As most of you will probably already know, Paddington is about to be resurrected in a brand new movie with the one and only Hugh Bonneville. You’d be hard pushed to find someone in the UK that didn’t grow up with a slice of Paddington in their lives, which is why he’s such a special bear. So special in fact that the London Borough Market want this marmalade recipe spread across kitchens (and sandwiches) nationwide in honour of him.
I had an absolute nightmare trying to get hold of seville oranges, they’re one of the only fruits that you can’t seem to get a hold of if they’re not in season. So I substituted oranges for grapefruit and clementines, and docked the sugar a little to balance it out. Other than that I’ve stayed as close to the recipe as possible. If you have a preserving pan, I strongly recommend you use it!
Enjoy getting your paws sticky..
1 large grapefruit
1 unwaxed lemon
1.5kg granulated sugar
- Wash the grapefruit, clementines and lemon well, put them in your pan and cover with water. Cover with a lid and boil for 1-2 hours until the peel feels soft and can be pierced with a fork (I took mine off the heat after 1.5 hours).
- Remove the fruit from the water (tongs or a slotted spoon is good for this) and set them aside to cool off. Measure the water you’re left with, you want about 1.25 litres. If you’ve got too much you can reduce it by boiling, if you’ve got too little just add some more.
- Now prepare to get your hands sticky, this is a big job so put the radio on in the background or something. Quarter the fruits and scrape the pith, flesh and seeds into a sieve set over a large bowl.
- Slice the peel into shreds, course or fine, the wonder of making your own preserves is that it’s completely up to you! I went for as fine as I could with my unsteady hand. Put the peel into the pan with the measured water.
- Squash as much juice out of your pulpy sieve collection and pour it into the marmalade pan, put the remaining pips and pulp into a square of muslin, tie it up and lower that into the pan too (this is where all the pectin that’s going to set the marmalade comes from).
- Bring the pan to the boil then remove the muslin and give it a good squeeze (another sticky job, tongs help) to release all the valuable pectin back into the marmalade.
- Tip in the sugar and take it down to a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved you can take it up a few notches to a high heat and bring the marmalade to a rolling boil. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over and give it a stir from time to time, skim the froth from the top every now and then to avoid cloudy marmalade.
Now you’re on the home straight. Your marmalade will take about 25 – 45 minutes at a fast boil to reach setting consistency (there are so many variables – the heat, the width of your pan, the amount of pectin, so I can’t be precise). Test the setting consistency after 25 minutes by spooning some hot marmalade straight onto one of your plates from the freezer, allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Now push the marmalade with your fingertip, if it’s ready it will form a wrinkly skin as you do so. If not, continue to boil and check at 5 minute intervals.
Once ready leave the marmalade to cool for 15 minutes, skim off any last foam and ladle into the hot jars. Cover with waxed disks if using, and seal with lids or cellophane at once – if you have a jam funnel, this is a really good time to whip it out, ladling hot preserves can be a painful situation in terms of spillages, I speak from recent experience.
What’s your favourite thing to do with marmalade? Do you have any special Paddington Bear Memories? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading x