This is the real deal. I have never been lucky enough to get my hands on Seville oranges in NZ before. And they do make the very best marmalade. Sweet but with that wonderful underlying tartness that other oranges can't deliver. I did have one jar of the real stuff in the pantry from my last visit to Wellington and several visits to my favourite cafe in the whole world, Floriditas. There, stacked on the counter, dark amber hued jars of Seville Orange Marmalade. They get their wonderfully bitter oranges from the Hawke's Bay and take the whole crop.
Since then I have been on a bit of quest to get my mitts on some Seville oranges. I get my weekly veggie box from the Hawke's Bay and despite several hints left with my weekly order that if by chance they were to come across any Seville orange it would be very much appreciated if just a handful were to appear in my veggie box. It was to no avail. However as luck would have it Alli over at Pease Pudding post a link to here - Seville Oranges in New Zealand! And just on the other side of Auckland, well I could hardly contain my excitement, I may even have squealed out loud. Finally I might be able to come close to replicating my Mum's Marmalade. Better than that contact details to secure my own supply of the elusive Seville oranges. So an email later and a box of Seville oranges delivered to my door.
Originally they are from Seville in Spain where they line the streets. With their bitter skin they are too sour to eat, that however makes for the best marmalade, with a wonderfully bitter taste underlying all the sweetness.
Seville Orange Marmalade
For some reason this did take quite a while to set, so just be patient. It is well worth the wait.
7 Seville oranges, scrubbed
2 oranges, scrubbed
1 large lemon, scrubbed
1.35kg / 3lbs white sugar
Place all the fruit and 1.7l litres of water in a large heavy based saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer. Let the fruit simmer away for about an hour until it is all very soft. Remove from the heat and lift out all the fruit. Set is aside to cool.
In the meantime measure out the liquid left in the pan. You want 1.4 litres of liquid. If need be top up with some water. Return the liquid to the pan and stir in the sugar.
Back to the fruit. Once they are cool enough to handle halve the fruit and squeeze out all the pips. Tie up all the pips in a square of muslin. Mince or chop the rest of the fruit and add it all back in to the pan with the pips. Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.
Once the sugar has dissolved increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Usually it should take 10-15 minutes to reach a setting point. I say usually as for reasons unbeknown to me it took nearer an hour! To test for setting point have a couple of saucers chilling n the fridge. After 10-15 minutes place a small teaspoon of marmalade on the saucer and leave it for a moment. Then give it a little nudge with your finger. If it wrinkles it is ready, if not it is back to more boiling until you reach the setting point.
Once it has reached setting point, remove the bag of pips and pour it in to hot sterilised jars* Allow to cool a little, pop the kettle on, toast some toast, butter and top with a generous helping of marmalade for a quintessentially and quite delicious British breakfast.
*To sterilize the jars, wash thoroughly in hot soapy water and then pop in the over for 20 minutes at 100C / 200F
On toast with a cup of tea, one of life's simple pleasures. The rich, dark orange colour and that delightful underlying bitter sweet flavour, makes this the Queen of marmalades. So if you can get your hands on some of these Seville Oranges, grab them with both hands and have a go at some marmalade making.
This would also elevate the Marmalade Vinaigrette to a whole other level....that could well be on the cards in some incarnation for lunch today.
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