Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nigel Slater: Vanilla Bean Seville Orange Marmalade

I can't believe it.  I actually found and acquired the incredibly elusive Seville orange.  They're like phantoms in the night.  Or maybe Crosse & Blackwell is absorbing the entire world supply or something.  I hurried home with my "orange gold", and quickly...  Okay, quickly is probably not the best word here.  Over two days, I managed to coax those oranges into something incredibly delicious.  And the fact that I now have multiple jars of marmalade at my disposal makes me a little giddy.

Vanilla Bean Seville Orange Marmalade
Adapted from Nigel Slater, as seen in The Guardian

6 Seville oranges
1 lemon
3½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Using a small, particularly sharp kitchen knife, score four lines down each fruit from top to bottom, as if you were cutting the fruit into quarters. Let the knife cut through the peel but without piercing the fruit. Cut each quarter of peel into fine shreds (or thicker slices if you like a chunkier texture). Squeeze each of the peeled oranges and lemons into a jug, removing and reserving all the pulp and pips.

Make the juice up to 8½ cups with cold water, pouring it into the bowl with the shredded peel. You may need more than one bowl here. Tie the reserved pith, squeezed-out orange and lemon pulp and the pips in muslin bag and push into the peel and juice. Set aside in a cold place and leave overnight.

The next day, tip the juice and shredded peel into a large stainless steel or enameled pan and push the muslin bag down under the juice. Bring to the boil then lower the heat so that the liquid continues to simmer merrily. It is ready when the peel is totally soft and translucent. This can take anything from 40 minutes to a good hour-and-a-half, depending purely on how thick you have cut your peel.

Once the fruit is ready, lift out the muslin bag and leave it in a bowl until it is cool enough to handle. Add the sugar to the peel and juice and turn up the heat, bringing the marmalade to a rolling boil. Squeeze every last bit of juice from the reserved muslin bag into the pan. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface. (If you don't your preserve will be cloudy.) Leave at a fast boil for 15 minutes. Remove a tablespoon of the preserve, put it on a plate, and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. If a thick skin forms on the surface of the refrigerated marmalade, then it is ready and you can switch the pan off. If the tester is still liquid, then let the marmalade boil for longer. Test every 10 to 15 minutes. Some mixtures can take up to 50 minutes to reach setting consistency.  When the mixture is ready, remove from the heat and add the vanilla bean paste.

If canning, ladle the hot marmalade into sterilized jars, one at a time, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe any marmalade from the rims of the jars. Center lids on jars. Twist on the bands until fingertip tight. Place filled jars in the canning rack inside the canner, ensuring jars are covered by 1-2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil. Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars from water and cool. Check lids for seal after 12 to 24 hours.

Makes 4 half pint jars

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