Christingle is such a lovely service. Festive carols and candlelight, what could be nicer? Once the sweets have been munched on the way home, I gather up all of our oranges. I check the fruit over for wax drips and give them a good wash and scrub. They are then ready to be used for a jar or two of marmalade.
This is how I make marmalade:
(feel free to use any oranges you have... they don't have to have been a Christingle!)
- Juice the oranges and make up to a litre with boiling water
- If you like shredded marmalade, shred the peel however thinly or thickly you like; if you want shredless marmalade, simply leave the bits of peel as they are.
- Pour the boiling water over the peel (even if you have left it whole) and leave it overnight. This softens the peel for shredded marmalade, but most importantly, further flavours the liquid even if making shredless stuff.
- Put the liquid into a large pan with the shredded peel if using (otherwise discard), and 1 kilo of jam sugar (this is just sugar with the pectin already added, available at supermarkets).
- Bring to the boil and let it continue to bubble for 10 minutes.
- Pour into jars you have sterilised (while the jam is bubbling, I wash them with hot soapy water, rinse, then dry out carefully in the microwave without the metal lids - you could use an oven or just put them through a dishwasher.) Make sure the lids go on nice and tight.
Smartprice marmalade is 27p per large jar, so of course works out cheaper... and there is nothing particularly wrong with this marmalade (in fact, most of my jars began life as a smartprice container) but this is a lovely way to use the oranges and there feels something special about marmalade made from Christingle oranges! It helps me to feel more festive than ordinary marmalade might as I breakfast over the winter season.
To give the marmalade as a gift, you can wrap the jars with red ribbon and tie a package of four homemade sweets to the side (marzipan coloured and shaped into fruits would be nice here), and then attach a pretty tea light to the top of the jar. A smart-looking label reading what each part of your Canny Christingle Marmalade gift represents would be nice to include: the oranges represent the world, the red ribbon the blood, the sweets are the fruits given to us, and four of them represent the four seasons, and the candle for the light of the world. This would make a lovely gift for the youth workers in the church or family members; I think I might just do that this year!
Also, why not try this homemade marmalade in my Marmalade Shortbread - one of the most favoured bakes/biscuits at Acorn Towers!
Are you making foodie gifts for family and friends this Christmas? I'm always glad to read others' ideas.