February is the time of the year to make marmalade as the new season of citrus fruit is in the shops. As well as using the traditional Seville oranges, marmalade can be made with limes, grapefruit or lemons, or any combination of the above.
I was inspired to make this recipe because I still have a bag of limes in the freezer, left over from a cheap box full I got at a car boot sale last spring. You can easily freeze all citrus fruit and use them to make marmalade later in the year if you wish.
This recipe is adapted from the marvelously utilitarian Home Preservation of Fruit and Vegetables, which although it looks like someone knocked it up on a photocopier is actually a mine of useful recipes and information.
See here for the Lime and Orange Marmalade recipe.
£1.92 750 g limes (about 12)
£2 750g seville oranges (about 10)
£2.56 2.75 kg granulated sugar
3 litres water
about £1.44 per kg of marmalade (about 60% of the cost of similar at tesco )
The fruit is halved and after squeezing out the juice the pips and membranes removed, I find a sharp edged spoon useful for this. The limes are a lot tougher than the Seville oranges and consequently had quite a bit of membrane left attached.
I put all the juice and insides into a sieve over the preserving pan, so that they are easily separated.
Once drained the membrane, pith and pips are put in a muslin bag and added to the pan, along with the chopped peel.
Chopping the peel is actually quit a quick job, not half as time consuming as removing the insides. I've gone for a medium shread as I quite like a bit of bite on my toast.
The peel, juice and muslin bag are simmered for several hours (with the lid on) until the peel is soft.
After the muslin bag has done it's job helping to release all of the pectin contained in the membrane, pith and pips it is removed, I clip it to the handle with a clothes peg to allow it to cool before attempting to squeeze all the liquid out.
Sugar is added and mixed until dissolved, I always love the contrast of white sugar against the fruit.
The marmalade is then boiled until it reaches setting point, this took about 20 minutes, although will be different depending on how juicy your fruit was. With marmalade it helps to let it cool down slightly before potting into jars, this ensures the peel is evenly distributed and doesn't all sink to the bottom.
The small bubbles in this jar are probably due to it being a bit cool when poured.
The best thing about marmalade is you can eat it straight away, I'm enjoying the combination of different sized peel, the lime is a bit tougher than the orange which makes for a nice contrast.
1 hour preparing fruit
2 hours simmering
20 mins boiling
15 mins potting
I was concerned the taste of the limes would be lost, but they come through well giving this marmalade a fresher taste than if I'd just used Seville oranges.