I know it’s a bit old ladyish, but I LOVE marmalade. I love the sweet and sour tang on my toast of a morning.
I’m down to my final jar of last year’s Christmas Marmalade, so I thought I’d make a new batch. I need some for gifts, some to donate to be sold at the school fair and some for meeeeee!
This is based on a WI recipe so I knew it’d be a winner. It’s really very simple to make, the only real faff is cutting up the fruit. I don’t have a food processor – just one of those mini choppers so it took me a fair bit of elbow grease to get the job done.
I used regular sugar, not jam or preserving sugar and achieved a brilliant set. I think the key was letting the fruit cook gently for over 2 hours. I also didn’t rush the final stage, once I’d added the sugar I boiled it until I was really happy that I’d reached setting point. I sometimes get a bit too keen at this point, but glad I backed off a bit.
Twas hugely worth all the effort though as it tastes DIVINE. The citrus zing from the fruit followed by a warm hit from the rum has totally bowled me over.
Dressing up the jars
I didn’t have many of my pretty blue spotty lidded jars left, so I have been religiously saving empty pesto, honey and roasted pepper jars over the months. I scrubbed the labels off in hot soapy water and they were as good as new.
To give them a festive finish for gifting, I dressed them up by donning the lids with circles of brown paper, secured with rubber bands and tied with colourful ribbon. You could also use circles of Christmas wrapping paper or brightly coloured tissue paper tied with streamers or curling ribbons.
Boozy marmalade is such a great gift – I’m hoping my family and friends will love it!
Rum and raisin marmalade (based on WI recipe)
Makes about 4.5kg
675g sweet oranges, very thinly sliced
675g lemons, very thinly sliced
1.7 litres water
2.7kg granulated sugar
1. Place the sliced fruit in a large preserving pan with the raisins and water. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer gently for at least 2 hours until the peels if very soft.
2. Meanwhile wash your jam jars in hot soapy water, rinse and then dry in a warm oven.
3. Add the sugar to the fruit and then boil until you reach setting point.
4. Put a small splash of rum in the bottom of each jam jar, and then pour in the marmalade, seal allow to cool and then label.
For the complete lowdown on jam making for beginners, including how to test for setting point – check out my Masterclass post