Home-made marmalade tastes much better than the supermarket stuff and makes an inexpensive, original gift. It's easy to make all you need is citrus fruit and sugar.
Use any kind of citrus oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, cumquats, or mix them. I mix lemon and cumquat, popular with my friends and family.
Purists use Seville oranges which you can find in quality fruit and vegie shops, for example, Canterbury Fruit Emporium on Maling Road, Canterbury.
This recipe makes 8 jars of marmalade, using 2 kg of citrus fruit and 2kg of sugar.
Step 1: Sterilise 8 jars and metal lids by putting them in the oven, at 100 degrees C.
Step 2: Rinse and scrub the fruit. If you prefer neatly sliced marmalade, peel the fruit, and cut the peel into coarse strips. Chop the fruit pulp, removing the pips. Put the pips into a muslin bag (the pips are important they contain the pectin that sets the marmalade).
If the word "muslin" makes you panic (Muslin? Was that a Jane Austen thing?), there's an easier option. Cut the fruit roughly, leaving in the pips, zapping it all later with a hand-held blender.
Step 3: Put the fruit (and chopped peel and muslin bag if you insist on muslin) into a big saucepan. Add two cups of water. Simmer 30 minutes.
Step 4: For the muslin enthusiasts, now take out the bag. For all others, zap the fruit with a whiz-stick, taking out any obvious pips.
Step 5: Add the sugar. Boil until set, approximately 30 minutes. (Test whether the marmalade has set by putting a drop on a saucer. It's set if it doesn't run when you tip the saucer.)
Step 6: Take the jars out of the oven and ladle in the marmalade. Do this quickly while everything is sterilised, but take care it's very hot. Label the jars, including the date. Marmalade usually keeps for up to 12 months, especially if you seal it with paraffin wax (available in most supermarkets).