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Easy Organic Marmalade Recipe

seville-orange-marmalade-recipe1

There are a few things in life I don’t bother with.  Organic oranges are one of them.  I may be wrong, but my thinking is that the peel is probably too thick for pesticides to get through.  My one exception with oranges is when I’m cooking or baking with them and the recipe calls for the zest or peel of an orange. Then I’ll splash out on fancy organic oranges.

The other month I really fancied some marmalade and looked for some in the shops – the cheapest I could find for a jar of organic marmalade was £3, which felt a bit extravagant for me.  As we weren’t too far off of marmalade season I thought I would bide my time and make my own organic marmalade to make my money go further.  And here we are – marmalade season!  I picked up some organic oranges and managed to make 9 jars of organic marmalade for £8 – that’s less than 89p a jar!  Take that fancy shop bought marmalade!

I thought I’d share my organic marmalade recipe with you.  It’s loosely adapted from this BBC Good Food recipe and I’ve found this to be the easiest way of making marmalade – there is to peeling, adding things to muslin bags, or fretting with a knife whilst trying to remove pith from peel.  It is rather time consuming though – it did take 3 hours – but it is a great way to while away a wet Saturday in winter.  Plus you’ll have enough jars of amber goodness to keep you smiling of a morning for quite some time to come, which makes it all the worth while.

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Organic Marmalade Recipe

Easy Organic Marmalade Recipe

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Serves 8 - 10 jars

Easy Organic Marmalade Recipe

This organic marmalade recipe has a bright and zingy taste to it, that will really help wake you up in the morning!

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of organic seville oranges
  • 2kg of granulated sugar (if you want organic sugar then I'd recommend Billington's)
  • The juice of one and a half lemons (they don't have to be organic)
  • A large heavy bottomed pan (cast iron or a preserve pan)
  • Several jars and lids (roughly 8-10 jars)

Instructions

  1. Wash your oranges, then place them whole in a large pan alongside 4 pints of water and the lemon juice.
  2. Making sure the oranges are fully submerged (I used a pyrex casserole dish lid to weigh them down – see above!), bring it all to the boil then simmer for 2 hours, until the peel is soft and easily pierced with a fork. I found a lot of water boiled off at this stage so I kept topping it up to keep a consistent level of water.
  3. After two hours, carefully remove your oranges from the water (I used a spaghetti spoon) then leave to cool. Do not discard the water. At this point also set your oven to 170°C.
  4. Once the oranges are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and using a spoon scoop out as much of the pith and stones from each of the orange halves as you can. As it’s boiled for so long it should scoop out really easily. Place the pith and stones in a bowl and keep to the side.
  5. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors cut all of the orange skins into very fine strips. You’ll find this to be really quick and easy as the skin is so soft and thin.
  6. At this point you'll also want to sterilise your jars and lids (see this handy guide on how to sterilise jarst.
  7. After you've sterilised your jars put all of the pith and stones in to the liquid, and boil for six minutes.
  8. Then sieve the liquid into a bowl using a fine sieve. Using a spoon press down on the pith so that as much liquid is squeezed out as possible into the bowl, then discard the pith, and return the liquid to the pan.
  9. Add the sugar to the liquid, and stir over a low heat until it’s all dissolved – this can take up to ten minutes. Once dissolved add your orange peel, stir well and bring to the boil.
  10. Let it boil (a rolling boil with lots of bubbles) for 15 minutes. I found I had to stir my mixture to stop the orange peel from burning to the bottom of the pan – the mixture will spit at you when you do this so do take extreme care and stand as well back as you can!
  11. Once 15 minutes is up, remove the pot from the heat and test to see if the marmalade has set. To do this, place a teaspoon of marmalade on a plate, and then place it in the fridge for a minute or two. If the marmalade is still runny after being in the fridge then return the pot to the heat and boil for another ten minutes, and repeat the test. Keep doing this – boiling for ten minutes then removing from the heat and testing – until it sets on the plate.
  12. Once set you may need to skim any scum from the surface using a spoon. Leave your marmalade to settle for 20 minutes (not on the heat). Then remove your jars from the oven and whilst the marmalade is still warm spoon it into the warm jars. This is messy business and the marmalade and jars can be very hot so do take care. Then before sealing with the sterilised lids be sure to clean the rims of the jars with a clean cloth.
  13. Stand back and admire your handiwork before enjoying a well deserved slice of marmalade on toast!
http://moralfibres.co.uk/the-easiest-and-best-marmalade-recipe-ever/

best-way-to-make-marmalade-recipe

I hope you enjoy this organic marmalade recipe!  What’s your favourite preserve?  Also, do you normally bother buying organic skinned fruit?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

environmental books for kids

Environmental Books for Kids Review

The kind people at Floris Books recently sent me two environmental books for kids to review: How Does My Garden Grow, by Gerda Muller, and The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream by Brenda Tyler.

My daughter is only two so is a bit below the recommended age for these books (3+) but we’ve had some good fun reading them nonetheless.

environmental books for pre-schoolers

How Does My Garden Grow is her favourite of the two environmental books for kids, and mine too actually.  It’s all about a little girl from the city called Sophie, who goes to stay in the countryside with her grandparents for the summer.  At her grandparents she prepares a plot and plants some seeds, helping them to grow, and learning all about gardening as she goes.  There’s a lot to this book, covering all the different aspects of preparing soil, planting, growing and harvesting, and I think three to seven year olds would get a lot out of this book.  It’s a great way to introduce the idea of gardening and where our vegetables come from, and even features an introduction to composting.

The message isn’t entirely lost on my daughter – she has fun pointing out all of the different vegetables, and I’m sure it’s going to be a favourite as she grows older.  I also love the retro style illustrations:

gardening books for kids

gardening books for preschoolers

The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream introduces children to the idea of environmentalism.  It tells the story of Emily and Jamie: two children who visit their favourite otter-filled stream to find it polluted, full of rubbish and devoid of wildlife, including their beloved otters.  The Tomtes (little gnomes/elves) appear, helping Emily and Jamie to clean up the river and restore the habitat, and even touches very briefly on the concept of activism!

tomtes of hilltop stream review

The message is great (although my bug bear is there’s no real message of how the rubbish got there) and it would probably be a handy book for teachers to introduce ideas of environmentalism as part of wider readings and activities.  As a fun book for kids to read at home though then I’m not so sure.  It might be hard to involve children in the story as it is very linear – all that happens is that they quickly and easily clean up the river; and there is little in terms of the characters or the plot to hold their attention.  It does provide plenty of talking points to expand on the environmental ideas discussed in the book though, so you can go into as much or as little detail as you like, making it good for kids up to around age 6.

eco-friendly books for kids

tomtes book brenda tyler

What are your favourite environmental books for kids?

Floris Books kindly sent me two books to review – all views, words and images are my own.  See my disclosure policy for more information.