Homemade marmalade is absolutely gorgeous! Greg and I had some on toast when we got in from work last night. It’s super orangey and not too bitter. It definitely better than any bought stuff and this is my first attempt. I’m going to make loads more jams and shit!

#24 Orange Marmalade: 9/10. Don’t want to give it full marks as I may be able to improve on it next year…

Greg says:
I agree, 9/10 for the marmalade, it’s SO good, the kind that a little old lady with a hair bun would give you if you knocked on her door to ask for directions in the countryside. It actually tastes like it has something to do with fruit which most marms/jams seldom do. Yum please.

Jenny says:
Yep, 9/10, fantastic marmalade. Tangy, chunky and sticky – bring me more toast at once!

Nic says:
“loving the marmalade neil! very impressed- good use of rind, deliciously fruity but not overly sweet. works well on old school toast and bagels. i’m assigning a score of 9/10. it’s on a par with my all time fave -the vintage Oxford one. more please! can i put in a request for lemon curd and/or ‘buttery’s no-butter peanut butter’ please!”

Ange says:
“Sometimes you don’t need foie gras or quail’s eggs to satisfy your well-educated tastebuds, on occassion only something homely and comforting will do. Take marmalade for example, you don’t need fancy melba toast or an organic rye bagel to enjoy its zesty goodness. I believe the only true way to enjoy marmalade is on cheap, thick sliced white bread, toasted a bit more than usual, the merest sheen of butter (not marge mind) and then a thick unctuous layer of boiled sugar and citrus!I looked forward to last weekend knowing that such a treat was within my grasp. Neil’s Marmalade (TM) made a satisfying pop when the lid was loosened and expelled a cool draught of lively orange. First taste was exquisitely sweet, dying down to a sharp, but exhilarating tang. A defining marmalade moment. Pat yourself on the back young Neil.I second the motion for lemon curd to be next though!”

#24 Orange Marmalade

Since I’ve no money and everyone was out having fun, it was the perfect time to make (#24) Orange Marmalade. In a weird and quite geeky way I actually quite enjoyed myself! Boil 3 pounds of Seville Oranges in 6 pints of water for about 1 1/2 hours, scoop out the innards and put in a muslin. Add muslin to pot of water, shred the peel, add shit load (6 pounds) of sugar. Boil. Piece of piss. The tricky bit was getting it to set.
FYI: pectin sets at 105 degrees Celsius after boiling for 10 minutes. Viciously boiling a pot of molten sugar for that long is quite scary and it took ages for me to pluck up the courage! Eventually I did and it passed the ‘wrinkle test’. The kitchen and I ended up one massive sticky mess! Then it was the simple procedure of funneling everything in with my new jam funnel. I haven’t had a chance to taste it yet, except for the molten splashes that landed on me; and it seems very nice, strong and bitter. I am labelling them up and distributing them about.

FYI: I got all the jam-making stuff and posh jars from internet/ebay shop Country Cook Shop ( which is situated in The Travelling Hen, Herefordshire; and very good they are too! Plus the fancy Gingham pot lids were from Greg as a Christmas pressie. I can’t believe he feeds my geekiness by buying me these things! Anyone else would be ina permanent state of embarassment…

I think I may start a new career in conserve production…