Monday, September 23, 2013

Dundee Marmalade

The difference between this excellent recipe and the also-excellent marmalade base in yesterday’s post is time - not only the length of time it takes to prepare this marmalade, but the time of year.

Both this recipe and the tinned marmalade base I posted yesterday use Seville oranges. While you can make the marmalade base whenever you like, year-round, the fresh Seville oranges used in many marmalade recipes are available for only a short time, from December until February. In December, you’ll probably be so wildly busy that you’d happily strangle anyone who suggests you make marmalade, unless it’s for gift-giving. 

So that leaves plenty of time to be creative in the kitchen in the Northern Hemisphere’s blah months of January and February. By March, you’d better have your marmalade in the larder, or you’ll be out of luck until next year.

Please take the single minute it requires to read the brief, beautiful, lyrical editorial about Seville oranges - the plain janes of the citrus world - in last January’s Guardian newspaper. Jump to to enjoy this quick literary feast.

You can make marmalade with grapefruit, lemons, and even with tomatoes (indeed, you’ll find a beautiful recipe for Tomato Marmalade in tomorrow’s post), but oranges will always be marmalade’s heart and soul. So here’s a made-from-scratch marmalade my friend Sheila Cookson gave me more than 30 years ago. It’s outstanding. Although you won’t be able to make this marmalade until the colder months when Seville oranges make their brief appearance, this early recipe should whet your appetite!

Dundee Marmalade:  

2 lb. (1 kg) Seville oranges
2 lemons
8 c. water
8 c. granulated sugar 

Rinse oranges and lemons. Place whole fruits in deep, heavy-based saucepan. Add water, covering and bringing just to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 1-½ hr., or until a sharp knife will easily pierce fruit. Remove fruit to rack or tray to cool. Do not drain watery juice in pot. Slice fruit and rind to desired thickness - I suggest about ⅓-in. - ensuring you trim the rind into edible-sized portions. Remove pips, adding them to watery juice in pot. Bring to low boil for 10 min. Strain pips from juice, discarding them but keeping juice. 

Add sliced fruit and attached or detached rind to juice. Bring to a boil and immediately add sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil rapidly without stirring for 30 min., or until a candy thermometer reads 220 deg. F. (105 deg. C). See Note

Well worth the effort: Dundee Marmalade

When the marmalade reaches its “set point” - when it jells - ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Immediately seal with paraffin wax. As I recently wrote, paraffin wax is highly flammable. Please read One Last Note, below. Makes about 4 lb. marmalade.

Note: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, use the “drop test” to check the marmalade’s “set point” (This is nothing like the “set point” in tennis, but is arguably just as much fun). Drop a small spoonful of jam, jelly, or marmalade onto a well-chilled plate. If the marmalade is sufficiently cooked, it should “wrinkle” when the plate is tilted.

Further Note: This marmalade contains no pectin. For more about high-acid pectin-free jams, catch the delightful read at  and its follow-up at 

One Last Note: Jams and jellies are tremendously easy to make - so I was surprised to read that the method for making them has changed. If you make jams, jellies, and preserves, the information and Q&A on this website (including the notes about paraffin wax seals!) are a must-read. See:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Want to find a long-lost favorite recipe? Want to submit one of yours, or simply leave a comment? Always happy to hear from you!