Oxford Marmalade

The tradition of making marmalade at home goes back at least 200 years, even though in those times oranges were something of a luxury, as they were expensive to import. Oxford marmalade is characteristically dark and chunky, with a slightly bitter flavour.


makes about 4 kg (9 lb)
1.4 kg (3 lb) Seville oranges
2.7 kg (6 lb) sugar


1. Peel the oranges and cut the peel into strips and the fruit into small pieces, reserving the pips. Put the pips into a small bowl. Put the strips of peel and chopped flesh into a large bowl.

2. Bring 3.4 litres (6 pints) water to the boil and pour 568 ml (1 pint) over the pips and the remainder over the orange peel and flesh. Cover both bowls and leave for several hours or overnight.

3. The next day, the pips will be covered with a soft transparent jelly which must be washed off them into the orange peel and flesh. To do this, lift the pips out of the water with a slotted spoon and put them in a nylon sieve. Pour the water the pips were soaking in over the pips into the large bowl. Repeat the process, using water from the large bowl. Discard the pips.

4. Boil the peel, flesh and water until the peel is very soft - the longer this mixture boils the darker the marmalade will be.

5. When the peel is quite soft, remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved.

6. Boil very gently until the marmalade is as dark as you like it, then boil rapidly for about 15 minutes. Test for a set and, when setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and skim the surface with a slotted spoon.

7. Leave to stand for 15 minutes, then stir to distribute the peel. Pot and cover the marmalade.

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