After making Traditional Orange Marmalade I realised not all of you are marmalade fans. So I thought I would share this Beswick family favourite with you. In my house this concoction is affectionately known as “orange gunk”. Not really marmalade at all, it is not at all bitter and has whole pieces of orange flesh in it. For those of you who are not really sure if you even like marmalade then is the recipe for you. Don’t just put this on toast it would be a waste; it is also excellent with yogurt or used in cakes. The recipe comes from a much-loved Greek cookbook that the mother-in-law gave me and uses the whole-fruit method.
5 sweet and juicy oranges
480ml cooking liquid
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fine grate three of the oranges and use a strip zester on the other two. Keep this to one side till later. Boil the oranges in a large pan with enough water that they are just floating. After about one hour insert a skewer into the centre of the orange, if it falls off freely back into the water it is ready. Don’t expect all the oranges to cook at the same rate, test each one. Once cooked remove from the water and place on a plate to cool. Keep the cooking liquor as we will use this later.
Once cool enough to handle cut each orange into half. Remove the peel and discard. Then remove any remaining white pith and pips. You should just be left with the flesh. If the skin between the segments is particularly thick remove that too, otherwise just break the flesh up into small pieces.
Boil the sugar and the cooking liquor together in a pan. As it starts to thicken add the orange flesh, zest and the strained juice from the lemon. You can also add the lemon peel back to the pan for a bit of extra zip. Continue steadily boiling until the juice is well thickened. I would expect it to take about 60 minutes of boiling to reach this stage but that is only a rough guide. Use the plate test to establish your preferred consistency (See Hints & Tips). Add the vanilla as soon as you remove from heat.
Place in sterile jars and seal immediately. Should keep for up to two years.