|Old fashioned primula I got from my mum’s garden..
don’t know its name but its a spring flower favourite
Spring is a busy time in my garden for weeding and mulching with seaweed, but it’s also a time when there is plenty of citrus available.
I have taken a break from the weeding to make a batch of my much appreciated grapefruit marmalade.
The recipe originated from an old Aunt Daisy cookbook and is called “Johnny’s New Zealand Grapefruit Marmalade”. I’ve changed it a little by reducing the sugar and adding coriander seed but the method remains. It takes a few days to process but this makes the consistency of the marmalade excellent.
It’s a bitter-sweet marmalade and if you like it sweeter increase the sugar or cut back on the amount of peel used. Remember it’s the peel that has the most pectin to assist the setting.
|Grapefruit Marmalade infused with Coriander|
Johnny’s NZ Grapefruit Marmalade
|Coriander tied in a muslin bag cooked with the fruit|
The coriander gives “that extra something” to the flavour and if you wanted your marmalade more spicy you could try adding star anise. Sometimes I use brusied cardamon pods instead of coriander – you can experiment! Put the pulp back in the glass or ceramic bowl to sit for another 12 hours.
|The fruit pulp after simmering with the coriander|
The final step is measuring the pulp cup by cup into the stock pot and heat. Measure the equivalent of 3/4 cup of sugar to every cup of pulp, and add an extra 1/2 cup of sugar for about 10 cups of pulp. You are best to cook no more than 10 cups of pulp at a time – I usually divide the marmalade into two. At this point you can also opt to freeze the second portion if you haven’t the time to cook both.
Put a saucer into the freezer and the oven on around 150 to heat and sterilise the jam jars.
Add sugar to hot pulp and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil. It takes longer than jam to set. Check for setting after 20 minutes. As it gets to a good setting point the pulp is thickening. If you are cooking less than 10 cups the setting will happen more quickly.
To test drop some of the marmalade onto the cold saucer and see if it sets. When you push it with your finger and it wrinkles on top your marmalade is done.
Juice of a lemon assists in the setting at this point and the foam disperses if you add a tsp of butter.
Put your hot jars on a wooden surface and with a small jug carefully fill the jars with the hot liquid. Once they are filled you then cover with cellophane jam tops by dipping them to make them wet one side only into a saucer of water and carefully stretch over the top of the jars. Secure with a rubber band. If using jars with preserving seals, wipe away any spillage with a damp paper towel to ensure the seal works properly. I tend to save up and re-use jars rather than buying new ones. The advantage with the seals is that there will be no evaporation of the jam so it will keep well for over a year… my marmalade never lasts that long.
Making marmalade does take time but it is a lovely gift to give to friends and family. If you haven’t made it before I would suggest you start with a small quantity and experiment with what flavour or level of sweet and bitter you prefer for your “signature marmalade”.
You can also mix and match with all sorts of citrus.
If you want to compare bought marmalades you can go to this link from Target:
Season 13, Ep 22 – Marmalade – Product Check – Target – Shows – TV3
|This is actually a hedge line – photo taken
in the Larnach Castle gardens.
A chemical in Grapefruit may mess with some medications making the drugs too effective, e.g. if taking pills for high blood pressure eating grapefruit may cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
Pink or ruby grapefruit has lycopene and the benefits increase if you consume with green tea – so consider replacing the good old British cup of tea for green tea with your toast and marmalade.
Regular consumption of lycopene-rich fruits such as tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya and guava may greatly reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer – Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Jian L, Lee AH, et al.)
|I liked the way the gardeners have allowed this
stray daffodil to stay in the garden at Larnach Castle
I must say I was totally impressed by the design and variety of the gardens. Everything was mulched and looking so healthy and I think I will buy a garden pass for $20 so that I can see it again in summer. Nine to Noon Mon 10 Sept Fiona Eadie
If you want to know more about Larnach Castle go to www.larnachcastle.co.nz