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How we make our Marmalade

How we make our Marmalade

Written by Elspeth Biltoft

We have made our Seville Orange Marmalade in the following traditional manner since 1989.

I have happy memories of helping my father cut the peel of Seville oranges at our kitchen table each January in the early 1960’s. It was an annual family ritual when father and daughter competed with one another to consistently cut the thinnest slices. The assembling, cooking and potting was then passed on to my mother to complete.

At Rosebud Preserves we have been making our Seville Orange Marmalade in almost the same way for over thirty years. Just as my mother did, we buy fresh, in season, bitter Seville oranges for our classically strong, rich and full-flavoured marmalade.

The fruit arrives during the first week in January (three to five tonnes) in distinctive green and orange boxes from Ave Maria Orchard, established in the middle of the 19th century and located in Mairena del Alcor, Seville, Spain. We bought their beautiful organic oranges in the early 90’s and have done so ever since.

In those first few weeks of the year our warehouse and kitchen are filled with the aromatic scent of the deep orange, tangy fruit, a prelude to the preserving year. For up to a month we remove the pedical (flower stalk) from every orange, wash and air-dry each one, then weigh in prescribed amounts in readiness for freezing. Seville oranges freeze particularly well, without loosing any of their special characteristics and because their season is so short this is our way of preserving them for year long use.

We cook our oranges from frozen for several hours in a specific amount of water until the rind is firm but tender. To this water we add a little crushed coriander in a muslin bag to heighten the citrus flavour. Following cooking we remove the fruit, set aside to cool and add unrefined cane sugar to the flavoured cooking water, then stir to thoroughly dissolve. We love to use cane sugar in all our products as its rich mollased flavour works particularly well, especially in Seville Orange Marmalade.

Once the fruit are cold each one is sliced in two and the fleshy segments removed. The peel is cut then added with a measure of fresh lemon juice and the orange flesh to the sugared cooking water. Once all components are mixed together we return everything to the pan in a small batch and boil fast to achieve a natural set, without the addition of pectin or any ingredient other than oranges, water, unrefined cane sugar, lemon juice and coriander.

This particular recipe for Seville orange marmalade was amongst the eight that originally comprised our small catalogue of products when the company was founded in 1989. It has been a best seller ever since, always in the top five and consistently on par with all the innovative rivals we have created in 30 years of business.

Its success inspired us to create other marmalades using a variety of citrus fruit and interesting additions such as Ampleforth Cider, Whisky, Satsuma & Masons Gin, Lemon & Ginger, Red Grapefruit, and Three Fruit.

This simple full flavoured Seville orange marmalade recipe has achieved great success and nothing is quite as uplifting as the sight and scent of these sunny Spanish fruit filling the Rosebud kitchen on a January day in North Yorkshire.

View our full range of Marmalades.