I hurt. All over. And it’s my own silly fault. You see, due to a general lack of exercise for the past few months, I’m shockingly unfit. So it was obviously an excellent idea to go from practically no exercise to cycling on Saturday, playing two hours of ultimate frisbee on Sunday (I don’t even know how I got talked into that. It involved an awful lot of stop-start running. I hate running.) and cycling again yesterday. Pacing myself sensibly is not one of my strong points. And holy guacamole am I paying for it.
That same all-or-nothing approach isn’t just restricted to poor exercise-related decision-making. There were some beautiful tamarillos at the farmers’ market a few weekends ago. So instead of buying a few, I came away with 2kg. I knew I had some recipes for various tamarillo-based preserves and chutneys squirrelled away, so I dug them out and decided to transform the evidence of my, ahem, slight overenthusiasm into tamarillo marmalade. Despite loving marmalade, I’d never actually tried making my own before, so this seemed as good a time as ever.
To be perfectly honest, halfway through slicing 1.5kg of tamarillos, I got a bit bored and started to question whether all this effort was going to be worth it. I had a similar crisis of enthusiasm the following evening whilst making the marmalade and wondering why it was taking forever to gel. When I checked the recipe again, I discovered that I’d mixed up the quantities with another recipe that I’d considered and used 1.5kg of tamarillos instead of 1kg. And then I’d forgotten that I’d used 1.5kg of tamarillos and calculated the sugar based on 1kg of tamarillos. No wonder.
Thankfully, the marmalade did eventually gel. And also happens to taste delicious. Tamarillos are a little bitter, but not hugely so, which means the decreased sugar isn’t problematic, the marmalade is just the right amount of bitter. So it worked out wonderfully. That, I’m afraid, is the Mel show – more than a little disorganised, but I somehow usually manage to fudge it and make it look/taste like I totally knew what I was doing. More by accident than any sort of actual skill. Which I’m sure gives you great confidence in my recipes…*
Makes just over 4 x 350ml jars
Adapted from A fruit cookbook
To sterilise the jam jars, wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water before placing on a baking tray and placing in an oven on low heat until fully dried, about 10 mins or so. It might be an idea to use jam sugar, since the added pectin would probably help the marmalade gel a bit quicker. I should warn you that the marmalade does take a while to make, and you do have to keep an eye on it. But don’t be put off by that, just make sure you don’t have any pressing engagements. The marmalade is delicious on toast and scones or in porridge and would probably make a delicious meat glaze, too.
750g caster or granulated sugar (or jam sugar)
2 unwaxed oranges
1 unwaxed lemon
1. Place the tamarillos in a heat-proof bowl (you may need to do this in batches) and pour boiling water over them. Allow to sit for 1-2 mins, then skin them, starting by lopping off the stalk with a sharp knife and peeling off the rest of the skin (the skin peels away very easily once started). Finely slice the peeled tamarillos, place them in a large bowl with 250g of the sugar and stir together. Cover with a lid or cling-film and leave to stand overnight.
2. Finely slice the oranges and lemon, removing any pips. Add to a large mixing bowl with 750ml water, cover with a lid or cling-film and also leave to stand overnight.
3. The next day, place several saucers or small plates in the freezer. Add the orange and lemon peel and water to a large heavy-bottomed pan and simmer over a medium-low heat until the skins turn transparent. Then add the tamarillos and simmer until tender. Finally, add the sugar and ensure that it dissolves before turning the heat up a little and bringing the marmalade to a rolling boil. After about 15-20 mins, remove one of the saucers from the freezer, place 1 tsp of the marmalade and place in the fridge for 1 min. Push your finger through the marmalade on the saucer. If it wrinkles, the marmalade is ready. If not, allow the marmalade to continue on a fast boil for another 4-5 mins and test again. Continue until the marmalade wrinkles. As soon as the marmalade is ready, remove from the heat.
4. Allow to cool for 20 mins. Skim any scum off the top and ladle the marmalade into sterilised jars and seal (a jam funnel helps considerably).
PS – I’m submitting this to this week’s Made with Love Mondays hosted by the lovely Javelin Warrior.
* I feel that I just should point out that I only ever post recipes that actually worked for me. And if I’m not sure, I’ll double test them.