Marmalade has been used as a bread spread for hundreds of years. Initially, it was made from quince, a bright yellow fruit related to pears and apple. Though the English took the recipe from the French, the term "marmalade" was borrowed from the Portuguese term "Marmelo". The Portuguese used the term "Marmelo" for quince jam. You could say, marmalade is a preserve that includes the rind of a citrus fruit.
There are many myths about orange marmalade. The Scots claim that they first made orange Seville marmalade. Seville oranges are inedible because they are very bitter. In 1797, a cargo ship carrying oranges took refuge in Dundee harbor. The captain was eager to sell his perishable cargo. James Keiller, a grocer, purchased the entire cargo at a knockdown price. He forgot to check the quality or the variety of the oranges. He discovered the taste of oranges after reaching home. It was his wife who along with her friends made the inedible Seville oranges to edible orange marmalade. Today, it is one of the most favored bread spreads around the world. Marmalade is a source of vitamin C when fresh citrus fruits are unavailable.
Recipe for Orange Marmalade
Orange marmalade recipe can be made from oranges other than the Seville variety also.
12 Oranges (approximately 3 pounds)4 Cups of water
1 + 1 Meyer lemon and regular lemon
5 Cups granulated sugar
- Wash the oranges once or twice and dry them with a kitchen towel. Avoid using damaged or rotten oranges. Cut the oranges into equal halves, and using a juice-maker, squeeze out the juice. You get approximately 2 cups of orange juice from 12 oranges.
- Keep aside the seeds and the orange membranes to make pectin. Using a spoon, remove the pulp from each juiced orange. Using a sharp knife, julienne the orange peel. You would get approximately 4 cups of peel.
- Squeeze out the juice from the regular lemon and add it to the orange juice. Cut the Meyer lemons lengthwise and remove the seeds and the inner membrane. Now cut the regular lemon into small triangular pieces.
- In a muslin jelly bag, put the seeds of oranges and lemons along with their membrane and tie it tightly.
- In a thick-bottomed vessel/pan, pour the combination of lemon and orange juice. Add water and pieces of Meyer lemon and oranges. Now slowly drop the muslin jelly bag into the pan and allow it to boil for ½ an hour. Remove the muslin bag and allow it to cool.
- You would have approximately 4 to 5 cups of juice. To this, add 4 cups of sugar, mix well, and reduce the flame. By now, the muslin bag would have cooled down. Squeeze out the juice from it. This is known as pectin. Add this to the orange mixture.
- Bring the flame of the orange mixture to medium and slowly increase to boiling consistency. Let it boil for 30 to 45 minutes. Now you would get the consistency of a jelly.
- Fill a clean glass with water and drop a spoon of marmalade into it. if it does not dissolve in the water, it means the marmalade is ready. You could use a candy thermometer also.
- Cool it well before canning.
Voila! You are done. You can relish your orange marmalade with flat bread or just slather it on home-baked tart shells, heaven!