Sunday, 19 August 2012


It's orange season down under! I remember last year I was really impressed by how good and cheap the oranges were at the tail-end of winter, and this year they're just as delicious. All over Perth, orange and lemon trees are heavy with fruit, and frustratingly they're all locked away behind garden walls, much of the fruit rotting in sunshine. Some friendly gardeners pick the fruit and leave them in big boxes outside their house for anyone to take away. I've gathered a few lemons from those boxes this year, but so far no oranges. However they're less than $1 per kilo in the market, so I pick up the least ripe, saddest-looking navels I can find (no Seville down under, that I can find), shred them with our shiny new mandolin, and make a huge vat of marmalade. I have fond childhood memories of 'helping' my parents make marmalade, and I think we only used up the last of it after a decade or so! Once again, I've made about enough for a long time...
I'm not including the recipe, since frankly it didn't set the first time, and I had to empty all the jars and boil it down by another 25%! But a few rules-of-thumb are: use a really big pot, a 1:1:0.5 ratio of fruit:sugar:water, keep a couple of pectin sachets handy, and a big stack of cold plates in the freezer for the 'wrinkle test'.

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