Life (and marmalade) on the bitter side

As I may have mentioned once or twice before, there’s a short season for bitter Seville oranges in Toronto, which means grabbing when you see them and fitting the jamming session in around the fruit. So this weekend was time for the first experiment, with two glorious batches of bitingly tart marmalade for round-the-year enjoyment. We followed the recipe that’s mostly worked before, boiling the fruit in water, removing the pith and the pits, chopping the peel relatively finely, and then boiling the resulting goop up with sugar until it almost sets. Unusually for me, I did not cut the sugar this time — I admit last year’s marmalade was a little too tart, even for me, and a few extra sugar calories won’t do any harm. It’s runny again, just like it was last year, but I’m still hoping it will firm up a little over the course of the next few days.

Here’s the simmer…

The prep…

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The boil…

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The bottle…

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And the collection.

IMG_0714We ended up with 10 jars of regular Seville marmalade, with a couple of blood oranges to give it a richer color, and 11 of a slightly caramelly whisky/brown sugar concoction, which are the ones lurking on the left of the picture, plus a jar of mixed marmalade that wouldn’t fit into the regular batch. I had a spoonful of that in my morning oatmeal, for a wake-up bite.

We finished just in time to watch part 3 of the current season of Downton Abbey, which is lurching fast from period piece to soap opera.

Successful day.

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