The Stringy One
900g (2lb) oranges, washed
Juice of 2 lemons
2.6 litres (4.5 pints) Water
1.4kg (3lb) sugar
What You Will Need:
Preserving pan (or very large saucepan), wooden spoon, muslin cloth/jelly bag (or tea towel), upturned stool (or, in my case, a plant pot holder), spoons, jars, time and a little patience.
Peel the oranges (avoiding the pith) until you have 100g (4oz) of rind.
Cut the rind into thin strips
Cut the rest of the oranges into small chunks (about 2.5cm/1 inch) and put in the preserving pan with the lemon juice and 1.4 litres (2.5 pints) of the water.
Cover & simmer for about two hours – until the fruit is really soft.
Put the shredded rind in another pan with 600ml (1pint) of the water, cover and simmer gently until the rind is soft.
Drain the rind (discarding the water) and add them to the fruit in the preserving pan.
Remove from the heat and pour the contents of the pan into the jelly bag (or whatever you have!) attached to an upturned stool (or plant pot holder).
Leave to drip into a large bowl for 15 minutes.
Return the pulp remaining in the bag to the pan with the remaining 600ml (1 pint) of water. Return the pan to the heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour into the jelly bag. Leave to drip for several (3-4) hours.
Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
Boil rapidly for 15 minutes – take care, it may ‘spit’.
Test for a set (How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!)
When setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon.
Leave the mixture to stand for about 15 minutes. Pot and seal. This recipe works just as well using lemons, if you’d prefer, or a mixture of the two fruits. I also throw in a peeled, bruised chunk (2.5 oz/70g) of root ginger – just to give it a bit of a ‘kick’!
This recipe has been adapted from The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book.
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All photos & text © Sue Sharpe 2014