The rights and the wrongs of a good marmalade

Jar 1:The good
Jar 2: The not so good

It is marmalade season, so we’re frantically making enough to last us through the season. In truth, I use the seconds that are left from supplying Little Farms but I could pick my own.

I’m often asked how to get the fruit evenly distributed, like jar 1. Strawberry jam and marmalade are notorious for having floaty fruit. The secret is simple. If you let the jam cool, just a little amount, it starts to set. This is enough to prevent the bits of fruit from rising to the top, leaving the jelly, that should be mixed with the fruity bits, at the bottom.

The there’s Jar 2. This jar isn’t full enough to be safely left on the shelf for any length of time. There should be a quarter of an inch between the surface and the lid (headspace). This jar wasn’t filled to this level (I ran out) but even though the seal looks to be a good one, it isn’t. In a few days one can use fingers to prise off the flat lid. For this jar, once it is cooled down it will go straight into the fridge, and will be the first jar eaten.

Recipe (from Lynda Hallinan:

500g any citrus – chopped finely (I use the food processor)

2 cups hot water

1kg jam setting sugar.

Bring the water to the boil, add the chopped fruit, bring the contents of the pot back to the boil, add the sugar, stir, and allow to come to the boil again. The boiling needs to be such that you can’t stir it down, and that it won’t boil over. Adjust your heat to make this happen. Set your timer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Wait for about five minutes, then fill your jars as usual.

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