Alan Stewart, estate head chef of The Newt hotel in Somerset, teaches us how to make the ultimate blood orange marmalade. Using cinnamon, rosemary and seasonal, organic oranges from the foothills of Mount Etna in Sicily (although any blood oranges will do for your take), this no-waste recipe uses every last bit of the fruit to create a burst of citrus Italian sunshine in your kitchen.
‘Blood oranges are such a special produce. They have this wonderful balance of sharp and sweet, and of course they look incredible. We are so lucky to get them at this time of year, when it’s cold and dark outside – they add a blast of colour and sun to our winter, reminding us all of sunnier times.
Preserving seasonal produce is integral to what we do at The Newt, safeguarding nature’s bounty to use all year. Adding a dollop of blood orange marmalade to a steamed pudding, or filling an almond sponge with rich tangy blood orange curd, reminds you of all the hard work nature has done. Yes, the seasons are so essential to cooking; but preserving keeps their magic alive year round.
I was lucky to be raised in a house obsessed with food. My parents grew fruit and vegetables, and I remember jamming and making marmalade with my mum as a child. Later in my career I’ve been privileged to travel and experience living and working in different countries and cultures. Now I’m based here in Somerset, and this winter burst of colour reminds me of my days spent in the sun. In one bite I can return to jamming with my mum or sitting on a Mediterranean beach sipping freshly squeezed orange juice.’ Alan Stewart, estate head chef
You will need:
- A large pan
- A sieve
- A thermometer or probe
- A square of muslin cloth
- Sterilised jars
- 1kg blood oranges
- 1kg jam sugar
- 1 litre of water
- Cinnamon, fresh rosemary or your choice of additional flavourings
- Cut the oranges into quarters and squeeze out all the juice through the sieve, into the pan.
- Remove all the pith and insides from the skin, then place in the square of muslin and add flavourings.
- Slice the skins into strips – thin or chunky, depending on your preference.
- Add the water and sugar to the pan of juice and bring to the boil.
- Add the strips of peel to your pan, bring to a simmer and cook until it reaches 105°C.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, have a cold plate in your fridge ready to spoon on a little marmalade to check it has set.
- Pour into jars and hot-seal: while still hot, fasten the lids, then turn upside down to seal the jars tight. Leave to cool. The jars will keep for up to six months.
Like this? Now read: