Red, orange, yellow

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The beautiful thing about marmalade is that it’s not just oranges, although I admit Seville oranges are still my go-to classic.

But there were four Seville oranges left over from the marmalade making last week, Meyer lemons available in the stores and space in the pantry. Time to find the reddest blood oranges and mix them with the Sevilles, and then dabble around with internettery to find a one-day recipe for Meyer  marmalade. For the first time we didn’t skimp on the sugar and and I have to admit it worked better that way. I do like a bitter marmalade, but the last batch veered a notch too far in that direction, and the blood oranges added sweetness, as well as a glorious red.

Here, roughly speaking, is what we did.

Meyer lemon marmalade
(We based this on the recipe from Leite’s Culinaria but doubled the quantities and went for boil rather than a simmer. It was a little fiddly, with three different ways to prep the lemons, but it’s a good, firm set.)
14 Meyer lemons
4 generous cups sugar

First prep the lemons. Chop 8 in quarters, remove the seeds and save them in a cheesecloth bag, and slice your lemon quarters nice and fine, peel and all. Peel 4 lemons and cut out the segments, removing and saving the pits (and saving them) as you do so. Squeeze out as much juice as you can, and put the remaining membranes and the pits in that cheesecloth. Discard the peel. Juice the last two lemons and save those pits as well.

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Cover the sliced lemons with water and boil for 2-3 minutes to remove some of the bitterness. Drain, and save the liquid to jazz up a regular marmalade (see below).

Heat two cups of water  gently with all the lemon juice until the sugar dissoloves, and then add the sliced fruit and the lemon segments. Bring to a full boil and boil hard until it thickens — it took maybe 20 or 25 minutes. Bottle and waterbath.

Blood orange/Seville marmalade
4 Seville oranges
4 blood oranges
2 lemons
1.3 kg sugar

Wash the fruit and then simmer in 7 cups of water until it’s squidgy soft, chop in quarters, allow to cool a little and then scoop out the seeds and pith (which is what makes the marmalade set) and save that gunk in a cheesecloth bag.

Chop peel as finely as you like, and then add to the pot with the remaining water (make it up to five cups with extra water if you need to) and the sugar and then boil for 15 minutes or so until it sets. We used the leftover water from boiling the Meyer marmalade to top up our orange water, and that added another layer of taste.

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Bottle in sterilized jars. Waterbath for 10 minutes.

Pictured at the top of the page (from the left): whisky/Seville; blood orange/Seville; Seville; Meyer lemon.

Every shade of red, orange and yellow in a jar.

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