I have finally made marmalade!
I have mentioned before that we sometimes have trouble keeping up with our fruit delivery and last week we seemed to have oranges coming out of our ears. The marmalade recipe is a two day event and so I wisely started making it on Saturday - look at me pre-reading a recipe for once!
The first step was to peel the oranges and lemons and then to julienne the peel. Good lord that's a lot of chopping. My mum came over for a cup of tea as I was in the midst of turning a pile of peel into neat little strips, and so I did what any good daughter would do. I handed her a knife and asked her to chop while we chatted. Lucky for me I have a lovely mum who likes cooking as much as I do and so she didn't mind a bit.
The next step was to juice the fruit and I decided to try out a tip that was given to me recently (thanks Wendy!) and after cutting all of the pith from the fruit, threw them into the thermomix and had a pulpy juice in seconds. Not only was it a super fast way of juicing, but it also meant that not a scrap was wasted. When you pay top dollar for organic produce, waste is not your friend.
So it turns out that the special trick to making sure your marmalade sets correctly is to tie your pith inside a square of muslin and add it to the cooking pot. Once your marmalade has reduced by half, the pith and the pot stay on the stove top over night and the next day your soggy little bag of pith is squeezed out and discarded.
Before adding the sugar to the liquid it was warmed in the oven, which I assume is to prevent the liquid from cooling down when the sugar is added. The final step was to boil the marmalade for 5-10 minutes until the setting stage had been reached. I was waiting for my liquid to reach 104 degrees which seemed to take forever, and so in the end I tipped a spoonful on to a cold plate and after a few minutes realised that my gooey mess had turned into marmalade!
I am thrilled with the result, which is just as well because I ended up with six full jars of the stuff. My mum took one and we eagerly opened the second, pleased that it did not run all over the place (if anything it is a little thick!) and that it tastes just as it is supposed to.
I do feel a bit like a grandma now that I make my own preserves...next I will be potting meat and pickling my vegies...oh wait, too late...