Grab hold of Seville oranges while they're in season to make this fabulous marmalade. The brandy or whisky spooned over the top will give it a festive flourish, and also help to seal the marmalade. I can guarantee your friends will appreciate a jar, labelled with the date you made it, as a birthday or Christmas gift.
Scrub the oranges well and dry the skin with a tea towel. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange zest as thinly as possible and cut into fine julienne (thin shreds). Place in a large saucepan or preserving pan with half the water and the lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until peel is soft.
Meanwhile, cut the oranges (together with the pith) roughly and place them in a medium-large saucepan with the remaining water. Add any seeds. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat.
Carefully strain the orange pulp through a fine sieve or muslin (cheesecloth) into the pan with the soft peel.
Bring to the boil and reduce slightly. Add the warmed sugar. Stir until dissolved with a wooden spoon. Bring to boiling point and boil rapidly. Test for setting point on a saucer placed in the freezer. Remove from heat and leave to cool a little. Ladle into warm sterilised jars. To seal the top, spoon over 1 tablespoon brandy or whisky.
Note: warm the sugar in a tray in moderate oven before adding - this will help it dissolve more quickly.