Thursday, 21 March 2013

Manda's March Marmalade

I've always fancied making preserves, but I've always had this idea that it's more difficult than normal cooking so, apart from my Christmas mincemeat, I had never got round to it.  People talk about setting points as though getting a proper set jam is a dark art, requiring special skills, and probably some kind of secret dance performed naked under a full moon.  Probably ;-)  I also wasn't sure if I'd be able to bring myself to add all the sugar required, which is silly, as I have no idea how much they add in the marmalade factory.

We have our veggies delivered by the very lovely Riverford people, and when they had their marmalade kits on offer, I decided to take the plunge and see just how hard this 'setting' malarky really is.  The only snag is that I don't have a muslin bag, and I have a demanding toddler who barely gives me time to make the food we need to eat.  I do own a slow cooker though, and some quick Googling found this perfect recipe for me: no muslin bag, no pulpy squeezing, no chopping, and half the sugar in the Riverford recipe.

My Mum & Dad came to visit last weekend, so I finally made marmalade!  My marmalade pack had 8 seville oranges and 2 lemons, and I cut them into quarters and chopped them in the food processor.  The recipe I found (by Diminishing Lucy) had no added water, but my chopped fruit looked quite dry.  As Lucy is Australian, I thought her fruit might be more juicy, so I added 3/4 litre of water.  The final ingredient was 1kg of sugar, and I cooked it all in the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours.
My slow cooker has room for a few more oranges :-)


The result is 7 jars of gorgeous tangy marmalade and it set beautifully, and with no naked dancing!  Well, no more than usual anyway.  It turns out that my 20 year old food processor isn't man enough for pips though - I picked quite a few out of the finished marmalade before getting bored and deciding it'd be easier to take the odd pip off of my toast as they appear.


I'm definitely hooked, and can't wait until there's a strawberry pick-your-own open so I can try my hand at jam.  If you have a favourite preserve recipe for the slow cooker, I'd love to hear about it - please leave me a link on my comments so I can try it out.

Right then, time for toast :-)

2 comments:

  1. Hi Amanda - looks like you got a good few jars of marmalade there! Thank you for trying our recipe and glad you enjoyed preserving.

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  2. Oh! i am SO glad you had success! I am so sorry its taken me an age to come back and look at your lovely marmalade - I took on a new job last year and as such have been very absent from my blog - but I am kind of back now - so it was such a delight to see this!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment, I love to know someone's out there :-)