I will never forget the first time I tasted home made marmalade. I was visiting relatives in Scotland. They lived on a sweet farm just outside Dumfries. A behemoth, ancient Aga stove dominated their kitchen. Several large pots simmered away and filled the air with the perfume of oranges. Knives flashed and turned the knobbly peel of Seville oranges into fine, slender slices. Batches of the most perfect of preserves, homemade marmalade, cooled in small jars.
The season for these sour oranges is short. Just a few weeks in late January and February. Sometimes you can still find them in stores as late as March. Our divine Ladner food store, JARRY’S MARKET, made it possible to make marmalade this late in the year. Every marmalade aficionado know the best marmalade uses Seville oranges. Their thick, bitter peel holds the secret to this most heavenly concoction. It is this peel and pits that supply the necessary pectin. One can buy marmalade but it never tastes quite as delicious or gives us the same satisfaction of making it ourselves .
Making Seville orange marmalade is a two day process. However, it is not difficult. You juice the oranges and thinly slice or finely chop the rind the first day and have it sit quietly over night. The next day you add the sugar and cook the marmalade. You do need a good size pot and a candy thermometer. Absolutely no pectin is added.
One does not refer to marmalade as jam. Jam is made with fruit and even vegetables, but marmalade is always and only made with citrus fruits. The name is Portuguese in origin and refers to a preserve made with quince.
The recipe for SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE awaits you in MRS.BUTTERFINGERS kitchen. Bon Appetit dear friends.