Afternoon Tea The Fruity Cook: Marmalade?

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Much of my food knowledge is based on comics I read as a child.
One theory, presented in Bunty or Judy, I think, is that "marmalade"
is derived from the expression "Mare, m'lady?" which was said by a Scottish
servant to Mary Queen of Scots. These are the sort of details that wake one
up at breadfast-time and cause one to focus.

It's years since I set to with a vengeance to make Seville Orange marmalade
from scratch. Thanks to Theodora Fitzgibbon's recipe I avoided the horrors of
mincing and de-pipping. She suggested cooking the oranges like Billy-O whole, in
their skins. Then it is very easy to pare off the zest, purverise the flesh and
having measured the usual proportion of fruit to water to sugar, make it up like a
quick jam. The result was a lovely, deep golden preserve.

Perhaps I'll have another go before the Bitter Oranges go out of season.
However, it's worth noting that a simple sweet orange marmalade is also easily
made. It doesn't keep well, but is so delicious it usually does not have to.


DaviMack said...

The pips have lots of pectin in them, though, which is why they suggest the whole process of allowing everything to sit in water overnight, with the (separated) pips in a bag.

Sounds like a good thing, though!

The Fruity Cook said...

I expect that scooping out the pips and tying them in a muslin bag before boiling up the fruit, water and sugar
would be a good idea.

DaviMack said...

Did you know that Dundee, right here up the coast in Scotland, is supposedly the originator of marmalade? Yep - an importer got hold of lots of bitter oranges, couldn't figure what to do with them, so made marmalade. Now, the fact that they also make marmalade in Portugal shouldn't cause us to doubt this story or anything, nor the fact that they sell bitter oranges for some reason. ;)

The Fruity Cook said...

Life is full of mystery...