Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oranges and Apples

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...

15 Comments:

At 2:17 AM, Blogger Theanne... said...

Love marmalade never had any made at home...I know yours is delicious! Such a beautiful color! Nice looking apples...can't wait to see your pie!

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Lrong said...

The marmalade looks soooo yummy!

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger RobD said...

Hmmm, interesting. My book (the River Cottage Preserves one) says you don't need to use the pips as most of the pectin is actually in the skin of the orange...? Either way it tastes soooo much better than shop bought stuff!

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Jo said...

Hope you enjoyed your breakfast this morning, and apple pie for tea, delicious.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Green Lane Allotments said...

Is that a recent photo as they looked to have kept really well if it is?

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Marmalade is on my list for next week. I bought the Sevilles a few days ago and put them in the freezer. I soak them overnight too. I envy your apple store - haven't got a Bramley tree but we get a good lot of windfalls from next door's tree. They don't keep though.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Green Lane Allotments - yes, picture taken yesterday. Just a couple of mouldy ones to take out every month or so.

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger Mr. H. said...

We have never made our own marmalade but in seeing yours I sure would like to give it a go. Your apples seem to be holding up very well...much better than ours as we seem to have a mouse in the house.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Can't beat home made marmalade! Those shallow plastic trays are ideal for storing apples, - where did you buy them? Much better than the ones I use which are really too deep.

 
At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Damo said...

Just run out of our homemade marmalade and reverted back to shop bought - Tesco's - it was rubbish. So back on the homemade jams now!

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

I have made marmalade from pre prepared oranges in a tin but have never taken on the task of making it from scratch. The apple store looks mouth watering!

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Cottage Garden Farmer - didn't buy them, they are thrown out by my local garden centre, and quite a few shops throw them out, they get fruit and veg delivered in them. They are brilliant because they are stackable.

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Donna said...

ooh looks delicious! I just watched the movie Godfords Park and in one scene the Maggie Smith character complains that the marmalade was store bought and not homemade. I wonder if I can find Seville oranges here in Canada?

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Thanks for that matron, i'll be keeping a lookout at the garden centre from now on, should be able to spot something between now and next autumn! Kathy

 
At 9:08 PM, Blogger Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

The marmalade looks delicious, something I'd like to try making..hubby loves marmalade...

 

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