Monday, July 11

Backyard marmalade, and a backyard........

What does a girl do when she has not just lemons, but oranges and grapefruit as well? Add a truck load of sugar, boil for several hours and make marmalade of course. Not mean thin sliced marmalade, but chunky, thick tangy don't mess with my toast Marmalade. Easy peasy and also makes a lovely gift (how pretty does it look in the jar?)
I was watching Barefoot Contessa months ago and jotted down in my notebook an Orange Marmalade recipe which looked incredibly easy. I have a plethora of notebooks, I love stationery and have a memory like a sieve, I don't feel comfortable unless I have the means to note down anything important I know I will forget in minutes. I came across one such notebook the other day, after Mr PK's sister had dropped off some very tart oranges from her tree. The original recipe used four oranges & two lemons, but I only had one lemon and a grapefruit, so that's what I used. It is a great mix, perfect for someone like me who cant make up her mind about anything.......

Backyard Marmalade (adapted from Barefoot Contessa )

4 Oranges (the best come from someone s;es back garden....)
1 large grapefruit
1 large lemon
8 cups water
8 cups of sugar (yes its a lot, but you are not eating cups of marmalade a day....are you?)
Splash of Whisky (optional!)

Wash your fruit, then dry and slice the unpeeled fruit thinly with a knife. Throw everything, including any juice you can into a large saucepan. I take the pips out as too many can make your marmalade very bitter, a little bitterness is essential, but the pith of your fruit will provide that. Add the water, and bring to the boil, then take off the heat & stir in the sugar. Cover & leave overnight just sitting on the bench doing nothing special. Next day, bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 hours.

I used the frozen saucer test to figure out when it was set, but afterwards I discovered a note on the next page telling me the jam is done when it is at 220C. So if you have a jam thermometer use it, or pop a small saucer in your freezer for a few minutes, the drop a teaspoon or so of your boiling jam mixture onto it. The marmalade will cool very quickly, if it is still very runny you are not at setting point, but if you pull your finger through it & get a very definite gap you are getting there. I don't know how set you like your jam, but citrus fruit contains loads of pectin, the stuff that makes jam "jammy" so you are in no danger of a strawberry jam no set tragedy. At this stage add a splash of Whisky if you fancy.......
Pour into sterilised jars (wash in hot water or the dishwasher, then dry off & pop into a 110C oven for 10 minutes, viola, sterilised jars) and bask in your fabulousness, with tea & marmalade toast. If your neighbours coughed up the fruit, its nice to turn up on the doorstep with a jar to say thanks, this recipe makes 7-8 jars, so you will have enough to share........
For a couple more ways to enjoy marmalade see Alli's lovely blog  Pease Pudding (and here) , the muesli bars are great for morning tea!

It is only about six months late, but I thought I would show you the state of or front garden, from hole to patio. Once the pizza oven arrives in October (it appears to have been shipped from Outer Mongolia via Mars and a leisurely detour through Timbuktu...) it will be a great spot to cook/smoke up a storm.......or lay on my sun lounger & read cookbooks?

Mr PK isn't the worlds most enthusiastic lawn mower...but the neither am I....

Yes, it does look a bit bare, and no I haven't stained the furniture....I think I did buy some stain last summer......

Sorry, another gratuitous kitten shot.........Tuppence, Cat of Action (it was probably dinner time...)
I also wanted to show you the fab Karen Walker necklace Mum & my sisters gave me for my birthday. Ok, possibly I am not the worlds most reliable gardener, but do you think they are trying to tell me something?

Before I sign off, do go & check out, this is my incredibly talented sister Bernadette's new website. Pretty much anything cool I own she found (the woman is a magpie, a magpie with excellent taste might I add) and if I can cook a bit, she can sew, craft, create & generally make gorgeous a fact if she wasn't my sister I might be horribly jealous & deeply scarred. But she is also the woman that inflicted her tuna chilli on the world , so I figure we're good................:)


  1. I had a big go at jam-making over summer and have fallen off the wagon a bit... with all the citrus fruit around lately you've just reminded me I have to try my hand at marmalade! Now if only I had a sister-in-law with an orange tree ;)

  2. The garden is looking great, love action cat and when is that pizza oven arriving?

  3. Marmalade, back yard & Tuppence all look amazing...lovin the action shot!
    Hoping to secure some seville oranges from Epicurean for some marmalade making!

  4. Marmalade looks divine. I love marmalade and for some reason I've never made it - I always had the ridiculous notion that there was something terribly difficult about it, but this looks like a doddle so I'm inspired to try :-)

    Sue xo

  5. That marmalade looks so delicious! I absolutely love the pics of your garden, it's looking so great - and your kitties! Too cute!

  6. Your marmalade looks fantastic! Marmalade is one of my favourite jams, just beacuse it looks so cheerful I think.

    That pizza oven will be the icing on the garden cake!

  7. I love that cat-shot!
    Pizza oven, lovely, hope it gets here slightly sooner than its route would suggest ;)
    Backyard Marmalade is such a nice concept...I think I'd definitely add that splash of whisky, too.

  8. Hi everyone, thanks for the comments and glad you liked the marmalade, Mr PK wasn't best pleased when he caught me sloshing his best booze in my pot, I should have used the cheap stuff apparently...! Tuppence did look cute, shame she was on the naughty chair last night for hissing at poor Tommy.... :(


I'd love to hear what you have to say, please feel free to comment:)