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please help me!! my marmalade is not setting and I want to go to bed! !

(32 Posts)
mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 22:35:52

Spent all day preparing my marmalade in between everything else, got dcs to bed and now ive been doing the last stage, ie boiling all the components together waiting for it to set. And it WON'T SET!!!


Please help!!!

BCBG Fri 29-Mar-13 22:38:09

How are you testing set?

BCBG Fri 29-Mar-13 22:39:03

You need a really fast rolling boil, mine usually takes about 20-25 minutes boiling in a wide jam pan.

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 22:40:46

Dish in freezer, taking it out every 5-10 minutes putting a small amount on it and waiting for a minute to see if it ripples. This is what I do for jam but ive never made marmalade before should I be doing something different?

Im tired...!

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 22:43:04

I upped the gas 5 minutes ago, and have just upped it again.

Ive been here since 9pm confused blush

ATouchOfStuffing Fri 29-Mar-13 22:43:54

I think it needs to boil for longer by the sound of it. You can do it tomorrow but you may need to wash jars and get a sticky layer/ring on the dish or anything it is stored in over night. I think the skin of orange makes it harder to set than jam for some reason...forget why!

BCBG Fri 29-Mar-13 22:45:39

All it has to do is wrinkle, so yes, just like jam. It does take longer than expected, but its also easy to think its still not set when it is! The thing is, once setting point is reached, you need to take it off the heat, stir a teaspoon of butter into the top and then leave it to STAND for 15 minutes (while you get ready for bed? grin) as otherwise the peel will sink when you pot it up if you do it too hot. How's it going?

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 22:51:54

The colours changing and it's getting thicker but it's slow! I didn't know re the butter thing it doesn't mention that in my book, what's that for and do I need to adjust quantities, I'm making 2kg worth of orange s which were given to me but turned out to be REALLY sour

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 22:55:20

Ok just tested it and it looks close to's hoping!!

BCBG Fri 29-Mar-13 22:55:34

2kg of oranges is a double load, so that's why its taking a long time to set! Don't worry, its well on the way; you'll just have to hang in there. As for butter, its just a neat trick to clear the foam on top, as otherwise it spoils the look of the marmalade. With that amount you must keep stirring otherwise its going to catch. If it's changing colour I would give it a max of another ten minutes, take it off the heat and test. It will definitely get there!

BCBG Fri 29-Mar-13 22:56:22

Oh and as for quantity, I use a scant tsp of butter per kilo.

BCBG Fri 29-Mar-13 22:58:58

Stir it in at the very end, once its off the heat, and leave to stand! Hope it works for you grin fingers crossed. Incidentally, although you can use marmalade straight away, it improves with keeping, and the set thickens,. We regularly eat my Seville marmalade 18 months later, but you do need good jars.

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 23:01:49

Ive set another 10 minute alarm!.

So with the butter trick I don't need to skim the foam?

It's getting v foamy actually does that mean anything? ?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 29-Mar-13 23:07:53

I wonder whether you needed to cook the fruit for longer before adding the sugar - I made this mistake this year.

Don't worry, it will still be lovely. If you are really knackered then I would cover it and go to bed and re-boil it tomorrow.

MrsPennyapple Fri 29-Mar-13 23:08:43

This happened to me during my first attempt a few weeks ago. The recipe called for seville oranges but I couldn't get them so I used the exotically named "large oranges" from the supermarket. This meant the pH value was different to what the recipe was written for.

I couldn't get it to set, but had to go out, so I just put it into the jars I had sterilised ready. Then they were all sealed up, and I was under no pressure to do anything with them immediately. It ended up being over a week later when I could get to them, and I just boiled it all up again with a load (75ml) more lemon juice to change the pH. It only wrinkled a tiny bit, but it was enough to set nicely.

I think the butter thing disperses the scum, doesn't it? It's the leaving it to cool for 10-15 min that stops the peel sinking in the jars. (I didn't do the butter thing, and my peel didn't sink.)

LakeFlyPie Fri 29-Mar-13 23:13:25

If it's nearly wrinkling then it sounds like you're almost there.

I had the same recently and ended up squeezing extra lemon juice in, think it did speed up the setting process, but the end product was a bit firmer than I wanted.

Hope you get to bed soon smile

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 23:19:29

I AM v tired but when the dcs are awake tomorrow I cant give the marmalade proper attention to check for set. ..

Maybe it's the oranges then bc theyre v sour and small more tangerine size, the recipe said large sweet ones.

I cooked the fruit for one hour and it was v soft is there anything else I should have looked for to know it waa ready?

It keeps over boiling now does that mean anything?

Thanks for helping me in my marmalade pickle grin

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 23:25:02

Oh I didn't know about the lemon juice thing I would've tried that!

Ok im getting little wrinkles, is that enough? Its been a long time since I made jam!

MrsPennyapple Fri 29-Mar-13 23:32:24

Wrinkles are wrinkles! Should be fine :-)

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 23:37:32

Ok I tested again I may have imagine d the wrinkles. sad ive added a tiny amount of lemon juice -table spoon to see if it finishes off this last bit.

mamacoffee Fri 29-Mar-13 23:44:37

Wrinkles! ! I have wrinkles! Never again will I be so glad to have wrinkles! !

Added butter (clever trick!! Thank you bcbg)

Now just waiting for the cooling down bit.

Maybe ill get to bed just after midnight. ..

mamacoffee Sat 30-Mar-13 00:06:10

I think the rest of my marmalade support group has gone to bed wink

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 30-Mar-13 08:03:43

Mama I hope it worked in the end.

My recipe has two lemons added when you cook the fruit, and I put the lemon pips in the muslin with the orange ones. They have more pectin in than orange so help the set.

MrsPennyapple Sat 30-Mar-13 09:36:13

Morning. Did it set?

BCBG Sat 30-Mar-13 11:30:49

Sorry mamacoffee, I faded ! grin really glad it worked out in the end. I make a lot of marmalade every year, and my final twopennorth is - if using sevilles, lemon isn't necessary, but if using other oranges then lemons will be needed to assist set. Alternatively if making clementine marmalade you can use jam sugar (which has pectin added) because clementine marmalade is really a jam. And generally a kg of fruit is the easiest amount, so I would prepare fruit and then cook in two batches if using 2kg. Really pleased for you - post a pic?

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