Some might say “sad”, but marmalade is an exciting time of year for me as is the time of year when we see boxes of Seville Oranges outside of our greengrocer shops. The pan goes onto the hob and shredding begins. I love the splash of colour that Seville oranges bring to what is, lets face it, a dull month.
Stating the obvious, Seville oranges are grown in Seville and grown almost entirely for the UK market. Seville oranges are very much more bitter than most oranges but the Brits seem to have a bit of a taste for them, particularly when made into marmalade.
The History Bit:
Wikipedia entry states: The Scottish city of Dundee has a long association with marmalade. James Keiller and his wife Janet ran a small sweet and preserves shop in the Seagate area of Dundee. In 1797, they opened a factory to produce “Dundee Marmalade”, a preserve distinguished by thick chunks of bitter Seville orange rind. The business prospered and remains a signature marmalade producer today.
However, marmalade had been a thing for centuries before this and used ingredients like Quince. I’m not going to follow up on this. I am still sulking about the lack of quinces in the 2021 harvest as I had the grand total of 2, which were made into quince gin. Waste not want not.
My Auntie Betty (Payton) was, and still is the fountain of my knowledge. She was also a home economist and taught cookery to her students and me! No longer with us, she passed onto me, her cookery books to me which i cherish and I thought I would share with you some of her notes on marmalade & making marmalade.
Bitter oranges seem to be the favourite and not all of them come from Seville.
In season from January to March, it is better to get them early in the season, as the quality will deteriorate with keeping.
All citrus fruits re made up of layers:
- Outer layer or zest consisting of oil cells containing the flavour
- A white layer of pith, usually bitter but contains pectin (the setting agent)
- Fruit segments surrounded by skin and consisting of juicy cells containing acid, flavour, colour and pectin
- Pips which contain pectin.
All these are used in making marmalade, but may be excluded from the final marmalade.
Of course, marmalade can be made from all sorts of citrus fruits. We make at Myrtles, a “Lemon & Lime Marmalade” which is popular.
Fruits differ in the amount of acid that they contain, but all of them have plenty of pectin.
Bitter Oranges (37%)
Sweet Oranges (1.2%)
One for the Diary!
A massive celebration takes place once a year at the National Marmalade Awards, at Dalemain House in Cumbria. This is a huge thing in the World of Marmalade and they receive thousands of entries from all over the World. We are delighted that our Seville Orange Marmalade with Whisky, was awarded a Gold Medal at these prestigious awards and our Lime and Lemon Marmalade with awarded a silver medal. Not bad as we only produce two marmalades!
It’s not too late to enter this years competition. Find the details on how to enter The National Marmalade Awards 2022 on the Dalemain Manor website.
Both of our awarding marmalades are available to buy via the shop on the Myrtle’s Kitchen website. I also should add that our Orange Marmalade also received a Great Taste Award. Is that one step too far?
Myrtle’s would not be the same without a bit of playing and we have created some recipes using our Orange Marmalade.
We use another well loved ingredient, the sausage, the banger.
Save this one for the summer as well, as it is brilliant when using a BBQ to cook them.
Marmalade Glazed Sausages
6 x Good quality large sausages
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large tablespoon Myrtle’s Orange Marmalade
A pinch of Myrtle’s seasoning oregano
A knob of unsalted butter.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sausages and cook over a medium heat for about 25 minutes (depending upon the size of the sausages). They need to be brown on both sides and cooked through.
Remove the excess oil from the pan, return to the heat and stir in the marmalade, followed by the butter & seasoning. Turn the sausages until they are well coated with the marmalade
Plate up and spoon on the remaining glaze.
Buy the Myrtle’s oregano seasoning here.
Happy Marmalade making. Tag us with your marmalade photos!