Seville oranges are only available in the UK for a couple of weeks at this time of year. These are a very bitter, very acid type of orange that is used for making marmalade. If you think you know what marmalade tastes like, then try making some for yourself and you will see the difference.
Seville oranges have so many pips it is unbelievable! Don't throw them away if you are making marmalade because they are a very rich source of pectin that helps set the jam. Jam making is reliant on a good set which is obtained from pectin rich fruits like apples and plums. In order to extract the pectin from the fruit, I soaked all the prepared oranges in water overnight. This allows the acid in the oranges to disolve the pectin into the water. I also added a teaspoon of citric acid to help this happen. I find I get a better set if I soak them overnight first.
Orange peel is quite tough so it needs to be boiled first to soften it before adding the sugar. My tried and tested method of seeing whether the jam is set involves a plate which you place in the freezer. Just keep putting a small spoonful of the jam on this freezing plate and let it rest in the freezer for 5 minutes to set.
You might have to do this quite a few times until your jam is thick enough. Keep testing the jam on a freezing plate like this until your finger can crease the jam...
Like this. You will begin to see the consistency of the set jam. Turn the heat off immediately because it will continue to cook for a few minutes more. This is the time to cool the marmalade slightly then pour into sterilized jars.
There just happened to be a little bowl ful extra... which I will try for breakfast tomorrow morning.
Now on to the apples. My Bramley apple tree had a bumper crop last year. These are stored in a dark, cold garage. They need to be checked for bruising and decay about every month or so.
Just two or three apples were taken out today. Still plenty more to go. I think an apple pie will be on the menu in the next couple of days...