Chilli marmalade

This marmalade is dedicated to all chilli lovers.  The chilli adds a subtle, but addictive zing to this fresh tasting, fine-cut Seville orange marmalade. Perfect for pepping you up at breakfast.  I used two seeded fresh chillies, but if you are sensitive to chilli heat, you should add half and adjust to taste. 

If youre uncertain about the idea, try halving my recipe and cook in a large saucepan rather than a jam pan.  Half the quantity will fill 2 recycled Branston pickle jars, as you can see opposite.

Makes 2.3kg/5lb

680g/1 lb Seville oranges

4 lemons

1.7litres/3 pints water

2 medium red Thai chillies or to taste

1.4kg/3lb granulated sugar


1  Wash all the fruit and place in a large pan with the water.  Cover tightly, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 hours, until the fruit is very soft and easily pierced with a knife.


2  Transfer the fruit to a bowl, leaving the cooking liquid in its pan.  Once the fruit is cool enough to handle, slice it in half. Take a dessert spoon and carefully scrape out the pulp, pips and pith into the cooking liquid in the pan. 


3  Thoroughly mash up the pulp in the pan.  Bring back to the boil and reduce the liquid by half before straining though a sieve into a jam (or large) pan.  Ideally, leave to pulp to drip through the sieve to extract as much clear, pectin-rich liquid as possible.


4  Sterilise your jam jars: wash them in hot soapy water, rinse in very hot water, and then place in a cool oven, fan 130C/gas 1 to dry; or wash the jars and their lids in the dishwasher, then leave to dry with the dishwasher door partly open. 


5  Place a saucer or small plate in the fridge.  Finely slice the orange and lemon skins into thin strips and add to the jam pan with the strained fruit water. 


6  Halve the chillies lengthways and discard the seeds. Finely slice the chillies and add to the finely sliced orange and lemon zest. 


7 If you have a jam thermometer, clip it on to the side of the pan.  Return the mixture to the boil.  Mix in the sugar and stir regularly until the sugar has completely dissolved, then bring the marmalade up to the boil.  Continue to boil vigorously for about 10 minutes or until it reaches setting point 106C/220F. You can also test the setting point by dropping a small blob of hot marmalade on to your chilled saucer. Push the blob gently with your finger, if it wrinkles, setting point has been reached. 


8 If necessary, skim the marmalade.  Then leave to settle for a few minutes before pouring into warm dry sterilized jam jars.  Cover with paper discs (not essential if using ex-pickle jars with screw top lids).  Seal once cool. Label and date.



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