Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Making Marmalade

I spent the past few days making marmalade and it crossed my mind that it is a bit like creating a piece of jewelry. Think not? Let's see about that.

1. Preparation

In either case, you have to start by selecting your raw materials and preparing them.

You can make orange marmalade from any kind of oranges, but we think only Sevilles produce the real deal. I can purchase silver and stones any time I want but these oranges are only around for a short time at the end of January and beginning of February. The time table is not negotiable. I was just lucky that my nasty sinus infection cleared off before I had to start on this project. I have read that one can buy the oranges and freeze them to make jam later but we don't have that much freezer space.

Here, I was juicing the oranges. All the flesh and pits are tied in a cheesecloth pouch and, of course, the peel gets slivered.

2. Apply heat

Making jewelry involves a lot of work with a torch. Silver has to be annealed to make it workable and it takes a bunch of carefully applied heat to make a solder joint ;-)

Making marmalade involves two heat steps. First, you simmer the juice, bag of pith and pits with the peel. Once the peel is soft enough, you squeeze all the juices you can from the cheesecloth bag then add sugar to the juice and peel mixture. Time to apply more heat (but, luckily, you can do the first step and hold the mixture overnight to finish the next day).

This photo shows the juice, peel and sugar mix coming to a boil. The thermometer tells me when the mixture has reached setting point (although I always do the traditional wrinkle test too!).

I am very happy with my new candy thermometer.  The old one wasn't long enough for the kettle so I had to keep dipping it in, holding it with tongs, to check temperature. Tricky task with all the steam coming at you!

3. Package the Product

Here is the second batch made for 2015. All ready to go into the pantry

Now I can get back to my bench ;-) Happy dance!