Saturday 13th May 2006
One step forward two steps back – well that is what it feels like today.
So after not been able to do anything this morning apart from being chauffeured up the allotment so see to my girlies and to collect the first egg of the day (they have been laying after lunch these days), I came home determined to do something.
So I made some marmalade. You’ll remember I froze two bags and kept one in the fridge.
It was not to a definite recipe, but rather an improvisation but it has turned out well.
So here is what I used.
2lbs of mixed fruit – a grapefruit, tangerines and an orange.
4 pints of water
4lbs of sugar
This is how I made it.
I used the grater on my food mixer to mince up the 2lbs of mixed fruit.
(My grater is like a little revolving barrel and have a feeder tube above it).
I cut the fruit into sizes that would go through the tube – but removed any pips I could find first – any others got minced up! (But you can prepare it the usual way.)
This is what it looked like grated and in the bag.
If I had had a bit more energy I would have saved all the pips and put them in a clean hanky or a bit of muslin (if you have any) to tie up and put in when you are cooking it all.
I soaked the grated fruit mix in the water for 24 hours.
Then today I added the juice of the 2 lemons and added the washed lemon skins (not chopped up) just to add a bit more pectin to the mix.
I then let the whole lot gently come to the boil – about half an hour. (Whilst we were out seeing to the chickens).
On my return I simmered it for about 1 ½ hours until the mixture had reduced by about a half, then I removed the lemon skins and boiled it rapidly for half an hour.
I then tested it by taking a teaspoonful and putting it on a cold saucer (that had been in the freezer for little while). The surface of the liquid did not wrinkle when it had cooled so I left it boiling for another 15 minutes and tried again – and this time it did.
I have now bottled it in sterilised jars. It makes 6 pounds in total.
It tastes lovely and fruity and not too sweet as can sometimes happen when you use sweet oranges and tangerines. I didn’t add whisky to this as I wanted a nice fresh tangy marmalade.
It actually does not look so dark in 'real life' but a lovely rich warm colour.
I just have to add all the labels and fancy covers, and then store them somewhere dark and cool and try not to give all these away as I have done with the whisky jars.
That’s the trouble with me – I make presents for Christmas well in advance and end up giving them all away beforehand.
I have been typing this up whilst the cup final is on to shrieks, yells, oohs, and ahhs - and it is not quite finished yet.
Three goals all - fingers crossed for West Ham or there will be a very disappointed sitting not too far away from me!
Off to straighten the wonkey label on that jar of marmalade!