Mrs. Beeton’s view on Seville Orange Marmalade

Mrs. Beeton’s Family Cookery and Housekeeping Book:  A Useful Guide in Households, both Large and Small (1905) has four recipes for Orange Marmalade made with Seville Oranges.  They are all complicated because, as anyone who makes Seville knows, there is a lot of work involved.  At the bottom of the first recipe she writes:  NOTE:  The best marmalade is made by Keiller, and many are of the opinion that when it can be bought so cheaply and good it is scarcely worth making it at home.   (I checked and you can still buy Keiller’s Marmamalde lo these many years later).  Course, you can also buy it from me.

Here is one of the recipes:

Equal weight of fine loaf sugar and Seville oranges, to 12 oranges for one pint of water.  Average cost, 6d per lb.

Let there be an equal weight of loaf sugar and Seville oranges and allow the above proportion of water to every dozen oranges.  Peel them carefully, remove a little of the white pith and boil the rinds in water 2 hours, changing the water three time to take off a little of the bitter taste. Break the pulp into small pieces, take out all the pips and cut the boiled rind into chips.  Make syrup with the sugar and water; boil this well, skim it, and, when clear, put in the pulp and chips.  Boil all together from 20 minutes to ½ hour, pour it into pots, and, when cold, cover down with bladders, or tissue-paper brushed over on both sides with the white of an egg.  The juice and grated rind of 2 lemons to every dozen of oranges, added with the pulp and chips to the syrup, re a very great improvement to this marmalade.

Time:  2 hours to boil the orange-rinds; 10 minutes to boil to syrup; 20 minutes to ½ hour to boil the marmalade.

Seasonable:  This should be made in March or April, as Seville oranges are then in their perfection.