Oranges will always mean Spain to me. Be they Valencia oranges packed with sweet juice that we drink freshly squeezed every day here, or Seville oranges, which at this time of year are abundant. The trees are groaning with citrus fruits, lining the streets in the towns and white villages, peeping over garden walls and growing in serried rows in the campo. There is nothing more heavenly than the scent of orange blossom.
Every bar and restaurant in Spain has a juicer lurking behind the bar, so that the fresh juice is available at all times, gorgeously sweet and pungent.
We love sunny orange marmalade for breakfast, and bizarrely it`s not something that you can buy readily in Spain. Peach jam seems to be on top of the list after tomatoes and olive oil, to eat on bread , toasted or otherwise. So we make our own.
`Pam the Jam` is a great new book of preserves, written by the `Jam Queen`, Pam Corbin. She has been involved in the food business for over thirty years, and sold her award-winning artisanal jam making business to Tiptree. I remember seeing her on TV with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the River Cottage series, ( she wrote two of their books, Preserves and Cakes), and then I rediscovered her through Instagram , as she has her own account , but pops up on various chefs accounts too, so I had to buy her book. It`s great!
Her jams and marmalade recipes have cut back the amount of sugar from yesteryear, and have a more lemony tang to them, which is delicious.
We have made her strawberry jam, her Sherried Shallots, and now the best Seville Orange Marmalade with sherry , ( we used a good Oloroso).
Oranges and sherry-the same terroir of southern Spain, and the same sunshine!
Andrew walked brazenly through the village with a step-ladder, a basket ( and the dog), and picked a whole load of Seville oranges from a tree just around the corner from our house. Most had fallen anyway. I must add that we have seen recently ,that if they aren’t picked, many oranges in villages and towns end up squashed and slippery on the pavements and roads, so I don’t think we need to feel guilty!
The recipe is below so do try it -it takes three days by the way-and put some Spanish sunshine into your life!