Marvellous Marmalade

Marvellous Marmalade

Make the most of the citrus season with a Haughton family recipe, passed down from Phil’s Dad, a master marmalade maker.

“My Dad loved marmalade, and made it for a house of up to 30 people. I’d help him and realised I loved the stuff so much I can never be without it!”


1 kg organic Seville oranges*
1-2 organic lemons
1.5kg to 2kg organic granulated sugar**
6 ½ pints of water

A large, wide bottomed pan
Muslin cloth
6 jars (you can recycle old jars if sterilised or buy Kilner jars)

* Sevilles are unpleasant to eat raw, but with their strong sour, bitter taste they can bear the addition of sugar without becoming sickly sweet.
** Phil likes less sugar – the amount of sugar used will determine how dark and sweet you like your marmalade. If you use less sugar it becomes darker.

1. Place all the oranges and lemons in a pan with enough water to cover them – about 2 pints should do it but add a bit more if needed.
2. Cover and bring to the water to a boil. Cook for 30-45 minutes until the orange skins are softened, but not too soft and falling apart. Leave to cool (can be left overnight).
3. Meanwhile, line a large bowl with a muslin cloth, ensuring that the edges hang down over the sides.
Continued on other side…
4. When the oranges and lemons are cool enough to handle, lift them out of the pan, leaving behind the liquid – you’ll need this for later.
5. Cut the fruit in half, roughly pick out the pips, and add them to the muslin-lined bowl.
6. Scoop out the flesh and pith from the fruit and pop it back into the pan. Some recipes tell you to add it to the muslin but Haugtons love all that fruit to end up in their marmalade!
8. Stack your emptied skins in piles of four on your chopping board, cut side facing up. Using a sharp knife, cut each pile of skins in half lengthways, and then slice widthways as chunky or as fine as you like.
10. Add another 1.25 pints of water.
11. Tie the corners of your muslin together and submerge the bag in the pan, suspended above the bottom to prevent it from burning.
12. Note the depth of liquid (you can mark on the outside of your pan) and bring to a fast boil. Boil to reduce the marmalade by 1/3 (be patient!), occasionally squeezing the muslin bag against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon to release the pectin.
13. When the liquid has reduced, take out the muslin pip bag, add your sugar and return to a rolling boil. Stir regularly, and carefully! The solids sinking to the bottom of the pan and can bubble up like volcanic lava.
14. Boil for 30 mins, after which time you can begin to test the consistency. Take a teaspoon of marmalade and place on a chilled saucer. Allow it to cool and then gently place a finger on top. If it wrinkles, it’s ready! If not, keep checking the jam every five minutes. Keep an eye on the marmalade as it can burn easily and won’t set. It is better underdone than over; you can always let it cool and re-boil if needed.
15. Ladle the marmalade into sterilised jars and seal tightly with sterile lids while the marmalade is still hot, as this gives a good vacuum.
16. Label, and put in to your store cupboard. Gloat over a job well done.

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