Monday, 17 December 2012

Quick and Easy, Food Processor Marmalade

jars of home made lemon marmalade
© 
I often make pickles and chutneys, but up until now I hadn't attempted home made marmalade, mainly  because I thought it would be a messy and time consuming process. However, I thought it would make a nice addition to the home made hamper gifts which I am planning to give to some of my close friends and family for Christmas, so I dusted off my mum's old recipe and had a go. 

Now, this recipe isn't a fancy one which requires you to slice the peel into slithers, so it doesn't look quite as pretty as some preserves. But it tastes great and that's the main thing! 
It's actually surprisingly easy to make, only takes about an hour and costs around £3.50 to fill 3 x 1lb/450g jars. Use smaller jars to make more presents!
  • 1lb/450g unwaxed lemons (or any combination of lemons, limes, Seville oranges or grapefruit)
  • 2lb/900g preserving sugar
  • 1½ pts/845ml/3½ cups boiled water
Wash the lemons. Cut in half and juice into a bowl. Strain the juice to remove the pips.
Cut the lemon skins in half again (picture 1).

Put the lemons, juice and ½ pint/275 ml/1cup of the water into your liquidiser jug/food processor and pulse to chop up the fruit. Do not purée until smooth - you want to be able to see small chunks of peel.
Pour into a large pan and add the remaining water. Simmer for around 45 minutes, or until the peel has softened and the liquid has reduced by about half (picture 2).
4 pictures showing the stages of making marmalade
Add the sugar and stir on a low heat until dissolved. Then bring to the boil and boil for 10-20 minutes or until setting point. You can check the setting point by putting a teaspoonful of the marmalade onto a cold plate. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles and looks a bit jellified, it's ready (picture 3)! 

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Stir and then pour (carefully!!) into sterilised* jam jars. I used a nifty jam funnel, which I recently bought from Lakeland, but you could use a sterilised jug instead (picture 4).

Add a wax disk to the top of each jar and then seal with the lids. Re-tighten the lids as the jars cool. Store unopened jars in a cool dark cupboard for upto a year.

Just in case you're worried that I might spend Christmas in jail after breaking the new EU jam jar law, here's the technical bit from food.gov.uk!
There have also been recent reports in the media claiming that the FSA / EU had banned the re-use of jam jars and that this would adversely impact on charities and voluntary events. This is incorrect. An individual can reuse jam jars for occasional events. In doing so, they obviously need to ensure proper sterilisation and good hygiene in preparation. 
*Sterilise jars by washing on a hot wash in the dishwasher, or by putting clean jars and lids in a cool (110C/Gas ½) oven for 5 minutes.

I have entered this post into this month's festive NCR (if I'm not too late!)
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