Marmellata di arance

lunedì 8 febbraio 2016


Toast is not my thing. But I will eventually put marmalade on everything, my slice of pane abbrustolito (toasted bread), my beloved ciambelline al vino (wine doughnut), my morning ciambellone or I'll just grab a teaspoon and eat it straight from the jar.

This year our orange trees just gave so much and a part from making spremuta d'arancia (orange juice) every morning I had to put beauties to better use. So my days of marmellata began, on a cloudy day that turned out to be more than fine.
I used regular oranges with a thick skin because at the time I started making the marmalade I didn't know Seville oranges where growing in my garden, can you believe it?
A week later I made a batch with the Seville ones and believe me I can't choose which one I like the most: one (with regular oranges) has a rich texture and is a perfect balance between sweet and sour but the other one (with Seville oranges) has character, it hits you in the head with that peak of bitterness and brings back all memories related to oranges. We all have some.


Marmellata di arance

1,3 kg oranges with thick skin (or 2 kg of Seville oranges)
800 g white sugar (or 2,3 kg of unrefined golden granulated sugar)

The method is almost the same for both types of oranges but where different you'll find specified.

Embrace Nigel Slater's technique and start by vertically dividing each orange in quarters with a sharp knife. 
Roughly remove the white skin attached to every quarter (if using Seville oranges you will need to remove the white parts more carefully, the more the better). Cut each quarter in thin or thick stripes, depending on your taste. Place all the skins in a large nonstick pan and set aside.
Squeeze all the orange pulp with your hands and add juice to the pan. With regular oranges you will get a few seeds or none at all, if you get a few place them in a muslin bag, close it with a knot and place it in the pan. If you get none, forget about the muslin bag.
(If using Seville oranges you will get a large amount of seeds so you need to squeeze the pulp very carefully with your hands. I placed a colander on top of the pan so that it helped me collect all extra falling seeds. It's very important that you use your hands to squeeze the pulp because that's the only way to know where the seeds are hiding. Then collect all the seeds in the muslin bag, close it tightly and add to the rest of the fruit).  
Cut the remaining pulp and add to the pan. Add 2,5 litres of water and cover the pan loosely with cling film. Leave to rest overnight in a cold place.

The next day bring the pot to a boil and then lower the flame so that it simmers gently until all the peels become translucent. Mine took about 45 minutes to get to that point.
When you reach that point add the sugar and stir so that it dissolves. As soon as the muslin bag is cool enough to handle squeeze it and get out as much pectin as you can in the pot. Raise the heat and let cook, skimming the froth on the surface. Stir occasionally.
Place a plate in the freezer and once cold, drop a teaspoon of marmalade on it and then bend it. If the marmalade pours down slowly it means it's ready, if still too liquid leave to cook a bit longer.

To sterilize jars, heat the oven to 100° and place them inside without their lids. After 5 minuter turn off the oven and pop the lids inside.

Ladle marmalade in the jars, close them without putting too much pressure (you don't the glass to brake) and leave to cool upside down, overnight.   

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