Figure 2: Small manual peeler
Treatment of the peel
If fresh peel is incorporated directly into the marmalade it will float to the surface during setting
and produce a very unsatisfactory product. The shredded peel needs to be saturated with sugar
before use so that it has the same density as the marmalade and stays suspended in the gel and
evenly distributed through the jar.
The shredded peel should be well mixed with dry sugar (1kg peel + 1kg sugar) and left in a
sealed container for at least a week, mixing occasionally. During this time a sugar solution will
form as the moisture from the peel mixes with the dry sugar. The pieces of peel will float in the
heavy sugar syrup. Sodium metabisulphate can be added to the sugar (1g per 1kg of peel) to
prevent the growth of moulds and yeasts.
This sweet mixture of peel and sugar will be highly attractive to ants and insects. Make sure that
the container is covered with a lid or netting and stand it in a trough of water to prevent ants.
The ideal situation is to use commercially available pectin as it has a standard setting power and
produces the same product time after time. If it is impossible (or too costly) to buy pectin, it
can be extracted from citrus peels or passion fruit rinds, but you will have to experiment on how
much to add to the juice to get a good set (see the technical brief on fruit waste utilisation for
more information on pectin production).
The best pectin for marmalade is a fast-set pectin. Fast set pectin is preferable because it forms
a gel quickly and so holds the pieces of peel in place throughout the marmalade. The usual
strength of commercial pectin is 150 SAG. To make marmalade you need a pectin with a
setting power of about 5SAG. Therefore the commercial pectin needs to be diluted (30 times in
this case) prior to use.
Preparation of 5 SAG pectin working solution
30g of 150 SAG pectin
• Dry mix the pectin and sugar thoroughly.
• Heat the water to 70-75°C and slowly add the sugar/pectin, mix with constant stirring. If
a small electric stirrer is available there will be less chance of lumps forming.
• Heat to boiling and boil for 1 minute, again with constant stirring.
• Hold at 50-60°C (a double saucepan is useful here).