We finally made our own Seville orange marmalade this year, using a trusted family recipe, written out years ago by someone who assumed that whoever would use the recipe had made jam before.... Our first try at making marmalade took 3 days instead of 2. We had to process it twice. Why?? Please scroll down.
This disaster occurred as we were transferring the just processed jars from the counter to a safe spot under the cookbook shelf. Even though there is just one jar in the following photo, in truth, ALL the jars fell. Amazingly, the other jars' seals stayed intact and the contents remained inside the jars! Even though none of the jars broke, it became clear that the marmalade would not set.
Here is how things looked after day 2. We were so afraid of overboiling and producing marmalade that would "set like concrete" that we succeeded in making orange syrup. Granted, this is not the best photo, but one can just make out that the peel is floating at the top of lying on the bottom of each jar.
The next day, we emptied the contents of the jars into a pot, reboiled until the temperature reached 221F, re-processed and at last have marmalade. See how beautifully dispersed the peel is now! Instead of producing seven 250ml jars of marmalade, we now have four jars... it WOULD have been five jars if someone (who shall remain nameless but whose name begins with E) hadn't thrown all the unfinished marmalade jars on the floor the day before.
We were very surprised to see how anaemic the blood oranges were. We expected them to be almost purple. But no. It turns out that these blood oranges from Italy (they're called "Tarocco" oranges) rarely show much more colour than an ordinary orange. But they are very sweet....
We divided the oranges in two and made one batch of marmalade following Mrs. W's recipe and the other batch following a Bon Appetit recipe that includes black pepper. The Bon Appetit recipe calls for the actual fruit to be included. The oranges are cut like grapefruit to release just the flesh and discard the white pith and membranes. This particular marmalade is designed to be eaten with creamy goat's cheese on toast.
Six oranges produced only about 500 ml of marmalade. I think I overcooked the Bon Appetit marmalade. It is basically orange peel stuck together with sugary glue.
The traditional marmalade is slightly floral and considerably sweeter than the Seville Orange marmalade.