There’s something fundamentally beautiful about a marmalade that blends a substantial measure of fine, cask-aged single malt whisky with dark and syrupy molasses sugar to add depth of flavour to deliciously-bitter oranges. It’s a breathtaking marriage and it works exquisitely.
Amber liquid aficionados know that a single malt whisky is a malt whisky made from a single distillery, that is, whisky distilled from a fermented mash made with malted barley, as opposed to unmalted grain. Single malts are typically associated with single malt Scotch, though they are also produced in various other countries. Latest trends involve infusing bitters, which can be produced from kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots - and other citrus fruits, or any combination of them - with malt whiskies.
Spreadable whisky is the surprisingly delicious way to sneak a rich dose of malty goodness onto your morning toast. Marvellously indulgent, it’s the perfect treat for when a morning tipple would be a step too far into alcoholism. Marmalade-making is easier than it looks, you too can embody this intrinsically Scottish mix in the comfort of your own home.
Start by washing the oranges, then put them in a large pan with the water and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, partly covered and let it simmer for two and a half hours, until the oranges are soft. Remove the pan from the heat and scoop the oranges out into a large bowl. When they are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop the flesh and seeds back into the pan using a dessertspoon. Bring the mixture back to the boil and let the pan simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
In the interim, cut the orange peel into strips with either a sharp knife or you can use a knife and fork for a chunkier style. Press the contents of the pan through a sieve into a preserving pan - pressing through as much pulp as possible. Add the peel, sugar and treacle or molasses to the pan and put a couple of saucers in the freezer.
Bring the mixture slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then raise the heat and boil rapidly until setting point is reached. This should take around 6 to 10 minutes. To test this turn off the heat under the marmalade, take a saucer out of the freezer and spoon on a little blob of marmalade. Leave for a moment, then push the marmalade with your finger. If the surface wrinkles it is ready, if not, boil it for a few more minutes and test it again.
Stir the whiskey into the marmalade, then leave it to cool for 10 minutes. Give it a stir to distribute the peel, then spoon the mixture into clean warm jars. Step aside, Marmite. Take a bow, Nutella. And don’t even contemplate hanging around, peanut butter. You’ve all been replaced.