This recipe for whisky marmalade is a delicious twist on a classic. Make sure you’ve bought a bottle of the good stuff and you won’t regret it. Scroll down for instructions.
We are now comfortably in to a new year. January is always such a crappy month: the weather is drab, the nights are long and money is always tight, meaning it’s not the most cheerful of months. I’m always looking for ways to bring a little fun and colour into the most dreary of months and what better way to do this than with food.
Citrus fruits are in season and with supermarkets overstocking over the Christmas period you can pick up a bargain or two. Take clementines and oranges, punnets are going for rock bottom prices which is ideal as you will need over a kilogram of them for this recipe making it cheap and cheerful to produce.
Don’t you think the bright orange of the peel brings some welcome sunshine to a rather dark month.
A Scottish affair
I first tried whisky marmalade when we spent a weekend in Edinburgh, which you can read all about here. We bought back all sorts of weird and wonderful whisky infused treats including chocolate, tea and marmalade. The jar we bought back didn’t last very long – not least because I’d gotten a horrendous cold and found it was delicious when used to make a hot honey and lemon to soothe my throat.
The next winter I decided to perfect making my own whisky marmalade and have been giving it as a Christmas gift to family and friends ever since.
I don’t always use the same whisky. This year I actually used a rye bourbon which was nice for a change. My only real advice when choosing a whisky to add to your marmalade is make sure it’s one you’d actually like to drink. It’s no good using a really peaty variety if that’s not what you like.
The whisky adds some heat and a little kick to the marmalade making it the perfect accompaniment to toast for a special New Year brunch or even added to a pudding on Burns Night!
Making marmalade is actually quite straight forward. I think a lot of people are worried about getting the right consistency and set. Sure, making marmalade is a bit of a science but these days you can pick up sugar thermometers which tell you when its at the perfect temperature on Amazon for just a few quid. I’ve included links to various bits of kit you’ll need at the end of the recipe.
To get the rind floating in the jars is also surprisingly simple, just let your marmalade cool for 10-15 minutes before transferring into the sterilised jars. That way it won’t all sink to the bottom.
Trust me, marmalade making is easy than it looks!
- 3 x 700ml jars or 5 x 450ml jars
- Place the fruit (still whole) in a large pan with the water.
- Weigh them down with a heat proof plate or pan lid so that they are fully submerged.
- Bring the water to the boil, cover the pan and simmer for 2 hours or until the oranges and clementines are very soft.
- Take the oranges and clementines out of the plan and place them on to a cooling rack. (Do not throw away the water at this stage).
- Once the fruits are cool enough to touch, cut them in half and remove any pips, fibrous bit of membrane and any bitter pith.
- Retain the juice in a jug for later.
- Add the pith back into the pan along with the cooking liquid and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile cut the peel into thin strips (as thin as you like).
- Strain the cooking liquid into a heavy bottomed preserving pan or sauce pan making sure to remove all of the pith from the cooking liquid.
- Squeeze the pitch to make sure you've got as much pectin out as possible (this will help it set).
- There should be roughly 1 litres of water left, top it up with water as necessary then add the whisky.
- Add the sliced peel and juice to the pan along with the sugars.
- Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 8 - 15 minutes for the perfect set.
- To test for the correct set, turn the heat off and spoon a little of the marmalade onto a cold plate (make it cold quickly by popping in the freezer). Leave the marmalade for a few minutes to see if it sets.
- If not, boil the marmalade for a few more minutes and test again until it has a jelly.
- Using a spoon, skim off any scum that appears on the surface.
- Leave the marmalade to cool for 15 minutes while steralising your jars.
- To steralise your jars, either by put them in the dishwasher or washing them with soapy water and leave them to dry in the oven, or use food safe steralising powder.
- Once the marmalade has cooled slightly pour into your jars.
- Screw on the lids tightly and allow to cool, they will "pop" when they are sealed air tight.
I was lucky enough to get given a Kilner preserve making kit for Christmas a few years ago. It comes out every December now without fail. If you’re not sure what kit you need, have a browse below and head over to Amazon to make your purchase!
Pin it for later!
This recipe is one you need in your repertoire.