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:
- Wash the jars in hot soapy water – not too much soap.
- Rinse very well in hot water.
- Turn them upside down on a clean tea towel on a draining rack.
- 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.
- Wash the lids as the jars.
- 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.
- 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 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….