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Root out those jars, it's marmalade time

Grab some Sevilles and get a fresh batch of your favourite preserve on the go, says Clare Latimer

OUR shop is buzzing with the marmalade word at the moment.
Either people are coming in to ask whether we have made our new batch of marmalade, (one client even comes from France to collect his store for the year) or they are asking for old jam jars so that they can start making their own.
Quite a few have asked for a good safe recipe as they struggle past with bags of fresh Seville oranges, so here we go.

When you have made your marmalade there are plenty of things to do with it rather than just eating it for breakfast.
At my boarding school, which had the most terrible food, my only gourmet joy of the week was to make up a hot bacon sandwich (The bread was still disgusting!) and spread it with marmalade. This was delicious. You can also spread it on the skin when roasting a joint of lamb or cook banana flambé and add some marmalade into the juices.
As it was originally a Scottish recipe, I often add a wee dram of whisky to the finished product just before pouring it into the jars.
Also you can vary the fruit, mixing grapefruit, lime, lemon or even tangerines but perhaps if you have not made it before, start with just Seville oranges.
We always freeze the oranges before cooking them and this softens the skin and reduces the pith and then you can leave half in the freezer and make another batch in the summer.

Four pounds of Seville oranges.
One lemon.
Three-and-a-half pints water.
Six pounds of granulated or preserving sugar, warmed.

Wash the fruit thoroughly, and put whole into a large pan with the water.
Bring to the boil and then simmer over a low heat for one-and-a-half hours or until fruit is very soft. Lift the fruit out of the liquid and leave till cool enough to handle.
Strain the liquid and make up to three-and-a-half pints again. Cut each fruit in half and scoop out the juicy middles of each half with the pips and put into a muslin bag.
Cut the skin into strips to the thickness that you like and return to the pan with the tied muslin bag.
Return the pan to the heat, add the sugar and stir well to prevent it sticking and bring back to the boil. Boil rapidly until it darkens slightly in colour and reaches setting point.
This is 105°C/220°F if using a thermometer or you can put a drop on a saucer and if a wrinkled skin appears after a few minutes it is ready.
Remove from the heat, remove the muslin bag and then leave to cool for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
This will prevent the rind coming to the top of the jars. Using a good jug pour into warmed dry jars and cover with discs of greaseproof paper.
Seal the jars when cool, label and then store in a cool, dry place.

Bacon Sandwich
Choose the bread you like best and this makes a real quickie for breakfast.

Two slices of bread.
Two rashers of back bacon.
Butter to spread.
Marmalade to spread.

Pop the slices of bread into the toaster. Fry the bacon in a frying pan until crispy.
Spread a little butter on the slices of toast. Top one with the bacon rashers. Spread the other piece with some marmalade and then sandwich together and get stuck in!

Clare’s Kitchen
41 Chalcot Road
Primrose Hill, NW1
Tel: 020 7586 8433
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