“‘Fancy her knowing I like marmalade,” said Paddington.’
-A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond
58 years ago, a polite, little bear from Darkest Peru found his way to London’s Paddington Station. With only his hat and old, battered suitcase in tow (with a glass jar of marmalade tucked away inside), the Brown family takes him in, and his adventures begin. After all, as Paddington points out, “Things are always happening to me. I’m that sort of bear.”
This past week, his creator, Michael Bond, sadly passed away. It seemed only fitting to celebrate the stories of Paddington he’s given us, by making a jar of Paddington’s favourite–marmalade.
Seville oranges are the norm for marmalade, however, it’s not the ‘definite’–marmalade can be made with any citrus fruit. In fact, marmalade was originally made with quince and honey in Roman times, while orange marmalade started making its appearance in the 1600s.
- 1.5 kg large oranges **
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups white sugar
- Place oranges in a pot of boiling water for a moment, then remove and scrub to remove any dirt and wax.
- I sometimes find the white pith of the orange makes the marmalade too bitter for my liking, so take half the oranges and halve from stem end, then slice thinly with a sharp knife. Place in a large pot.
- The other half, grate the orange peel and place in the pot.
- Cut away the white pith and discard.
- Slice the leftover orange as finely as possible and place in the pot as well.
- Cover with a lid and let stand to soak for 24 hours.
- Next day, turn on the stove, and bring to a boil and simmer for 1.5 hours.
- Cover and let stand again for 12 hours.
- The next morning, stir in the 4 cups of white sugar and bring to a boil.
- Remove the lid and let simmer for 1 hour. For more accuracy, you can use a candy thermometer and remove from heat when the mixture reaches 220F.
- Let cool before spooning into large glass jars.
- Place in fridge to store.
** You have options. Seville is usually recommended, however, I used navel oranges and mandarins.
***The original recipe called for the whole orange, finely sliced, (excluding pips) to go in, white pith and all. However, the white pith makes it very bitter so I've adjusted to better suit my taste. You'll want to leave some of the pith though, as it's high in pectin, which helps it set.
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