Made in Petworth
Today is publication day of The Little Book of Marmalade's paperback! The hardback came out in 2020, published by HQ at Harper Collins. Now it's available in paperback so make sure you add it to your Christmas shopping list.
For those of you beginning to make marmalade, don't despair if it doesn't set straight away. It can be infuriating - partly why it I find it interesting to make. Recently I made a mixed-fruit marmalade that looked a bit runny for five whole days; I almost threw it out but by day 5 it was perfectly set. That said, there are things that will contribute to a disappointing set: not enough lemon juice, cutting off too much pith from your fruit rinds or not extracting all the pectin-loaded juice from the muslin bag of pips. You can even squeeze the bag with your hands, though there is a suggestion that it makes the finished product cloudy.
People sometimes ask if I have made sugar-free marmalade; well yes (with honey) but it's more of a compote, not a set preserve. And whilst it's perfectly possible to reduce the sugar and still get an excellent set, there's no doubt that sugar adds not just sweetness but enhanced flavour, so it's a fine line and worth experimenting until you find the perfect compromise. I find that the ratio of 4:3 pulp:sugar works well.
For the avoidance of confusion, when I write about the pulp: sugar ratio - by 'pulp' i am referring to the cooked peel/water mixture, NOT the contents of the muslin bag! And make sure to remove the muslin bag before measuring the pulp.
I currently make four flavours (and Strawberry Jam in season), and they sell at Sky Park Farm shop in Rogate, Elliotts' Coffee Shop in Chiddingfold, Chalk Restaurant at Wiston and in the Fittleworth Community Shop. I'm currently making delicious fragrant Quince & Peppercorn jelly which goes with pretty much anything from toast to cheese to game.
I freeze Seville Oranges when they are in the shops from November - February and make marmalade throughout the year. If you decide to do this, it's important to add some fresh fruit - a couple of lemons, limes or grapefruit, or fresh oranges, to top up the pectin which is very slightly reduced by freezing.
Dark Orange, which is a chunky mixture of Seville oranges, other citrus fruits and a touch of molasses for a mature, traditional flavour.
Orange & Ginger is made with Seville oranges and chopped fresh ginger for an aromatic flavour which has heat and a bit of a kick.
Pink Grapefruit is a combination of grapefruit and Seville oranges for a great flavour and lovely pink colour.
Seville Orange is a lighter more finely-chopped marmalade, made with Seville oranges and lemons only.
£4.50 per 225g jar + p&p
( up to 3 jars: £3.50 Royal Mail 2nd class; £5.90 1st Class)