Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Sunday afternoon arrived, and it was now time to make my marmalade. The ingredients were all laid out and a new preserving pan, kilner jars and all the other bits and pieces needed to make the jam had been newly purchased. I am still not reunited with my kitchen equipment, it is now somewhere on the Atlantic ocean! My 6 jars of SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE was going to be a very expensive product costing approx £74. It was going to have to be a prize worthy batch.

I set to work squeezing, removing pith and chopping. The pot was simmering away nicely. My pips and pith were nestled in the muslin bag I had lovingly tied. In two hours I would add the sugar. The time passed and I stirred in the sugar and turned down the heat to let it dissolve slowly, lest it should burn. Sugar fully dissolved I turned the heat back up and knew that soon it would reach setting point. As I don't have a jam thermometer, I was relying on the "cold plate" method of testing setting point. After 15 minutes I eagerly checked it, not quite there, gave it another 5 minutes. Still not there so another 5 minutes. I was sure it would now be ready. No, another 5 minutes. This was puzzling me as I knew it shouldn't be taking this long. I went over all the stages in my head and knew I had done everything correctly. So I gave it another 5 minutes and then poured it into my 6 jars, except there was only enough for 3 jars. This was turning out to be mega expensive.

Now I couldn't wait to spread some on to a nice piece of buttered toast.

Fast forward. Toast ready. I eagerly unscrew the lid and slide in the spoon. Well when I say slid what I meant to say is when I hit a solid mass in the jar! Yes the setting point had come and gone and I was left with jars filled with a gooey, sticky toffee like mass. What a disappointment. I coaxed, persuaded and cajoled the mass to leave the jar. Not an easy task. Perhaps, I told myself, that once it was out it would taste fine. Who was I kidding. Didn't matter how good it tasted it was a useless mass of goo.

What to do but laugh, beats crying. I should have trusted my instinct and not my "cold plate" test. I'm not beaten. I'll try again, maybe not soon. I'm beaten now by the Seville Orange Season, it is now over, so next year.

Thought you might like a look at the finished result. I did manage to dig some of it out. For now the jars sit on the kitchen counter, they look okay, and are a reminder to me to never become complacent in the kitchen.

Yes the spoon could stand in the marmalade!
And in case you are wondering I won't be submitting it for any awards!!!

1 comment:

Coby said...

Jacqui, thank you for sharing your day's effort in the kitchen. Preserves are not something I have any skill with really. Can do anything with the marmalade? Melt it to top ice cream or something?