This recipe comes from a long line of cooks and chefs who all seem to have put their magic touch to it, beginning with Fergus’s mum and finishing with my head chef, James.
You will need a large heatproof glass bowl and a large square of muslin.
Put the oranges and lemons into a very large pan and add the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat a little and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the fruits from the liquid and set them aside to cool a little. Meanwhile, boil the liquid in the pan until reduced by a third.
Preheat the oven to 120°C/fan 110°C/250°F/gas ½. Put the sugar into a large heatproof glass bowl and warm in the oven for 15 minutes.
When the oranges and lemons are cool enough to handle, halve each fruit and spoon out the pulp and seeds, placing these in the middle of a large square of muslin. Tie the muslin with string to make a bag.
Slice the orange skins into thin strips and add to the liquid in the pan. Add the muslin bag, giving it a good squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir all the sugar into the liquid until dissolved.
Bring to the boil, then let the marmalade boil away for 10-15 minutes, until setting point is reached (105°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, you can spoon a blob of marmalade on to an ice-cold plate; if you can make a valley with your finger, it has reached setting point.
Turn off the heat and leave the marmalade to settle for 5 minutes before ladling it into hot sterilized jars. Once opened, keep in the refrigerator.
Enjoy your marmalade with slices of toast. Steamed pudding and ice cream are some of my other favourite uses for marmalade.
Note: To sterilize jars, wash them well in hot soapy water, including the lids, then rinse in hot water and place on a baking tray. Place them in the oven at 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4 for at least 10 minutes.