Just like a certain duffel coat wearing bear from Peru, I just love marmalade. Lime is my most favourite of the bought preserves (I love Rose’s lime marmalade) but at this otherwise bleak and grey period of the year, greengrocer shelves are ablaze with golden glory from all manner of seasonal citrus fruits. Usually, Seville oranges are the chosen variety for marmalade making but I must say, I far prefer my Instant Pot Blood Orange Marmalade.
Blood oranges are just a little bit special, for both their unique claret red blushed skin and flesh, and also for their perfume and flavour. Whilst certainly within the orange family, their is something about their fragrance and taste which is not-quite-orange. The specific variety governs how tart they are but the ones Aldi are stocking at the moment in the UK are sweet and simply gorgeous.
There’s a definite raspberry note to their flavour, even if the ones I bought (in a form of blood orange Russian roulette) I bought were more streaked with red than some that are a deep, rich maroon red inside. I would taste the fruit in the raw before deciding how much sugar you want to include in your marmalade.
If you were using traditional Seville oranges, which are so tart they make my teeth itch, you would double the weight of the fruit and add that amount of sugar to a batch. With the sweet varieties of blood oranges, you can be confident at reducing the ratio to 1:1.5 or even, for those who must relish bitterness in their orange preserves, take it down to 1:1.2. I simply add the juice of a lemon, which brings a little extra pectin to help with the set and sourness to the party.Make use of beautiful seasonal blood oranges and make this easy peasy Instant Pot Marmalade!Click To Tweet
Using the Instant Pot shaves off masses of time and cooks the fruit to pulpy perfection. I did a lot of research in creating this marmalade and I liked this source the best, although I think the fruit is better for cooking a little longer to soften the shreds in the finished preserve to a more palatable texture.
Although the IP is a modern creation, traditionalists need not fear as lots of old English cooks wrote recipes which made use of a stove top pressure cooker to start their marmalade off with. Once the fruit is cooked, you simply add the sugar and bring to the magic temperature for marmalade – 104.5˚C. Any more than that and you will have road tar (been there, done that, thrown quite a few lethal weapon-esque jars in the bin!). Any less and it won’t set. As always, I am a huge advocate of Thermapens; they are just so rapid and accurate, it was the best 30-ish quid I’ve spent in the kitchen.
One final point – Hungry Hubby really hates shreds in marmalade. Like, he won’t even look at a jar of the stuff, let alone anoint his morning toast with the stuff! The great news is whether you are a Shred Head or a Shredless Wonder (anyone else made in the ’80s who remembers that Robertson’s Jam ad campaign?), you can easily adapt this glorious preserve to suit your preferences.
All you do is pass the finished preserve through a fine-meshed sieve. It does mean you get about half the amount that you would if you left the peel in but look at how beautiful the shredless version is – luminescent blushing apricot in colour. Plus it sets to a soft wibbly wobbly jelly-like set, with or without the peel left in. Thanks to my foodie friend Camilla for pointing out how easy it is to make shredless marmalade!
A softly set fragrant marmalade made with the best of the season's citrus fruit. Sift out the peel when you're done if you prefer it shredless. With the peel, yield 1.5litres, without about 750ml.
- 4 whole blood oranges
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 1.5 x weight of fruit in caster sugar
Start by weighing the blood oranges and note down the weight (about 600-650g usually). Wash them under hot wash well, scrubbing to get any wax coating off. Also, sterilise your jars (see notes).
Cut the blood oranges in quarters and slice them as thinly as you can possibly manage - use a mandolin if you are careful (and brave enough!) or the sharpest knife you have. Discard pips.
Scoop the sliced fruit into the Inner Pot with all their juice plus that of the lemon. Add 250ml water and close the lid, setting to 12 minutes Manual (High). Allow a NPR. Cancel the Keep Warm function
Weigh out 1.5 x the weight of the oranges in caster sugar (you can go as low as 1.2 if you prefer it less sweet) and add to the cooked fruit, stirring to help it dissolve.
Press Sauté and stirring constantly to avoid catching and burning on the bottom of the pot, heat until an instant read thermometer shows 104.5˚C. Take off the heat and allow to cool briefly whilst you retrieve your sterile jars from the oven/dishwasher (see notes).
If wishing to make shredless marmalade, simply pass it through a fine meshed sieve, pressing firmly to ensure as much pulp goes through just leaving the peel behind. Scrape the jelly off the underside of the sieve. Ladle into the hot sterile jars, sealing the lids immediately. If leaving the peel in, then simply ladle into jars, trying to distribute the peel evenly between them.
To sterilise the glass jars, either wash in hot soapy water then place in the oven on low (about 100-120˚C) until dry, which may be 20-30 minutes. OR put through the hottest cycle on the dishwasher.
Whichever method you use, do not touch the insides of the jars with your fingers to prevent contamination and make sure you use the jars whilst still warm. Which means you'll probably need to start sterilising them an hour before you start making the marmalade as it is so fast in the Instant Pot!
Once open, store in the fridge. Unopened jars will keep for many months in a cool dark cupboard.
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