Sunday, 13 January 2013

Making marmalade to competition standard - batch one results

My husband has spent most of the day chuckling as I regale him with my marmalade knowledge...

This morning for breakfast I tried a blind test by giving him a taste of 'batch one' Seville orange marmalade from yesterday and some pink grapefruit marmalade from last year (not really a good batch at all, but edible)...he choose the pink grapefruit as his preferred marmalade!!! He thought the Seville was too tangy  But, from a man who would happily eat burgers and pizzas the rest of his life is this a he the best person to be my taster? No!

Yesterdays batch had its flaws...I know what they are but the trick (to my success) is to learn how to correct them...this will be may aim for batch two, which is steeping as I type.

Batch one: Had a nice colour and the peel was a good size and nicely distributed BUT...air bubbles were everywhere! It had lots of them and this was because I stirred it while it was not to stir.
This batch also took a long time to reach setting point...could be two reasons for this...quality of the fruit...or...too much liquid. The ratio of fruit to liquid to sugar is very important and I need to be more stringent in measuring...I didn't measure at all for batch one other than to follow a recipe.

As far as marmalade is concerned following a recipe has to go alongside knowing how to preserve if you want it to be able to enter competitions.
I think batch one was slightly under set, but now I'm not sure what a good set texture wise someone who suffers with 'set anxiety'  and tends to boil the life out of things I'm trying to address my anxiety and I am at risk of undersetting my marmalade now.

Batch two will be made tomorrow I'll let you know how it arms are aching with peel slicing.

But lets end on (below) is the lady who won the marmalade awards at Dalemain last year...(please don't think I might win this as I won't its impossible to with over 1,700 entries; I worked that out ages ago) she won 2 categories and therefore double gold, she's a novice, a home cook not a professional. Two questions (and DON'T Google her, thats just cheating!).

Q1 How old is she?      
Q2 How long as she been making marmalade?
Photo reproduced from Dalemain marmalade awards website

Don't forget to link up to my last post if you are also making marmalade.


  1. I had no idea making marmalade was so competitive. Yours looks like a winner in my book! Just how I like it.

  2. Thank you Sarah...think it only competitive if you enter it into a competition tho.

  3. Love your post about marmalade-making. I just made my first ever marmalade last weekend and really enjoyed the process. Not sure it is competition standard though! Do you have to physically take your marmalade to the Marmalade Competition or can you post it?

    1. Well its good to challenge yourself so why not enter (they raise a lot of money for charity through the comp). You post your entries and they have to be in by mid February. Go for it!

  4. Great post! Ive been making marmalade on and off for a few years (with mixed results!)but would never have the courage to enter a competition!I also suffer with "set anxiety" and join you in over-stirring! In fact I had never even realised what caused those bubbles!Your marmalade looks lovely, good luck for the competition!


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Susan x