel.
- 4 Oranges
- 1 Lemon
- 2½ litres Water
- Sugar measured to 450g = ½ litre of liquid
- Gauze bag or Muslim cloth
- Large pan
- Large sieve
- Wash oranges and lemon to get rid of any residue on the skin.
- Peel orange skin and lemon skin with a sharp knife. Then shred orange peel and lemon peel into thin slices, about 3mm thick. Then place into a large pan.
- Cut oranges and lemon into halves. Place a gauze over the pan. Squeeze the juice of oranges and lemon into the gauze cloth over the pan. Put all squeezed orange and lemon halves into the gauze with the pips and tie top into a bag. Lay the gauze bag in the pan with the juice and orange peel. Then add to pan 2½ litres water. Simmer for 2 hours until the orange skin is soft.
- Remove the gauze bag and squeeze as much juice as possible into the pan using a large sieve.
- Measure liquid contents of the pan in a measuring jug. Calculate and measure 450g of Sugar to every ½ litre of liquid eg 1 litre = 900g. Return liquid to the pan and add sugar.
- Heat liquid gently on a low heat to bring sugar into solution. (NB: Do not boil vigorously before sugar is dissolved or the sugar will stick to bottom of pan and burn). When sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat to boil vigorously. Do not cover the pan with a lid. Boil until it reaches setting point. Watch pan while boiling as the liquid will boil over. Boil for around 10 – 50 minutes, testing every 10 minutes for the set test. Take 1 teaspoon of marmalade liquid and place on a cold plate or put a plate in the fridge until liquid is cold. Touch top of the liquid to see if a skin has formed. This will mean marmalade has set and the jam is ready. NB: Do not boil too long beyond the boiling point because the liquid will become hard in the jar.
- Sterilise jam jars in an oven or sterilise in boiling hot water.
- For clear marmalade skim off the scum that has formed on the top.
- Marmalade will last 6 – 12 months, or sometimes up to 3 years without forming a fungus on top kept sealed.