A traditional Oxford Marmalade has a characteristic caramel colour, and a rich deep flavour, which is only obtained by cutting the fruit peel coarsely, and cooking it for several hours, before adding a naturally brown sugar, like demerara. To make an authentic recipe traditionalists agree that only bitter oranges, such as the Seville, should be used to make an Oxford marmalade.
Oxford Marmalade Recipe
Makes about 2.25 Kg of marmalade to pot.
Keep the pips from citrus fruit, as this adds the extra pectin needed for the marmalade to set. Put them in a tied muslin cloth bag, made from a small square of cloth, as this helps remove them. And stirring marmalade, after leaving it stand for a few minutes, and before potting, distributes the fruit rind evenly as the preserve begins to set.
- 900g Seville (Temple) oranges
- 1.75 litres water
- 600g demerara sugar (natural brown sugar) warmed
- 500g granulated white sugar (warmed)
Scrub the orange skins, then remove the rind using a vegetable peeler (speed peeler) in large pieces – leaving most of the white pith behind. Thickly slice the rind into strips and put them into a large pan.
Chop the orange flesh into rough chunks, reserving the pips (seeds), and add to the rind in the pan, along with the water. Tie the orange pips in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) for easy removal, and add to the pan. Bring up to the boil, then cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add more water during cooking to maintain the same volume. Remove the pan from the heat and leave overnight.
The next day remove the muslin bag from the oranges, squeezing well, and return the pan to the heat. Bring up to the boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour.
After an hour add the warmed sugar to the pan, then slowly bring the marmalade mixture up to the boil, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved completely. Turn up the heat and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes, or until setting point is reached (105°C/220°F).
Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any scum and impurities from the surface, with a slotted spoon. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes, stir, then pour into warmed sterilized jars and seal. When cold, label, then store in a cool, dark place.