This modern version of the traditional English preserve contains sweet oranges, coriander and whisky – it tastes delicious and makes an ideal gift.
1.4kg firm sweet oranges
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
3 litres water
1⁄2 cup whisky
1. Wash oranges, peel off rind with a vegetable peeler and slice into fine strips. Juice oranges and lemons and place juice in a preserving pan with the peel.Coarsely chop remains of oranges and tie in a piece of muslin along with any pips and the crushed coriander. Place in pan.
2. Add water to pan and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 11⁄2-2 hours until peel is tender.
3. Remove muslin bag and squeeze to extract as much juice as possible (tongs are useful for this). Add sugar to pan and stir until dissolved. Bring mixture to the boil and boil rapidly for 20 minutes or until setting point is reached. (If marmalade is not set after 20 minutes, test every following 5 minutes).
4. Skim any foam from surface and stir in whisky. Allow marmalade to stand 20 minutes (this will stop the peel rising in the jars). Stir again then pour into warm, sterilized jars. Cover and seal.Makes about 8 cups
Before starting to make marmalade ensure all equipment is ready. Jars should be sterilized and free of chips, cracks or scratches. Fruit should be ripe but not over-ripe and free of disease or damage.
Lightly grease the pan with buttered paper – this will help prevent the marmalade from sticking to it.
The pith and pips are cooked with the fruit as they contain much of the pectin which aids setting.
Jars can be sealed with cellophane covers, paraffin wax or clean, new lids. Do this when the marmalade is cold as condensation can cause mould. The exception is screw-top or vacuum seal lids – screw these on when the marmalade is hot.
Store marmalade in a cool, dark, dry place. Stored and sealed correctly it will keep for up to two years. It is best kept for a week or two before eating.
For a change of flavour use tangelos when in season. An orange liqueur or some freshly grated ginger may be added instead of the whisky.
The peel should be very tender before adding the sugar. Once it has been added, rapid boiling is important to obtain maximum flavour and a good set.
Test setting point by placing a small amount of marmalade on a cold saucer. Allow it to cool then run your finger through – if the marmalade puckers and a channel remains, it is set. Remove the pan from the heat while you are doing this.
Stand the jars on a wooden board when pouring in the marmalade as they could crack on a cold surface. Wipe the jars clean with a damp cloth while they are still warm.