Seville Oranges are only available for three weeks of the year. You can still find them in Sainsbury's and Morrisons Seville orange marmalade - Nigel Slater's recipe I made two batches this year. One with organic fruit, the other not. The flavour of the organic one shone most brilliantly and took less time to reach setting point. This is enough to fill about 5 or 6 normal jam jars.
12 Seville oranges
1.25kg unrefined golden granulated sugar
Using a small, particularly sharp kitchen knife, score four lines down each fruit from top to bottom, as if you were cutting the fruit into quarters. Let the knife cut through the peel but without piercing the fruit. Cut each quarter of peel into fine shreds (or thicker slices if you like a chunkier texture). Squeeze each of the peeled oranges and lemons into a jug, removing and reserving all the pulp and pips. Make the juice up to 4 litres with cold water, pouring it into the bowl with the shredded peel. You may need more than one bowl here. Tie the reserved pith, squeezed-out orange and lemon pulp and the pips in muslin bag and push into the peel and juice. Set aside in a cold place and leave overnight. The next day, tip the juice and shredded peel into a large stainless steel or enamelled pan (or a preserving pan for those lucky enough to have one) and push the muslin bag down under the juice. Bring to the boil then lower the heat so that the liquid continues to simmer merrily. It is ready when the peel is totally soft and translucent. This can take anything from 40 minutes to a good hour-and-a-half, depending purely on how thick you have cut your peel. (This time, mine took 45 minutes with the organic oranges, just over an hour with the others.) Once the fruit is ready, lift out the muslin bag and leave it in a bowl until it is cool enough to handle. Add the sugar to the peel and juice and turn up the heat, bringing the marmalade to a rolling boil. Squeeze every last bit of juice from the reserved muslin bag into the pan. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface. (If you don't your preserve will be cloudy.) Leave at a fast boil for 15 minutes. Remove a tablespoon of the preserve, put it on a plate, and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes. If a thick skin forms on the surface of the refrigerated marmalade, then it is ready and you can switch the pan off. If the tester is still liquid, then let the marmalade boil for longer. Test every 10 to 15 minutes. Some mixtures can take up to 50 minutes to reach setting consistency. Ladle into the sterilised pots and seal immediately.
Seville orange tart For the pastry:
8 oz (approx 250 g)
plain flour 3 oz (approx 100 g)
icing sugar 4 oz (approx 125 g)
butter 1 egg Or you can use ready-made pastry if you prefer
For the filling: 2 oz (approx 50 g)
butter 5 oz (approx 140 g)
2 Seville oranges
To make the pastry: Cream the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Beat in the flour to form a dough. This quantity of pastry is enough for three 7-inch tart cases, so divide the dough into three and freeze what you don’t need immediately. (It’s the same pastry that I use for strawberry cheesecake). Wrap one portion in cling film or foil and refrigerate for about an hour. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface, and line a greased tart tin about 7 inches (approximately 18 cm) in diameter. Don’t try to roll it out too thin. If the pastry breaks or tears when you lift it into the tin, don’t worry too much. Press the broken edges back together like Plasticene and you’ll probably get away with it. Bake the empty tart case in a hot oven (about 200 C) for about 15 minutes until golden brown and set. You can go through the palaver of blind-baking with the pastry weighted down with beans or marbles if you like, but I never bother. To make the filling: Put the butter, sugar and orange rind in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Remove the bowl from the heat, and beat in the juice of both oranges. Pour into the cooked tart case.
Bake at about 180 C for about 15 minutes until the filling is set. Serve hot or cold, with whipped cream if liked. The cooked tart will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature, if it gets the chance.