1. Introducing National Marmalade Week 2012

    The first ever  National Marmalade Week takes place from 25th February – 3rd March 2012 giving people all over the world a chance to celebrate this sunny preserve. Great British Chefs blogger, Rosana McPhee from Hot & Chilli shares her recipe for Dark Chunky Marmalade & also a delicious Marmalade Pouring sauce which you can use on breakfast pancakes.

    Photography & blog post by Rosana McPhee 

    Marmalade is such a lovely sunny centrepiece at any breakfast table. I never made marmalade before, even though I read many recipes over the years, none of them inspired me until I found this one which I adapted from Delia’s archive.

    This marmalade is flavorsome, aromatic and has a deep rich colour. The sweet and bitter combination work so well together. It’s fantastic eaten simply on toast as well as part of recipes, like bread and butter pudding, Jaffa Cakes by Marcus Wareing and drinks.  Mamalade martini anyone?  Best of all you can make it as chunky as you like.  Marmalade can made from other fruits too.  Why not try tomato, red onion, ginger, mint and rum (mojito),  blood orange, grapefruit  or any other citrusy combination?  Get creative!

    Dark Chunky Marmalade


    1 kg Seville Oranges scrubbed and cleaned

    2 kg of white sugar – no added pectin

    1 lemon scrubbed and cleaned



    Preserving pan – I use a large pan, 38 cm piece of muslin or double gauze, a sieve, some foil, jars, and some small flat plates to test for setting point.

    Makes about 4 jars of 0.2 litres each.

    • Put the Seville Oranges and lemons in a preserving pan, add 2.5 litres of water and bring it all up to a gentle simmer. Place a large piece of double foil the top of the pan and fold the edges firmly over the rim. The fruit will gently poach without any of the liquid evaporating for 3 hours.
    • Remove the preserving pan from the heat and allow everything to get cool.  Place the fruits in a large colander over a bowl. Cut the oranges in half and scoop the insides (flesh and pips as well) straight into a medium-sized saucepan. Next do the same with the lemons but discard the lemon peel. 
    • Place the fruit pulp in the 500 ml of the poaching liquid and on a medium heat, simmer the pulp for 10 minutes. Now in a sieve, lined with muslin, and placed over a bowl, strain the contents of the saucepan through the sieve. Let it drip while it cools.
    • In the meantime, julienne the orange peel – the thickness is  up to you. Add these back into the preserving pan. When the pulp is cool gather up the corners of the muslin and twist it into a ball, then, using your hands, squeeze all of the pectin-rich juices into the preserving pan.  You will be left only with the pithy membranes of the fruit.  When you have added the strained pectin, just leave all of this overnight, loosely covered with a clean teacloth.
    • The following day,  put the sugar into a large roasting tin lined with foil, at gas mark 3, 170°C,  and allow it to warm gently for 10 minutes. In the meantime place the preserving pan and its contents over a gentle heat add the warmed sugar into the pan. Using a large wooden spoon, stir the marmalade, keeping the heat gentle, until all the sugar crystals have fully dissolved. Don’t let the marmalade boil until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the marmalade bubble away gently – it can take 3-4 hours for it to darken and develop its lovely rich flavour and colour
    • When the marmalade has been cooking for 2½ hours, place some small flat plates in the fridge. Then to test that it’s set, after 3 hours take the pan from the heat and spoon a teaspoonful of marmalade onto a chilled plate. Allow it to cool for a minute back in the fridge, then push it with your little finger – if a crinkly skin forms, it has reached setting point. If not, continue cooking and do more testing at 15-minute intervals
    • Start preparing the jars by sterilizing them: wash them thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse and dry, then warm in a medium oven
    • When the marmalade has set, leave it to cool for 30 minutes before ladling through a funnel into the jars. Seal the jars with waxed discs while they are still hot, then label the next day when cold. 

    Marmalade pouring sauce :

    • Melt 4  tbsp of  marmalade in 4 tbsp of water over a low heat stirring until smooth. 
    • Add 1 desert spoon of butter and stir again until evenly combined. 
    • Serve warm with a stack of pancakes!

    Other recipes using marmalade can be found at Great British Chefs site.

    Blog post for Great British Chefs by Rosana McPhee

    What are some of  your favourite marmalade flavours?  Have you ever tried using it as a topping or sauce for dishes?  If so what have you tried?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook page


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