Farmersgirl Kitchen

Exploding Marmalade!

Uncategorized | January 23, 2011 | By

It’s been some time since I made marmalade, two or three years at least.  I used to make it every year and in bigger quantities than this too.  However, I just fancied making some and got a bag of seville oranges and a lemon, some sugar and I was ready.

I’ve been using the same recipe since the early 1980s, it comes from ‘Home and Freezer Digest’ magazine which was one of the few foodie mags available in the UK at that time.

Seville Orange Marmalade
Makes 9lb (4kg)
2lb (900g) Seville Oranges
4 pt (2.3l ) water
1 lemon
4lb (1.80kg) sugar
1. Wipe and cut the oranges in half, squeeze out juice and pips.  Put pips in a muslin or stockinette bag and tie. Put orange juice in pan with water and lemon juice.

Now the recipe differs slightly from what I do next, life is too short to slice up all that peel.  My mum used to put her’s through a mincer (hand turned as well!) but I use the food processor.
3. The recipe says: 
Slice peel thinly and add to pan with pips.  
Farmersgirl says:

Chop peel into chunks and whizz in the food processor.

Simmer about one and a half hours until peel is soft and liquid reduced by half.

4. Take out bag of pips and squeeze out any liquid into pan.  Stir in sugar over low heat until dissolved.  Boil rapidly to seeting point (generally I give it at least 30 minutes rapid boiling before I start to test for set).

5. Cool for about 10 minutes in pan, stir well, pour into warm, clean jars, cover seal and label.  Store in a cool, dry place.

So why, I hear you ask, is it Exploding Marmalade?  Remember I said, it had been a while since I made it?  Well, I really thought that I had previously cooked the chopped up peel in the pressure cooker under pressure, so that’s what I did.

The peel must have risen up and blocked the steam valve, because even when I thought I’d got all the steam out, I hadn’t so when I opened the handle, there was a minor explosion!

Oh yes, and all over the floor too!  However you will have gathered that I didn’t lose it all, there was still enough  left in the pan to make 6lb of marmalade, it just doesn’t have quite as much peel in it as usual!
PS I later realised that the recipe that I had previously made in the pressure cooker is one which uses whole frozen seville oranges and you chop them up afterwards – doh!

PPS I didn’t get covered in any of this, I opened it at arms length as I could hear that it wasn’t happy, and it didn’t really take that long to clean up, the house smelled of oranges all day!



  1. Leave a Reply

    January 23, 2011

    Oh dear Janice, might have been worse though – would have a lot stickier mess if you'd got round to putting the sugar in before the explosion.
    Sue x

  2. Leave a Reply

    January 23, 2011

    Oooh heck, hope you didn't get showered in hot citrus peel m'dear! Did the kitchen smell nice afterwards?!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Brownieville Girl
    January 23, 2011

    Hope you didn't hurt yourself – looks like dangerous stuff to me.

    I'm sure your delicious marmalade will be well worth all the cleaning up!!

  4. Leave a Reply

    January 23, 2011

    Looks great. Hopefully clean up wasn't too much work.

  5. Leave a Reply

    January 24, 2011

    Oh no!!!! All over your new kitchen! the jam that made it into the jar looks great, lovely colour ;0)

  6. Leave a Reply

    January 24, 2011

    Glad to hear you weren't hurt! I'm sure the trauma will be in the past when you get round to eating it; it looks delicious! 🙂

  7. Leave a Reply

    January 24, 2011

    I would say the house smelling of oranges was definitely a bonus. Have you invented a new form of pot pourri perhaps?

  8. Leave a Reply

    The Food Hound
    January 24, 2011

    Haha!! Love to hear about kitchen mishaps 🙂 Orange marmalade is a family favorite, I just have to make it someday! This looks like a great recipe!

  9. Leave a Reply

    January 24, 2011

    OMG Janice all over your new kitchen hahaha.

    Glad you weren't hurt and got alot of marmalade to show for your efforts.

    mmmm to the orangey smell 🙂

  10. Leave a Reply

    January 25, 2011

    Messes in the kitchen happen no matter how long you have been cooking! Your orange marmalade post is timely for me. My Son-I-L's mother gave me a box of Florida oranges at Christmas time. They looked beautiful but tasted simple awful! Sort of like grapefruit but worse. I thought I would make marmalade and gathered everything together. But then I was concerned that even with the added sugar it might not taste so good.

    But now I have been hankering to make marmalade 🙂 I love it on English Muffins for breakfast.

    I was going to follow a recipe using pectin since I have it in the pantry.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear
    January 25, 2011

    Ohhhh your new kitchen… but at least, looking on the bright side, you still made lovely marmalade and the house semlled gorgeous!

  12. Leave a Reply

    January 26, 2011

    Glad to hear you are OK – how about the kitchen? What a shame – it looks good though.

  13. Leave a Reply

    January 27, 2011

    Your exploding marmalade reminds me of the time a made strawberry jam. 😉 Your marmalade looks delicious!

  14. Leave a Reply

    January 27, 2011

    I shouldn't laugh but it is very funny that you ran to get the camera.

  15. Leave a Reply

    January 30, 2011

    Glad to see its not just me that does this. I've had similar but not as catastrophic incidents with a baked aubergine and with grated chocolate exploding all over my kitchen!

  16. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    January 19, 2013

    Richard – you buy them unfrozen when they are in season then bung them in the freezer so you can make your marmalade whenever you want.

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