Irish Whiskey Marmalade
- 3 lb Seville oranges
- Juice of 2 large lemons
- 13 1/2 cups sugar, warmed (no that is not a typo, it says 13.5 cups)
- 1 1/4 cups Irish whiskey
Scrub the oranges with a nylon brush and pick off the disc at the stalk end. Cut the oranges in half and squeeze the juice, retaining the seeds. Quarter the peel, cut away and reserve away thick white pith (the stringy white stuff), and shred the peel (thickly or thin slivers, depending on how you like it).
Cut up the reserved pith roughly and tie it up with the pips in a square of muslin (cheesecloth) using a long piece of string. Tie the bag loosely so that water can circulate in the bag during cooking and will extract the pectin from the pith and pips. Hang the bag from the handle of the preserving pan. (If you’re using a large saucepan, put a skewer or wooden spoon across the top and hang the bag from that.)
Add the cut peel, strained juices, and 15 cups water to the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until the peel is very tender (it will not soften further after the sugar is added).
Lift the bag of pith and pips and squeeze it out well between two plates over the pan to extract as much pectin as possible. Add the sugar to the pan and stir over a low heat until it is completely dissolved.
Bring to a boil, then boil hard for 15-20 minutes or until setting point is reached. To test this, put a spoonful of marmalade onto a cool saucer. Allow it to cool slightly, then push the surface with your finger. If a skin has formed, the setting point has been reached. If not, it needs to boil a little longer. Keep testing until the marmalade sets.
Skim, if necessary, and leave to cool for about 15 minutes, then stir to redistribute the peel. Divide the whiskey among 8 - 10 warmed, sterilized jars and swill it around. Using a small heatproof jug or pitcher, pour in the marmalade.
Cover and seal while still hot. Label when cold and store in a cool, dark place until required. The marmalade will keep well for at least 6 months. Refrigerate upon opening.
Makes 8 - 10 lbs of marmalade.
[Source: The Food and Cooking of Ireland, Biddy White Lennon and Georgina Campbell, Hermes House, 2013]