Well, after nearly two years of work, Well Seasoned has finally gone to press!
It’s been quite an experience writing our first book and there's been a huge amount of effort from all concerned – starting with us as writers but then designers, editors and proof readers have all been busily involved. We’re really pleased with the end result and, even if we might be a little biased, we’re confident it’s going to be a stunning book.
Right now though, while the presses are rolling, we can afford a short break and what could be better than a cup of tea and slice of toast? The short season for Seville oranges is upon us so, of course, it’s time to make marmalade. Here’s the recipe from our January chapter:
Seville orange marmalade
Crisp toast slathered in salty butter with a good dollop of marmalade makes for a pretty special start to the day. As an alternative, try mixing a tablespoon of marmalade into a small pot of fat-free Greek yoghurt along with a spoonful of oats that have been toasted with a little muscovado sugar. Let the mix sit overnight and enjoy in the morning.
makes around 6 large jars
1.1kg Seville oranges, well washed
2 lemons, well washed
2kg preserving sugar
10g unsalted butter
1. Start by halving and juicing all the fruit, retaining all the pips. Use a teaspoon to scrape the membranes out from the juiced fruit.
2. Cut the skins in half again and slice off some of the white pith if it is really thick. Next, slice the skins into strips of your choice of thickness, depending on whether you want a fine shred or a coarser one. The shreds will swell as they cook to an extent. (I add the lemon skins to the mix, although many recipes call for just the juice and I would have to accept that maybe it isn’t a true Seville orange marmalade.)
3. Measure the juice from the fruit and make up the quantity to 2l with water. Put the juice and shredded peel into a large saucepan. Tie the pips and around a quarter of the membranes in muslin and add this to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer very gently until the peel is tender, around 1–1½ hours.
4. Remove the muslin bag and squeeze all the juice out into the pan – if you have a potato ricer it is brilliant for doing this!
5. Warm the sugar in a roasting tin in the oven set to 100˚C for 10 minutes. (This is recommended in many recipes to aid dissolving. I use the oven to sterilize the jars, too.)
6. Add the warm sugar to the pan and stir constantly until it has dissolved, then increase the heat and boil the marmalade rapidly for 5 minutes before starting to check for a set. If using a thermometer it should register 104–105˚C. Or pour a spoonful onto a chilled saucer; when the edge of the pool of marmalade is pushed, the skin should wrinkle.
7. Once a set is achieved, pour the marmalade into the sterilized jars and seal.