It’s become something of a tradition that we begin making marmalade between Christmas and 31st December. Whether it is the uplifting citrus aroma that fills the kitchen or simply the thought of serving a jar of this season’s preserve marking the beginning of a new year, I am not sure. But one thing is for certain, it is a ritual that we are all the more appreciative of this year.
It has been suggested that I am slightly obsessed with Seville oranges. As I am not content until the pantry is fully replenished and love nothing more than spending the dark January days beside the warmth of the AGA. Totally content with the methodical tasks of squeezing juice and finely chopping zesty peel. For many of us, nothing beats hot toasted sourdough dripping with butter and topped with a generous spoonful of homemade marmalade. Or perhaps you prefer the classic combination of single origin chocolate with natural orange?
Over the years we have never grown tired of these seasonal, bitter oranges and make use of this store cupboard essential in so many ways…
- Combine with a large tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Glaze a gammon ham, pork chop or chicken drumstick traybake
- Add a generous dollop to your favourite Gingerbread cake recipe for added bite
- Make a custard tart but before you add the filling, spread a couple of tablespoons across the pastry base and add sweet orange zest to the eggs
- Warm a tablespoon of marmalade and add a little brandy and add to your pancakes
- Halve and squeeze the fruit reserving the juice, remove pith and reserve for your next batch of marmalade, finely chop the peel, add to a sterilised Kilner jar with the reserved juice, a generous addition of granulated sugar, crushed juniper and gin to make a Seville orange liqueur
- Preserve Seville oranges instead of lemons and add to your favourite tagine
- Bake a marmalade cake by adding two or three tablespoons to a creamed Madeira cake batter
- Omit treacle for your steamed sponge and replace with marmalade
- Don’t forget to save a jar or two for next Christmas. We add ours to homemade mincemeat instead of candied peel, the Christmas pudding and to glaze ‘pigs in blankets’