Its Marmalade season – I tried a 3 fruit marmalade this year – grapefruit, lemon and bitter orange. All 3 fruits are used in both Traditional Herbal medicine and Aromatherapy for their medicinal properties. All 3 are said to be antidepressant & detoxifying – isn’t that just what we need on a winters morning to get us ready for spring?
Grapefruit: the essential oil is said to be antidepressant, antiseptic, diuretic, disinfectant and a lymphatic stimulant.
I use this oil in massage to lift depression and alleviate stress that is affecting the mind and muscles. It can be helpful when detoxing and dieting as a stimulant to the lymphatic system, helping to clear the body of toxins. It is also useful to help clear congested and oily skin.
Lemon: the essential oil is used as an antimicrobial, antiseptic, carminative, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, and insecticidal
I always think of lemon essential oil when the liver and gall bladder need support – whether from overdoing the alcohol or from bad diet. As a herbal medicine we commonly use it as a tea when we have a sore throat or deeper respiratory infection. It helps to break up phlegm so it is easier for the body to eliminate and support the immune system with its high vitamin C content.
Orange: The therapeutic properties of orange oil are antiseptic, anti-depressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, diuretic, sedative and tonic.
Orange essential oil is the most emotionally soothing of the 3 fruits. It has a reputation for helping children relax and sleep. It can also be used along with the other 2 oils as a detoxifier and lymphatic stimulant.
Back to the Marmalade recipe…
I am not an experienced jam maker and in my hurry to go out with the kids on Sunday I bottled it too quick, leaving it runny and only worthy as a pancake syrup. But a little bit more effort, pectin, sugar and more lemon juice has made it all good again!
So here is the recipe I used:
2.5kg mixed fruit including 3 lemons and 1 large grapefruit – and lots of Seville Oranges
1.5kg sugar (optional – use fruit sugar if you want to make sure you get it right first time!)
Juice from the fruit & 1 Litre of water
1. wash fruit & dry
2. peel rind – leaving all the pith behind. Chop rind into thin strips, depending on your preference, add to the thick bottomed preserving pan.
3. juice the fruit, (saving the pithy skin left overs) add this to pan.
4. add sugar & 1 Litre water
5. put all the left overs from the fruit into a muslin bag, tie it up and add this bag to the pan (this is part which contains the pectin – so if you are using fruit sugar you can miss this bit out).
6. bring to the boil – once at 220 C you need to hard boil for at least 1 minute for the pectin to set. Some recipes suggest 5 minutes, and I would suggest getting a Jam making thermometer as its is really impossible to tell unless you are experienced.
7. test the marmalade – I use plates which have been in the freezer to allow the jam to cool fast. If the jam cools and a skin is formed which wrinkles on pushing with a finger it is ready to bottle. If not – keep going until you get a good result.
8. sterilise jars – 130 C for 20 minutes in the oven & boil the lids until you are ready to use them.
9. bottle up your marmalade & wait for it to set (or not – then fix it later)
Happy marmalade making,
p.s. Just made a lemon, orange and almond gluten free cake – so delicious – I will share this recipe next blog!