Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Seville Orange Marmalade

Seville oranges are only available in the shops here in Britain for about 6 weeks in January and February. They are much too acid to be eaten as a fruit, but of course, they make wonderful marmalade. The orange pith is quite rich in pectin, and so are the pips! The skin and pith itself takes quite a few hours of cooking to tenderize them enough for eating. What I tend to do is to soak the oranges in water for at least 24hours prior to preparation and cooking. This assists in tenderizing the flesh, it also starts to release the pectin from the oranges which is so crucial for the setting.
Don't forget the pips! you will see that when they have soaked in water overnight that there will be a pectin jelly surrounding them as the pectin starts to release. There are so many methods of making marmalade but I prefer not to waste a single bit.
I usually cut off the rind with a knife or a peeler and chop these into whole lengths which will add to a good texture and shape. I separate out the pips and put them into a muslin bag during cooking, and I chop up the orange flesh too. I have started liquidizing the rest of the pith and adding that to the cooking mixture. Boil all this liquid for several hours with some added lemon juice. Acid helps to release the pectin into the liquid. When this has all boiled down for several hours this is when I remove the bag with the pips then add the sugar.
I have never found any published cooking times at all helpful! It might say boil it for 10 minutes but it can take hours depending on how much pectin you have to make a good set. Personally I find that pouring some liquid onto a frozen plate and allowing it to set for 10 minutes is the best guide to when it is cooked. 2 pounds of Seville oranges, 4 pints water, 2 pounds sugar, 2 lemons.
Can anyone tell me if Seville oranges are allowed, grown or used in the USA? All the marmalade I have ever tasted over there is always made with sweet oranges.


At 7:45 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

I've just put some into my freezer for a couple of marmalade sessions when my current batch is finished. It comes out such a beautiful colour. I agree about the recipe cooking times - you have to suck it (hmmmm...) and see!

At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic looking--pass me some.

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Rachael said...

Snap! I am also in the process of making Seville orange marmalade this morning. I am making triple the quantity in my recipe because I could only buy the oranges in 1.5kg bags - and what can you do with leftover Seville oranges?? I hope I have enough time to finish it before I go out at lunchtime...

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Anna said...

This is something I have wanted to try for ages. l look out for Seville oranges every year in the local shops and supermarkets but have never been able to track any down :(

At 3:09 PM, Blogger The Garden Faerie said...

Americans don't understand tea or marmalade, I'm afraid! Tart oranges are in fact not sold in the U.S. (at least not to the general public). I think we import all marmalade (which Americans sometimes call orange marmalade) from England. A friend of mine who has English parents adds a bit of lemon zest to her homemade marmalade, to make up for the sweetness of the oranges. She still says it's not the same as the English kind. And now I know the "secret"-Seville oranges!

At 2:24 PM, Blogger primrozie said...

I've never seen them in the stores here. I've also never heard anyone talk about making the marmalade. There's quite a lot of things we don't get here.

I really had a tough time finding the purple sprouting broccoli and I am still not sure if I got what I was expecting.

The leeks I searched for only turned up one American seller and their packets contain only 20 seeds. I had to buy 3 packets and will share some with other American growers who are interested in keeping heirloom varieties alive.

Should the broccoli turn out to be real psb, I will share those seeds as well. I bought them on an ebay auction where the "Hirts" company sold the packet of 200 seeds with very little information.

There's a lot we evidently can't get here.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purple sprouting broccoli is I think called broccoli rabe in the US try looking for seeds for that !!
It is a very popular thing to grow here as lasts all winter
Margaret (

At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2010 feb 16
Just came across your blog; I'm on my 5th batch of marmalade this year -- trying to see which recipe and variations I prefer.

The Seville oranges we get here in Toronto are labeled produce of USA, so I imagine they would be available south of the border. This is the first year I've seen them in the big supermarkets.


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