Family | Life | Food | Travel

13 November 2014

9 Simple Steps To A Delicious Marmalade

When the Brown family discovered a small bear from darkest Peru on Paddington Station all those years ago they’d no idea that over fifty years later he’d be making a feature film. They had to deal with practicalities first, they named him Paddington and soon discovered that he was very hungry indeed. In fact he’d managed to survive his entire journey from South America with nothing but a very large pot of marmalade, his favourite food, and that was now looking decidedly empty.

Mr Brown would have done well to whisk that hungry bear straight to Borough Market instead of the station buffet where he got into the most terrible mess with a sticky bun, cream and jam. A good old marmalade sandwich from the Market would have been a far better plan. So let’s hope that those film directors see sense and let the ravenous bear stop by at London’s oldest and finest Market for his first British snack.

And now to the Marmalade; Paddington Bear is of course an expert so the mass produced stuff would be absolutely unthinkable. He would require a quality conserve, reminiscent of the fine marmalades that Aunt Lucy provided back in Peru. Well, luck would have it that Jill’s Natural Preserves, to be found in the Green Market on alternate Saturdays has a wide variety of distinguished artisan marmalades. Paddington would be proud, Jill’s Dark Hunky Seville Marmalade (and I’d imagine that a bear would prefer a coarser cut) was one of many of her marmalades to snap up an award at this year’s World’s Original Marmalade Awards, of which Paddington Bear is himself a patron! 


1kg Seville oranges
1 Unwaxed lemon
1.75kg granulated sugar (no need for preserving sugar)

  • Wash the oranges and lemon well and then put them in your pan and cover with water. Weigh down the fruit with a small dish to stop it bobbing above the surface. Cover with a lid and then boil for 1-2 hours until the peel feels soft and can be easily pierced with a fork. Meanwhile enjoy the ambrosial citrus scent wafting around your kitchen.
  • Remove the fruit from the water and allow to cool. Measure the liquid left in your pan, you will need about 1.25 litres. If you have too much you can reduce it by boiling, too little - just add a splash of water.
  • Quarter the oranges and lemon. Take a spoon and scrape the pith, flesh and seeds into a large sieve set over a bowl.
  • Slice the peel into coarse or fine shreds, the choice is yours. Put the peel into the pan with the measured cooking water.
  • Take a rubber spatula and squash as much juice as you can from the pulp in the sieve and tip this into the marmalade pan. Put the remaining pips and pulp into a muslin square and tie up and then dangle this down into your pan too. The pith and pips contain masses of pectin which will set the marmalade later. 
  • Bring the pan up to the boil and then remove your bag and give it a squeeze to release as much of the valuable pectin as possible back into the marmalade.
  • Tip in the sugar and place the pot on a low flame. Once the sugar has dissolved you can up the heat and bring the marmalade to a rolling boil. Watch it carefully, you don’t want it bubble over. Give it a stir and skim the froth from the surface from time to time (or you will have 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). 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.

A bear’s sandwich must be a doorstop, with a good bit of substance and crust. No baguettes or brioche required just a good, honest loaf. 

• Cut a couple of thick slices of bread and spread one very generously with butter. 
• Open up the marmalade jar and spoon (no paws thank you!) 3 or 4 dollops of the very finest homemade marmalade upon the butter. Spread carefully.
• Top with your second hunk of bread and, using every ounce of self-discipline that a small bear can 
muster, stop to cut your sandwich in half before devouring. 
• Now wash sticky whiskers and paws.

Borough Market is hosting a Paddington Bear statue as part of the London Paddington trail marking the release of the new Paddington movie. Visit from Wednesday to Saturday until 30th December when you can experience Borough Market in full swing. The designer of Borough Market's colourful Paddington is Peru, who wanted to celebrate the history, nature, art and food of Paddington's birthplace.

Did you watch Paddington Bear as a child?
Will you be trying to make your own marmalade to celebrate the release of the movie?

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  1. Homemade marmalade is lovely.

  2. Thank you for sharing the knowledge and sharing tips about making a delicious orange marmalade.

  3. My granny used to make the best marmalade in the world. One of my best childhood memories. And yes, I did love Paddington -- I think I related to his marmalade thing.


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