Recipe of the month: marmalade
- Credit: Archant
Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Chef of the Year 2014 Andy McLeish is seizing the Seville orange season to make delicious marmalade for breakfast
A lazy Sunday at home is very rare for me as most days are spent at the restaurant.
However, on the few occasions I happen to be home on the weekend, I go into complete relaxation mode after rugby (and if the kids allow it).
I enjoy going through the papers, putting my feet up with a cup of coffee in hand and for breakfast it’s a few slices of toast topped with marmalade – absolute bliss.
I always make my own preserves throughout the seasons, from plum jam to medlar jelly and marmalade. To be honest, if you make your own you will never buy a shop bought one again as nothing really compares to that home-made taste and quality. Last year the kids and I went hunting for damsons near our home and we managed to collect enough to make a few large jars of chutney.
Around this time of year I like making marmalade. February is the last month for the Seville orange season. The season is actually quite short, so I’ll make a few jars that should theoretically last me for the next year but in reality it only lasts a couple of months.
Seville oranges are sour, sometimes bitter. When the bitter flavour is combined with the sugar it creates that wonderful tangy, sharp taste. I also add a dram of whisky, which makes it extra special. Marmalade is simple to make and you only need three ingredients: oranges, sugar and water.
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There are many ways you can use marmalade, it’s not only for toast. Try using it in a cake or a steamed pudding or even on French toast with vanilla ice cream.
You can also use marmalade to glaze gammon, ham, lamb or even chicken.
My marmalade recipe will make about 2.5kg and should last for months but once opened you must keep it in a refrigerator. Also, remember to sterilise your jars before filling them. Enjoy - and why not try experimenting with your marmalade.
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Chapter One, Farnborough Common, Locksbottom BR6 8NF
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Seville orange Marmalade with Whiskey
675g Seville oranges
Juice of large lemon
3 pints of water
Cut the oranges in half and squeeze out the juice. Reserve the pips and the membrane and also the peel.
Place the pips and membrane on a piece of muslin and tie into a bag with a piece of string.
Slice the orange peel into thin strips. Put the peel into a pan with the orange and lemon juice and three pints of water.
Add the muslin bag to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours
At the end of the boiling period the peel should be soft and the liquid should be reduced by half. Scoop out the muslin bag and squeeze out any liquid from the bag with a slotted spoon against the side of the pan. Next, place a saucer in the chiller ready for testing.
Over a low heat add the sugar into the marmalade and gently stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes. Occasionally stir as necessary until the setting point has been reached. You test for the setting point by placing a spoonful of the marmalade on the chilled saucer. If the surface of the marmalade wrinkles when pushed with a spoon, the setting point has been reached. If it hasn’t, continue to boil and test again after a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat and skim off any scum with a slotted spoon. Now add the whisky and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Stir again and then with a ladle place into warm clean dry jars. Cover with a disk of greaseproof paper and seal the jar. Leave overnight and then store in a cool, dark, dry place.