January - Making Marmalade January 22 2016

Hello, it’s Gabriella here from Mangia Bene blog. I’m looking after things at What You Sow HQ for the next few weeks whilst Lyndsey is away on her travels. I’ll be posting some food related garden posts so stay tuned… This week it’s marmalade.


January might seem a bit gloomy to some (including me!), but after attending The Garden House marmalade making session it didn’t seem that bad after all. Whilst preparing the oranges we spoke about what January meant to us. It made me think about my family in Italy. It’s at this time of year they start pressing the olives to make their own olive oil. I haven’t managed to make it over to Puglia in January yet, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. We also spoke about New Years resolutions, which made me think that, that should be mine - go to Puglia in January and to make some olive oil. It’s now written down on my list. My favourite January antidote of the evening was about gaining more light each day. From here on in each day we gain two whole more minutes of light. Yay, that made me so happy! Spring is upon us (well, nearly).

Anyway January is nearly over now and that means the short, but very much loved season of the bitter Seville oranges is nearly over too. These oranges are shipped over in their thousands from sunny Spain so us British can have our beloved ‘Marmalade on Toast’. It’s easier to make than you think and great for homemade gifts. These What You Sow labels are perfect to decorate your jars.

Having a sugar thermometer handy would be an extra help, the setting point you’re looking for is 105C. See below the recipe that we used on Tuesday evening. I’ve also got a marmalade recipe on my blog. Have fun preserving!

Garden House Seville Orange Marmalade

IngredientsMakes about 3.5kg

1.4kg   Seville Oranges

1tsp    Salt

2.7kg   Granulated Sugar

2          Lemons (juiced)





  1. Scrub the oranges and put them whole into a large preserving pan along with 2.4 litres of water and the salt. Cover with a lid and simmer the fruit gently until soft. This takes about 1 hour.
  2. Strain off and reserve the liquid. Half the fruit, scoop out the pith and pips with a spoon and put this into a small saucepan. Add another 300ml of water to the pan of pith and pips and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Coarsely slice the orange peel and add to the reserved liquid in the preserving pan. Strain the liquid from the pith and pips and add this liquid to the large pan. Add the lemon juice and sugar, and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar completely, stirring all the time. Increase the heat and bring to a rapid boil, until the setting point is reached. (if using a thermometer it should be at 105C, but still do the saucer test aswell)
  4. To test the setting point, put a saucer in the fridge to cool. When you think the marmalade might be ready, put a spoonful of the boiling jam onto the saucer. Return the saucer to the fridge. Once it’s cold the jam should wrinkle when you push it with your finger.
  5. After taking the marmalade off the heat, remove the scum from the surface with a spoon.
  6. Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes – or the fruit peel will all float to the top. Stir once and pour into warm sterilised dry jars. Put a greaseproof disc on the top of each jar and cover immediately.