It’s Seville Orange Season

Seville oranges are oranges that are in season around January and are a taste experience that has both sweet and bitter overtones. They are not oranges for eating but do make an excellent marmalade and this is what most people in the UK use them for. They are suitable for a low FODMAP diet. I purchased mine from a local farmers market, which meant that they were reasonably good value. I have made this marmalade a couple of times now and for both I have used jam sugar developed for high pectin containing fruits. The high pectin in these oranges comes from using the pith, pips and skin of the oranges during the marmalade production. Be aware that some sources of pectin can be apple based. Whether you tolerate apple pectin depends on how much was used to make the jam and how much you eat at the time. Remember the low FODMAP diet is just that – low – not fodmap free – fodmap free would be impossible to follow! I don’t like too much of the shredded peel in my marmalade but you could use more in yours if you wish. I needed two bags of jam sugar and twelve oranges, plus 50ml of lemon juice to make the marmalade and the result was four 500g jars. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get more but I suspected that I could have added more sugar and peel to make more jam. But less sugar and more fruit has to be better – right?

Using a jam pan, the first thing to do is to wash the fruit then boil them in a little water, just to cover the fruit, till they are soft. Remove the oranges and keep the water in the pan. Once cool, cut each orange in half and juice each one then save the pith and seeds. Boiling the fruit whole has the advantage of getting more juice from the fruit and allowing you to scrape some of the pith from the peel before you chop it and add it to the marmalade. Scrape the pith off the skin and slice and chop it to your desired shred size. Add an additional 500mls of water to the pan, the orange juice, shredded peel, jam sugar and lemon juice. Using a muslin bag add the remaining pith and pips to the bag and tie the top. Add the bag to the pan. Bring the marmalade to a boil and keep a rolling boil till the marmalade reaches it’s setting point. This is likely to be more than one hour but keep a check on it. Check it’s setting point by adding a small amount of marmalade to a cold plate and it should wrinkle when pushed with a spoon. Sterilize four to five jam jars, add the marmalade and seal the lids. If they are sealed correctly the marmalade will last sealed in the jar for at least a year. Serve a small amount on gluten free or sourdough spelt bread for a low fodmap breakfast treat.

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