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Marmalade won't set

(18 Posts)
tinselvestsparklepants Sun 16-Feb-20 16:44:38

I've made a lovely Seville marmalade and roll boiled it to setting point temperature but it just won't set. I've used the good food guide recipe and now I'm stuck. Can anyone advise how to rescue it? I've made half the batch, have another half to go. If it's lack of pectin, how can I get more into the second batch? Help! Happy to cheat in any way that'll yield results...

MonsteraCheeseplant Sun 16-Feb-20 16:47:43

Squeeze some lemon or lime juice on, That's high in pectin. Also, you can buy sugar with added pectin from the supermarket.

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 16-Feb-20 18:20:54

Thank you!! Should I re-boil with the extra lemon juice in? Assume yes?

MysteriousSheep Sun 16-Feb-20 18:24:11

I recently made marmalade and it wouldn’t set. I just boiled it for ages longer than the recipe suggested and eventually it set and I now have about 30 jars of delicious marmalade. It just came out ‘darker’, if that makes sense?

MysteriousSheep Sun 16-Feb-20 18:24:55

But yes, add lemon juice, that should work too!

Tartyflette Sun 16-Feb-20 18:29:17

I had to reboil my marmalade yesterday, i don't mind a soft set but this would have just slid off a slice of toast.
I gave it about another 10 minutes at a fast boil and it set perfectly after that. It's a little darker and of course I lost about a jar's worth of marmalade sad.
I didn't add more lemon juice but i have done in the past.
It's a bit of a pain but needs must.

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 16-Feb-20 19:35:53

Thanks again all. I wasn't sure about boiling it for longer but I can do that. Annoyingly my amazing Nan, who made the family supply every year until she was 98, for some reason didn't get round to teaching me how to make it! Hers was dark with thick chunks of rind, mine is more Paddington. Perhaps this is her way of saying she doesn't approve!

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 16-Feb-20 19:37:58

Ps for those who boil it for longer, how do you know when it's done? I've brought it up to the right temperature but do you have to keep doing the wrinkle test until you're bored of the taste of the stuff ?

Lailaha Sun 16-Feb-20 19:39:50

Boil it to buggery - hard, fast boil for about ten minutes usually does it if everything else has failed.

MonsteraCheeseplant Sun 16-Feb-20 19:40:25

Yes add the juice then boil until it passes the set test (drop a little bit onto a freezing cold surface, gently push the liquid with your finger and if it wrinkles, it's gonna set)

Nomorewineever Sun 16-Feb-20 19:41:46

A couple of times mine hasn’t seemingly set I’ve done a brief re-boil but then kept the jarred stash in the fridge till it’s used rather than the larder/pantry. I think told cold has given it an extra set again and I use it from the fridge so no love lost really. Works for me.

LadyHooHa Sun 16-Feb-20 19:43:19

I had the same problem, OP.

I boiled it for about 5 years longer than the recipe said. I thought the setting problem was because I was using 1/3 of the quantity of sugar the recipe mentioned, because I don't like sweet things (though unadulterated Seville oranges are too challenging even for me).

I did tip a bit more sugar in because I had visions of it ending up as a mash of peel and not much else. So it probably had about half of the recommended sugar quota in the end (there is nothing scientific about my marmalade).

I also chucked in a couple of jars of last year's marmalade, as they were a bit solid, and boiled them up with the current lot.

I potted it up as soon as it was more or less set, not least as last year's experience tells me that it carries on setting a bit after the event. I am not displeased. It's a bit runny, but not too sweet and very tasty.

I might use jam sugar next year. I use it for strawberry and plum jam, and it speeds things up.

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 16-Feb-20 20:10:08

Some good advice here, thank you. A 5 year re-boil sounds good! I've just made a cake with the left over orange innards. Vat of custard. Debating whether first course really necessary.

4merlyknownasSHD Mon 17-Feb-20 08:50:54

Reducing the sugar always sounds like a good, healthy option but it is actually there for a reason (well, two really). It is there, primarily, as a preservative but also a reduction of sugar makes a thinner product.....so less chance of a good set. Certo is a liquid pectin, available from most good supermarkets.

RamblinRosie Tue 18-Feb-20 03:00:21

You need to boil to 104C.

4merlyknownasSHD Tue 18-Feb-20 09:13:21

To combine my last post with RamblinRosie (above): Water boils at 100 deg.C (anything higher than that is steam). Adding sugar to water raises the boiling temperature of water. The greater proportion of sugar to water in jam or marmalade permits you to have a boil at 104 deg.C.

Tartyflette Tue 18-Feb-20 09:18:17

I always use much less sugar than most recipes suggest, i find that a pound of sugar to a pound of whole oranges will generally make a good set, as it does for jam recipes. Keeping quality is not affected at all IME.
I think the traditional marmalade mantra of 2 lb sugar to 1 lb oranges (or kilo equivalents) came about because firstly it gave a much greater yield of finished product and thus made the most of the fruit at a time when sugar was cheap and the oranges quite expensive, and secondly, just because it can be done -- these oranges will take loads more sugar in a way that , strawberries, say, will not.
But we prefer the tangier taste when you use less sugar and , as i say, it sets fine. Just reboil , adding more lemon juice if required.

magimedi Tue 18-Feb-20 09:24:52

What I have found useful is to boil to 104.5C & test that temp several times, stirring well. If you only testthe temp once it is all too easy to hot a small 'hot spot'.

If you then want to be 100% sure of set, turn the heat off, put a spoonful of the marmalade on a small plate that has been in the freezer & put it back in the freezer for one minute & then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles it will set. The wrinkle is really obvious.

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