Saturday, 8 February 2014

Oranges and Lemons part One.

Winter time is the best time for oranges here in Spain.  Although lemons grow all year round they too taste their best when the weather is cold.  Our orange and lemon trees are just babies and so far we haven't had any fruit at all but luckily our friends and neighbours are always happy to offload some of theirs.

So... what to do with all this citrus fruit?

The first thing that comes to mind with oranges is marmalade of course.  However these are not Seville oranges, they are really a bit sweet for marmalade and so I intend to juice most of them.  We have fresh orange juice every day at breakfast and we will soon go through them.

 I juiced one bagful and froze the juice in 500ml bags.  I haven't made up my mind what to do with the second bag yet

The lemons... that's another story.  I made lemon marmalade.

First of all I peeled the lemons...

and then cut the peel into thin strips...

Then I put the peel strips into a muslin cloth and tied it up.

I chopped the lemons into bits and put them in a large bowl along with the muslin containing the peel and then filled it with water and left it overnight.

The next day I removed the bag of peel and put it to one side while I strained the juice from the pieces of lemon.

I measured how much juice I had and put it into the jam pan along with a pound of sugar (450g) for every pint (500ml approx) of juice.  I heated this up slowly stirring constantly until the sugar had dissolved and then I turned the heat up and popped a jam thermometer into the pan and then put the peel back in (minus the bag).

After vigorous boiling for about half an hour the jam reached the setting point on the thermometer and I took it off the heat.  I left it for about fifteen minutes while I sterilised the jars and this allowed the jam to cool enough to leave the peel suspended rather than floating to the top.

Once full the jars were left to cool down and then labelled and put away.  I got two 500g jars and a smaller jar suitable for a gift and a half filled jar which we shall use straight away.  So not a huge batch but at least there is no danger of our getting tired of marmalade!

In Part Two I shall be making preserved lemons - 2 recipes (one in salt the other in oil) and making real orange jelly!

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