Seville Orange and Rhubarb Marmalade

I don’t usually experiment much with making jams and preserves, preferring to follow tried and tested recipes.  But this came out fairly well, so I’ll share it here.

To prepare jars and lids:

  1. Wash the jars in hot soapy water – not too much soap.
  2. Rinse very well in hot water.
  3. Turn them upside down on a clean tea towel on a draining rack.
  4. Place on a metal baking tray, neck upwards and put in an oven at 120 C for 30 – 40 minutes. Apparently you can also prepare them in a dishwasher.
  5. Wash the lids as the jars.
  6. Place in a saucepan of hot water, bring up to the boil and then reduce to a low simmer and keep them there for half an hour. Leave in there till you need them, draining them and  shake the water off them.
  7. Scald any spoons, funnels, jugs, that you may be using with boiling water as well.

You will need

  • 500 grams of Seville Oranges
  • 250 grams of Yorkshire Pink Rhubarb
  • 1250 grams golden granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon (juice approx 50 ml)
  • 2 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger root (cut into small pieces)
  • enough water to cover the fruit while cooking it

Method and Results

  • I peeled the skin off the oranges using a potato peeler, getting long curls about 2 cms wide, which I then snipped up with scissors. There is very little pith on these shreds.  Another time I think I would like them a bit longer. I reserved them separately, covered in a little water.
  • I cut up the peeled oranges, and put all the pieces, pith, pips  and the ginger into a bowl, covered them with cold water and left them to soak overnight.
  • The lemon was squeezed and the juice reserved.
  • After soaking the fruit, it was brought to the boil in a pan of water and simmered together with the lemon juice.
  • The shreds were cooked in a separate pan as they were so small and they were added in to the pot after the fruit had been strained through the jelly bag.  Once the shreds were tender, easy to break and soft to bite, I poached the rhubarb in small chunks in water.
  • Once everything was cooked I set up a jelly dripping bag over a large bowl and put all the cooked fruits, orange and rhubarb in there and left it to drip over night.
  • The next day I put the liquid that had dripped through together with the  pre-cooked shreds into a preserving pan, added the golden granulated sugar and stirred gently until the sugar was completely dissolved at a medium heat.
  • The sugar dissolved, I put the sugar thermometer in the pan and brought the pan to a roiling boil. It takes a bit of time to do this. I try not to stir it while this is going on as the temperature drops if I do.
  • I put saucers in the freezer at this point. This helps with testing for the set of the preserve.
  • I am told that the setting point is reached at 104 C, but I find with my thermometer it is more like 106 C.
  • After 15 minutes of boiling, I start testing for set.  I turn the pan off while I am waiting to see if I have a set otherwise it can overcook.  You know you have set when the top of the blob you have put on your cold saucer looks like it has developed a skin, it wrinkles and you can see some coagulated areas appearing.This lot achieved a soft gel like set after about 22 minutes.
  • Turn the pan off and allow to cool down a little while you fetch out the jars from the oven and get set up to fill them up. We use a funnel because otherwise we get jam everywhere.
  • Fill the jars as close to the top as you can, leave a gap of about 2 mm. Put the lids on tightly. It’s worth checking the seals are tight when the marmalade is quite cool and before you put it away.

This preserve is not as thick in texture as a regular marmalade as there is virtually no pith in the final jam. It has a soft mouth feel and a bright taste from the rhubarb with just a hint of ginger.

Taking photos just now I was struck by how similar in colour this batch was to the previous batch, even though I had made that with white sugar and no rhubarb. I had hoped  this lot would take on a pinkier hue. The little shreds clumped a bit and I didn’t feel there were quite enough in the marmalade if I am being picky about it. Though once it is splurged onto a hot piece of sourdough toast I don’t give a fig!

I am very much a beginner at this marmalade business, as Brian has made it all up to now. I’m thinking about going to Cumbria for the Marmalade Festival on 12th and 13th Feb 2011. Anyone else going?

I am glad I had a go at experimenting for once!  I like rhubarb cooked in orange juice for crumbles and pies so thought that it might be good this way round too.

I wonder if it would go with those rhubarb muffins I made the other week? It would be beautiful in the filling in a vanilla sponge cake. I might make a cake for tea and use some….

35 thoughts on “Seville Orange and Rhubarb Marmalade

  1. bagnidilucca

    I love marmalade and the addition of rhubarb and ginger would only make it better.

  2. C

    What a fabulous combination – it really does look delicious, especially spread on toast.

    I’m not sure if I like rhubarb that much, but I’m sure I’d like it like this!

  3. heidi

    It looks and sounds marvelous! I would love to taste it on a slice of toast!
    I make a jam with figs, raspberries,oranges and ginger that is my very favorite.
    Called F.R.O.G. jam, it has a marmalade and ginger taste that I love!

      1. heidi

        Fresh figs. When I can find them in abundance! :) – recipe is here. There are TWO recipes- I used the second one.
        Celia made that wonderful fruit log with dried figs and pomegranate molasses- I’m making that up this week!

        1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

          Sounds wonderful! Fresh figs cost an arm and a leg here, cookery writers use them a lot at the moment, very fashionable, but ooh so expensive. I guess I’ll just admire from a distance for now. My little Turkish fig tree has about a dozen or so and I eat them all fresh from the tree when they ripen :)

  4. Choclette

    I was wondering how you’d managed to get such a beautiful clear marmalade using rhubarb and now I now why. I’d not come across using a jelly bag in marmalade making before (no expert, leave the marmalade to my mother). But what stunning results and I bet it tastes lovely.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I did think of poaching some chunks of rhubarb separately and adding them at the last minute to the marmalade before putting it in the jar… The marmalade controller has commandeered the remaining oranges and is busy making man marmalade this afternoon. Chunky and I think he is doing half and half brown/white sugar… I’ll leave him to it.

  5. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Man Marmalade… I think it should be labeled so :-) I’d love it if Mr Chocolate was the preserves man of the house, (I’d be very surprised though.) My grandfather was a big preserves maker. I wish I had got the chance to talk all things jammy with him…Hmm, waffling again.
    I was about to make rhubarb and strawberry jam the other day and stopped mid pot…(Crumble instead.) Now I think your marmalade would be better anyway. Jellies make me nervous though, I did a few last year, but I’m still not comfortable with the it all.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      The blog doesn’t show the burnt pans, the cries of despair, the general ‘is it set yet?’ anxiety does it? Though I haven’t made a really rock solid jam since a plum number a few years back which we had to take a chisel to. I don’t make that much jam that I am that comfortable with it either. My father made green tomato chutney once upon a time, it all went mouldy within a month – no family traditions like you!

      The Marmalade Controller abandoned his brew shortly before suppertime. But it will be sorted out tomorrow somehow. I’ll let you know how it went :)

  6. GillthePainter

    Good morning Joanna and Brian. I recognise those jars!
    What fantastic preserves, I cannot wait to try one.
    Is Brian entering the show, the marmalade man made section is for the chaps?

    I’m making my 2 versions tomorrow.
    1 for the inventive, and the other for the Seville section.

    Good Luck!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Thank you! I love the glowing look when you hold a clear jam up to the light. Jam and the invention of the jam jar must go hand in hand….

      It’s an acquired taste, and one that is not very popular these days even here apparently. The drippy version is gentler than the full on bitter thick shred stuff. (I am not that fond of that sort either – a little goes a long way!)

  7. jan trounce

    Just catching up on the blog postings. Joanna, what wonderful kitchen alchemy, and having read the Detmolder posting – that’s pure domestic science! Your beautiful Seville orange marmalade glows against the winter backdrop. I absolutely love Seville m’lade – almost impossible to get those oranges in Queensland. I’d love to be at the Marmalade Festival when you and the ‘Man Marmalade’ go head to head. I’m sure you could both have ‘seconds’ in your corners fanning and towelling you down and giving you tips on upper cuts, etc. Going back to the Wintersweet posting – from the description of the perfume of Wintersweet, it’s well named isn’t it.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Ah the clever thing is that the organizers have lots of categories, including international! Men can go in their own space. I think I read they had something like 650 entries already. So don’t get too excited! So we never have to compete, we are more co-op than comp anyway! Do you remember wintersweet from when you lived here? It’s very fragrant, I might bring a small branch in the house later… :)

    2. jan trounce

      No, don’t remember Wintersweet – do remember lots of plants from my dawdlings to and from school in SW12 – funnily all the perfume-memories I have are from my paternal Grandma’s garden in summertime Kent (including that of the sun-warmed pebble dash wall and the canvas door curtain).

      1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

        Sun warmed pebble dash and sun bleached faded canvas, slightly hard to the touch and a couple of stains of uncertain origins? Yes, I’m channelling that right now. You’re making me hungry for more…

  8. Robin

    If I had a place in my life for jams and jellies, I’d fit in some of that marmalade.
    Ref your rhubarb and white chocolate muffins: I had a blueberry and white chocolate muffin the other day at Hobbs House in Nailsworth – is it just me or does baked white chocolate smell/taste of blue cheese?

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Ew (is that how you spell it, that sounds faintly horrible) Robin…. I have no idea about the blue cheese thing… I think it just smells of vanilla and cocoa butter… Did you mention it to them at the time? Might have been baked with something else in the oven. Doesn’t sound very nice at all…

      Only way to find out is to test at home I guess. I used Menier white chocolate in those.

      1. Robin

        I’m quite partial to savory muffins (looking forward to having some in the Land o’Muffins – New Zealand) but not when I don’t expect it…

  9. spiceandmore

    Oooh now that slice of beautiful sourdough slathered with butter, with glistening marmalade on top would be just about the most perfect thing I could eat for breakfast right now. Too bad you live right across the other side of the world or there would be some knocking on your front door right now!! Yum. That combination sounds wonderful and they look stunning. I observed Celia’s Pete make a jelly once and that is the closest I have got to jelly making. What a fab skill to have!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi SpiceGirl, I think Celia’s Pete might just be the expert in the field ! We’re all done with marmalade making now, thanks for all the compliments :) The last batch, with 25 % soft brown sugar is safely stowed away. Heaven knows who’s going to eat it all. Fortunately it keeps really well.

  10. azélias kitchen

    sorry to steal this post…but can’t seem to post it on the oat milk bread which is what I’ve been checking out. I’ve come across amazing looking dumplings that in fact look like crustless very soft very white bread but it uses milk…then I thought..hang on a minute I remember Joanna making oat milk bread.

    having read your recipe again and seeing how good your bread looks, I’m going to experiment this weekend with this weird dumpling/bread looking recipe and giving it a go with the oak milk!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      That’s ok. New comments are turned off after my posts are 14 days old, the spam seems to appear on the old posts mainly. I shall put a note to that effect in the sidebar and suggest that if people want to taok about an older post that they use the contact form in the About Page. Thanks for the prompt to do that!

      Look forward to seeing your dumplings. I am wary of dumplings, at least the sort that float on/in meat stews. I like Chinese dumplings in broth though!

  11. Mariana

    Oh my. Your pics looks divine. Fancy adding rhubarb to a marmalade. Well there you go. New one for me. And as for a beginner to marmalades, all I can say is, Hats Off To You Joanna. You can make marmalade. Gorgeous stuff.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Mariana! We only make marmalade once or twice a year when the Sevilles are in season usually. Though one time we made some with a batch of oranges we had frozen. This one was very loose and a bit limpid in quality, though it definitely set and I remember liking the flavour a lot. I don’t think I have any of it left now. Are you making marmalade where you are now?

  12. Vernon

    My garden rhubarb is ready now (April) but Seville oranges are over.

    Have you ever tried making your marmalade with ordinary sweet oranges?

    1. Joanna Post author

      Yes but it wasn’t as good, but play around with what you can get, or at a pinch, buy a can of Marmade, which is a pretty natural product in a tin for making out of season marmalade from processed sevilles. Another year, buy them when you see them and if you have room, freeze them and make the marmalade at a time of year that suits you :)

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