Here are my my favourite marmalade making tips to make sure your next batch of marmalade comes out absolutely perfect.
1. Start with the right fruit
Marmalade is made using citrus fruits, traditionally these are Seville Oranges. The only problem is that Seville Oranges are in season only in January/February and are not always sold in all supermarkets. If you do find them in your local supermarket, buy few extra kilos and freeze them as you can always use them later on in the year.
Saying that, you can use any other type of citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, grapefruits, sweet oranges (normal oranges), blood oranges, tangerines, satsumas. You can make your marmalade with just one fruit or you can mix them together in any proportions you like. Lemons and limes are going to be more bitter than tangerines and sweet oranges, but that's just makes marmalade making more fun.
As you are going to use the citrus peel from your fruit, choose organic, unwaxed and untreated fruit if you can.
2. Have the right equipment
If you are going to make marmalade once a year, you can probably get away with using a large stock pot or saucepan, but if you are thinking of marmalade or jam making in a more serious way, a proper marmalade pan is a must.
thermometer is also important to take the guesswork out of working out when the marmalade is set. This is about 105-110 C.
3 Always test your marmalade
The thermometer will tell you when you reach the setting point for your marmalade (about 110C), but that doesn't mean that the marmalade will set properly. Depending on the volume of your marmalade liquid and the amount of pectin, the marmalade might be ready when it reaches 110C, but it might also not be!
That's why I always do the 'wrinkle test'. Before you begin your marmalade making place 2-3 small plates in the fridge. When your marmalade has reached the setting point temperature, turn off the heat and add a little of the marmalade to the cold plate. Place it back to the fridge and if in 5 minutes the mixture is set, the whole marmalade is ready to be potted. You know when it's set when you run a finger over the surface and you get a few wrinkles as you push the marmalade.
If the marmalade is not wrinkling and it looks a bit watery or runny, just turn the heat back on and boil for another 5 minutes. Test again and see...
4 Get the perfect finish
To get the perfect finish on your marmalade and not to get all your peel sinking to the bottom of the jar, wait about 5 minutes before you pot your marmalade. The marmalade thickens a little and will be able to hold the peel suspended in the jar, rather than letting it to gather at the bottom.