All my extended family love seville orange marmalade, so each year I make a batch to give away as Christmas Pressies.
The season for Seville oranges is short, with fruit appearing in the supermarkets sometime in December or early January, and finishing in February, making it touch and go whether you’ll even find it in the shops before Christmas. My solution is making my Seville orange marmalade from frozen fruit. I am sure there are people who will throw up their hands in horror at the thought of marmalade made with fruit that has languished in the bottom of my extremely crammed freezer for the first ten months of the year, but for me, it is the perfect solution.
Firstly, it means that the fruit is frozen in optimum condition rather than sitting in the fridge for weeks waiting for me to find a moment of domestic goddess inspiration. Secondly, however green and ugly looking the fruit is when it goes into said freezer, it always seems to come out the most beautiful, even orange colour, and finally It allows me to take advantage of any price reductions I might spot while doing my weekly shop. The method I now always use for making my orange marmalade involves cooking the fruit whole (Mary Berry’s recipe from ‘The Aga Book’), and so I simply throw the frozen fruit straight in the pan.
How to Make Amazing Seville Orange Marmalade with Frozen Fruit
1kg Seville Oranges, fresh or frozen
2kg White Sugar
Place the oranges and the juice of the lemon in a large pan and cover with the water, using a plate to keep the oranges submerged. Bring to the boil, and put a lid on the pan. At this point I transfer the pan to the simmering oven of my Aga which runs at about 130 C (depending what mood it is in). There is no reason why you cant make this orange marmalade recipe in a conventional oven, although it will mean having it on for longer, in my mind the convenience of cutting up the softened fruit in the next step makes it worthwhile. I would also imagine a slow cooker would be perfect for this recipe. Leave to poach until tender (about 2 hours).
Once tender, remove the fruit from the pan and drain, and reserving the liquid.. Once the fruit is cool enough to handle, cut each oranges in half and scoop out all the seeds and pith. Place all the stuff you have scooped out back into the pan with the reserved liquid and boil for 6 mins, uncovered.
Strain this liquid through a sieve, using a spoon to push the pulp through. The pulp contains the Pectin which will give your marmalade a good set, so it is important to push as much as you can through the sieve (see photo above).
Cut up your peel as thick or thin as you like, and return it to the pan with the pulpy liquid and sugar. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves, then boil it rapidly for about 20 mins until setting point is reached (105C on a preserving thermometer). If you don’t have a thermometer, spoon a little marmalade onto a saucer you have chilled in a freezer. Leave for 30 secs, then push with your finger; if the marmalade wrinkles and doesn’t flood to fill the gap, it is ready. Take off the heat, and leave to sit for 10 mins, this gives it a chance to start to thicken, and will prevent all the rind floating to the top when you pour it into your jars.
Pour into clean, dry, hot jars that have been sterilised in a warm oven. I use clean, screw on lids for my preserves rather than waxed discs. This recipe made 8 x 250ml jars of Seville orange marmalade – approximately 2000mls in total. Stored in a cool dark place, it should keep well for at least a year.