Our friend, Eileen Dight, sent us this lovely information about making marmalade. Eileen is from England, but she has been living in the States for a few years now. She is a marvelous cook and talks about marmalade frequently. The best oranges, she says, are the bitter ones from Spain.
All About Marmalade
A good alternative to Seville oranges (bitter cooking oranges and some say, the best for making marmalade) is fresh lemons. Buy them when they are plentiful, cheap and juicy. They have a fresh, clean taste that will convert you.
Your house will be redolent with the fragrance of lemons cooking. When you make marmalade, always leave the lid off the pot because the water has to evaporate and reduce by about 1/3.
1.5 lb lemons
3 pints of water
3 lb sugar
Wash the fruit. Pare off the rind thinly and cut into shreds. Remove the white pith (white spongy part) from the fruit and cut the pulp into small pieces, removing the pips (seeds). Add water. Tie pith and pips in a piece of muslin and put in a bowl to soak in the water overnight.
Next day, boil gently in a pan until the rind is tender, then remove the bag of pips, squeezing out the juice. Add the sugar, stir until dissolved, then boil rapidly until setting point is reached (about 20 minutes). (Cool a dab on a plate and wait a minute. If your finger makes a wrinkle when you push it, marmalade is set.)
Pour while still warm into clean, warm jars that you’ve sterilized int the oven, or that are still hot from the dishwasher. Cover marmalade with a disk of grease-proof paper, then cover jar with cling film, and screw on the lid. Label and store in the cupboard for your delight.
Rinse and boil the muslin after use; dry and store in tea towels drawer to use again.
Grapefruit and crystallized Ginger
Three Fruit (grapefruit, lemons, sweet orange)
January is the best month for citrus fruit.
The pressure cooker is a great help in cutting down the work, but the ingredients change slightly:
1.5 lb Seville oranges
1.5 pints water
3 lbs sugar
Wash the fruit, place it whole in a pressure cooker (without rack); add the water and put on the lid, keeping the vent open. Heat gently and as soon as steam is given off, close the vent and bring to 15-lb pressure. Keep at 15-lb pressure for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool in the air for 10 minutes. Remove the lid; take out the fruit and cut up the hot fruit with a knife and fork. Remove the pips, which should be put back into the pan and reboiled for 5 minutes. Strain off the pips, add the sliced fruit and sugar to the liquid and boil uncovered until the set point is reached.