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Basic marmalade recipe

Basic marmalade recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Preserves
  • Jam
  • Marmalade

This is the first preserve I made and it was such a success; friends and family loved it and it gave me the confidence to play with the ingredients to make different marmalade for example, change the type of sugar used or add limes instead of lemons or add a blood red grapefruit or add whiskey. Oranges contain large amount of pectin so you do not need to use special jam making sugars.

Dorset, England, UK

130 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 7 450g jars marmalade

  • 2.25L water
  • 1kg Seville oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 2kg granulated or caster sugar

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:2hr ›Extra time:8hr setting › Ready in:10hr30min

  1. Pour the water into a preserving pan. Cut the oranges and lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of the fruit into the pan (I put a large sieve over the pan to catch the pips and any pith). Separate the pith and pips and put the pith into the pan and the pips into a muslin bag and tie it up (the pith contains a lot of pectin so it is important to use this as it helps the setting process). Suspend the bag of pips in the water tying the bag to the handle of the pan.
  2. Cut the remaining orange and lemon peel into thin slices and add to the pan. If you prefer chunky marmalade then slice the peel slightly thicker.
  3. Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours or until the peel is soft. I test a piece of peel by chewing it to see if the peel has softened. If you don't like doing this then squeeze between your fingers to see if the peel is soft. Remove the pips from the pan and squeeze the pectin out of of the pips back into the pan. Be careful because the pips will be hot to touch.
  4. Add the sugar to the pan and increase the heat to medium stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil the marmalade for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes spoon a little of the marmalade mix onto a cold saucer and let it cool. If you push with your finger and it wrinkles, it is ready. If not, continue to boil for another 10 minutes and test again. Repeat until you reach setting point.
  5. Once setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. If there is scum on top of the marmalade remove by skimming or stirring in a knob of butter.
  6. Boil the jam jars and lids in a pan of boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Remove with tongs and immediately add the marmalade with the aid of a jam funnel leaving a 2cm head space. Cover with a wax disc and put the lid on the jar to seal it. Leave the jars undisturbed to cool completely, then label. The next day enjoy your marmalade on some hot buttered toast.


Once you have made the basic marmalade start experimenting with different sugars and add whisky or brandy to give the extra kick.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (1)

I haven't made marmalade for years and found this is to be an excellent recipe. There might look to be a lot of peel as you are chopping it up but yes, you do need it all. I shall certainly make this again as my grandchildren loved it..-24 Jan 2016

Quick Mandarin Marmalade

When mandarins, tangerines and tangelos are in season, they’re IN SEASON. Aside from eating them fresh and dehydrating the peels to use in rich Asian stews, not many people know about things to do with them though, so here’s a simple recipe for making delicious mandarin marmalade.

You can of course make a refreshing cordial with them by adapting this recipe, and they make an excellent infused booze for Christmas (basically just combine cumquats, sugar and either brandy or vodka and let sit for 3-4 months before straining), but if you’ve got a bit of time, cumquat marmalade is a delicious way to preserve them. You can also try your hand at a tasty mandarin chutney as well, which pairs beautiful with hearty curries and strong cheeses.

Making marmalade is generally a 2-day job, but this recipe takes significantly less effort than most marmalade recipes, and aside from the bit where you have to cool down the boiled fruit, it’s really quick.

How to Make Orange Marmalade

Our orange marmalade recipe is adapted from the book “Preserving with Pomona's Pectin“. Pomona's Pectin is my “go to” for jams and jellies, because it sets up with little or no added sweetener. Your preserves cook quickly, keeping their fresh fruit flavor.

This marmalade recipe makes 6-7 half-pint (8 ounce) jars. I process my jars in a boiling water bath canner, but it is okay to make a half batch and store it in the refrigerator.

Before you get started, prep your equipment and ingredients:

  • Water bath canner
  • Jar lifter
  • Jar funnel
  • Lid Lifter
  • Canning jars and two piece canning lids
  • 6-7 medium oranges, lemon juice, water, sugar and Pomona's pectin

See “How to Can Food at Home” for more information on canning equipment and safe canning tips.

Wash the oranges, scrubbing well to remove any preservative wax on the skin. Peel off thin strips of rind from two oranges with a vegetable peeler, leaving the white pith behind. Chop peel into thin strips.

Peel the oranges and remove the white pith and tough membranes. Segment or finely chop the fruit. If segmenting the oranges, opt for seven oranges. If you choose to cut the oranges, six should be enough.

In a large saucepan, combine the chopped fruit, sliced peels, 3 cups water and 3 teaspoons calcium water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes to soften the peels, stirring occasionally. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice.

Mix 2 1/2 cups sugar and 3 teaspoons pectin powder in a separate bowl. Bring fruit mix back to a boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve pectin.

Bring orange marmalade back to a full boil. Boil for one minute, and then remove from heat.

Homemade Lemon Marmalade

This easy three-ingredient recipe is all you need to make lemon marmalade from scratch. Although this recipe is simple, it requires hours to complete, so don't overbook yourself on the day you decide to try it out.

Learning to make homemade marmalade is a useful skill, as sales of the spread have dipped. Some marmalade manufacturers have gone out of business, and in Britain, where the preserve is traditionally most popular, younger people don't eat it nearly as much as the over 45 crowd does.

This trend is not only rooted in generational differences in taste but also that breakfast is no longer as widely eaten as it once was. As breakfast declines in popularity, the jams and spreads served with it no longer have the same hold on culinary traditions as they did previously.

One way manufacturers are trying to tap into the younger market is by offering marmalade in new flavors. Orange marmalade is the flavor of jam that has traditionally been served in the United States and the United Kingdom. By learning to make lemon marmalade, you're already ahead of the fold.

What Types of Oranges to Use For Orange Marmalade?

I prefer using an orange with a thin peel – mandarin oranges are perfect!

However, you can use any type of orange to make this delicious marmalade – blood oranges would produce beautiful marmalade!

Tip: If you do use an orange with a thicker peel, be sure to remove some of the pith (white part) of the orange to prevent bitterness in the preserves. You may also opt to not include all of the peels to keep them from overpowering the mixture.

Grapefruit Marmalade Recipe


Makes 3 cups of marmalade

  • 3 medium-sized grapefruit, pink or yellow
  • 2 cups (roughly 1lb) white sugar, or a weight equal to the peeled weight of the grapefruits.

You can use special jam sugar if you like, but there's really no need, because grapefruit has plenty of pectin in it. (Pectin is the stuff that makes jam set.)

By the way, some marmalade recipes use water. not this one. I think you get a more flavorsome marmalade without dilution.


Some grapefruit marmalade recipes require you to soak the rinds overnight to soften them up. I've found that 20 minutes in the microwave softens them up just fine.

  1. Use a peeler to peel the thin, yellow, outer layer (zest) from the grapefruits. Slice the zest into thin strips and put it aside.
  2. Remove seeds and white pith from the grapefruits. Make sure you do a good job getting rid of the white pith, because it tastes bitter.
  3. Chop the juicy bits of the grapefruits finely and put them to a large, microwave-safe bowl (3L/3quarts or bigger) along with the zest. Depending on the size of your grapefruits, the juicy bits should come to about 2 cups worth.
  4. Add an equal amount of sugar , i.e. one cup sugar for each cup of chopped grapefruit.
  5. Microwave on high for 20 minutes , uncovered, stirring every few minutes. Placing the bowl on a dinner plate will make it easier to put in/out of the microwave when it's hot. By the way, if you used yellow grapefruit, you will see the color change to a beautiful deep orange at about the 10 minute mark.
  6. To test whether marmalade has reached setting point , smear a little bit onto a cold plate and let it cool to test the consistency. If it's not thick enough yet, then microwave it for another 5 minutes or so.
  7. While marmalade is in microwave, prepare some clean jars by pouring boiling water over them to sterilise them.
  8. When marmalade is finished, ladle it into the jars , up to 1/2 inch from the top. Put lids on jars, and turn jars upside-down for 5 minutes to seal and sterilise the lids. Then turn upright and let cool.

If your marmalade is going to be a gift, then dress it up nicely with some colored fabric/tissue and a ribbon :-)

Orange Marmalade

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Makes about 4 pints

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1 1/4 pounds oranges, preferably seedless, whether Valencia, navel, or Cara Cara
  • 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 4 cups granulated sugar


Wash the fruits well and then chop them roughly but thoroughly. You needn’t worry that the pieces are all the same size, just that they’re small enough to give the marmalade a pleasantly chunky texture, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick or so. Remove and discard any seeds.

Combine the fruit and 4 cups water in a medium nonreactive saucepan with a lid. Bring to a simmer over low heat, then remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Return the pot to the stove, turn the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until the volume is reduced by half and the citrus rinds are tender, 60 to 75 minutes. Stir the pot from time to time and turn the heat down a touch if it looks or smells as though it’s scorching.

Once the fruit is tender, add the sugar a little at a time, stirring all the while, until you’ve added all 4 cups and it has dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium-high and boil until the mixture is thickened, not more than 15 to 25 minutes. When done, it will slide off a spoon in sheets, not droplets, and a spoonful poured onto a cold plate should gel and seem firm.

Transfer to jars, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to a couple weeks. Originally published April 15, 2005.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Woah, I can make marmalade! Sure this was too good to be true, I put together this easy recipe from navels (2 medium), 1 blood orange (small), 1 lemon. (No fancy Valencia oranges in my grocery!) Skeptical though I was of both my citrus and the simple directions, I roughly chopped, discarding seeds, I boiled, then waited, and boiled again in order to reduce by half, longer than directed. Then I threw in the sugar, boiled till gloopy and slightly heavy when stirring, and spooned into jars (three 8-ounce ball jars were perfect). To my surprise, this marmalade is more balanced, less sweet, better textured than store-bought, and much more aromatic. All around a winner!

I very roughly chopped, paying little attention to size, but the rinds were probably in strips no wider than 1/4 inch. I boiled for more like 1 1/2 hours to reduce by half. This will vary by pan shape and size. No problems with scorching, etc.

I love orange marmalade. Naturally, for the taste test, I recruited a friend who loves it even more than I do. Our verdict: this marmalade is delicious. Full of citrus flavor with lovely bitterness, and appropriately suppressed sweetness, it's wonderful on toast with a layer of rich butter underneath.

We're in the middle of winter now and Valencia oranges, in season in the summer, are not available anywhere so I used navel oranges instead. I cut the fruit into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. We didn't mind the more pronounced bitterness in chunkier marmalade, but thought it had an unpleasant mouthfeel so I'll slice the fruit thinly next time.

As to how long to boil the marmalade to finish, mine passed the "gel-on-a-cold-plate" test after 18 minutes, and when cooled, it was on a stiff side but perfectly spreadable. (I found the "sliding-off-a-spoon-in-sheets" test too ambiguous.) I got 4 1/4 cups, which is just over 2 pints. Did you know that marmalade freezes well? I stashed a couple of jelly jars full in the freezer to enjoy later.

If you're a marmalade lover, hold onto your hat! (Honestly, hold onto your spoons, because this is one of those homemade confections that you just might want to eat straight out of the jar!) No joke, this handmade orange marmalade is perfectly sweet with that tiny bit of bitter flavor that inherently comes with including the citrus peel in the preserve the small pieces of tender citrus peel are almost like a candied confection. I adore this orange marmalade and can't wait to use it in a number of ways.

I tested it this morning on a toasted sprouted grain bagel with a thin schmear of cream cheese and marmalade—heaven with a cup of Early Grey tea. Other ideas for this marmalade include serving it over homemade ricotta cheese with some toasted sliced almonds perhaps in Crêpes Suzette, folded into a butter cake batter, or even as a savory glaze for a pork tenderloin, mixed with a touch of soy sauce and ginger. So many appealing options!

I couldn't find Valencia oranges so swapped sweet Cara Cara oranges in instead. I used 1 large Meyer lemon for the lemon component. In Step 1, it is important to cut the washed fruits as small as possible that way the texture is just right. The size of the chunks of citrus fruits I made were about 1/8 of a inch in size.

After this 25 minutes, I tested a spoonful of the marmalade on a small plate I had chilled in the freezer it gelled at this point and the fruit was very tender. I did let the marmalade cool to room temp before packaging it into my pint Ball jars.

Overall, a simple recipe for a beloved kitchen staple! I really enjoyed the process of making this orange marmalade almost as much as I enjoyed tasting it.

For cooks who are intimidated by making homemade jam, this recipe is easy to follow and created enough marmalade so to have enough to give a jar to a few friends. If I were to change anything, I would make this jam with less sugar as I found it to be a touch too sweet. However, my kids, who usually do not like marmalade, liked this recipe, so I think the sweetness is an individual choice.

After resting the mixture overnight, I cooked it for 45 minutes on medium-low heat and had no problem with scorching. I stirred it every 10 minutes and had to cook the jam 40 minutes to get it thick enough to fall in sheets. I thought that was a good description.


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Hi, I was wondering if I could use stevia instead of the sugar? What do you think.. Looking forward to trying this, have never made any preserves before!

Joanna, I wouldn’t recommend it. While you could substitute Stevia in an equivalent amount to the sugar to get the sweetness, Stevia will not set up the same way as sugar and your marmalade probably wouldn’t gel.

I just pulled the last jar of last year’s marmalade from the freezer, it’s so so good. I made a double batch and cut the sugar in half, making it way less (unnecessarily, in my view) sweet and all about good oranges. Another winner, y’all! Thanks!


Making orange marmalade doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe is simple – the only caveat is a kitchen scale is needed. (OXO makes this fine one available on Amazon.)

This marmalade recipe is based on the traditional three part formula: equal weights of oranges, sugar and water are called for. By sticking with this ratio the recipe can be scaled up or down, including batches as small as one orange.

(For this batch of four oranges and one lemon the corresponding volume measurements are listed below, which will work fine.)

Slicing the oranges by hand makes for long thin strips of rind that are candy-sweet. The chunkiness of the roughly chopped pulp ensures a thick and spreadable marmalade without added pectin.

It’s my kind of luscious and I bet it’ll be the same for you.

It’s also easy enough to knock out a batch in an hour or so.

Recipe makes 5 half-pint jars

4 navel oranges
1 lemon

1. Quarter the oranges and lemon. Peel off the rinds on each piece. Set aside the pulp. Slice the rinds into thin ribbons. Chop the belly button parts and other stray bits of rind.

2. Put the prepared rinds into a generous pot of water, so that the rind floats freely. and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain.

3. Chop the orange and lemon flesh into 1/4″ dice. Pick out and discard any seeds. Capture any juices produced by the chopping.

4. Combine the boiled rind and chopped fruit and juice, weigh it. Weigh out equal amounts of both sugar and water. Combine the fruit, sugar and water in a heavy pot and simmer, stirring gently, until thick and mixture reduces to about half of original volume, around 30 minutes.

5. The hot marmalade can be preserved by pouring into sterilized 1/2 pint jars, sealed with clean lids, and processed in a boiling water bath for five minutes. Or the marmalade can be kept indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Equivalent measurements for four oranges and one lemon:

You will need a preserving pan or large heavy-bottomed stockpot, a 6" square of muslin, jam funnel,​ and sterilized jars.

Measure 8 litres/16 pints water and pour into the preserving pan.

Halve the oranges and lemons and squeeze the juice into a jug. Add the juice to the water and place the pips plus any bits of pith onto a muslin square. Tie the muslin square with kitchen string to hold the pips and pith and add to the pan.

Shred the orange and lemon peel into thick strips. Don't cut too thin or they will dissolve in the cooking process. Add the peel to the pan.

Bring the water and juice up to the boil then reduce to a steady simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the peel is soft.

Remove the bag of pips from the pan and leave to cool until you can hold it in your hand.

Add the sugar to the pan constantly stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Squeeze the bag of pips over the pan and extract as much of the jelly-like substance, this helps with the setting of the marmalade. Stir again.

Turn up the heat and bring to a fast boil for 20 mins, check for setting consistency. Continue boiling until the marmalade reaches the setting point (check every 10 minutes) taking care to stir from time to time to prevent the jam sticking to the bottom and burning. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon. Once the setting point is reached, turn off the heat and leave to settle for 20 minutes.

Spoon the marmalade into the heated jars using a ladle and funnel. Seal and leave to cool. Store in a cool dark place. Will keep up to one year.

Tangerine Marmalade Recipe

Easy to make tangerine marmalade recipe, that can be made any time of the year. A delicious recipe that only needs three ingredients – tangerines, sugar & lemon.

I can never resist the smell of freshly baked bread, thickly buttered and topped with marmalade. While January and February are the best months to make a proper Seville Orange Marmalade, for the rest of the year, we have to use other citrus fruits.

Rather than seeing it as a disadvantage, I think it’s great to experiment with different flavours and make marmalade from other fruits.

Today, I wanted to share with you my favourite recipe for tangerine marmalade. Tangerines are available throughout the whole year they are usually much cheaper than Seville Oranges and marmalade making is much quicker, because their skin is much finer than oranges one.

Tangerine marmalade also has a much lighter flavour, and it’s not as bitter as marmalade made from Seville Oranges.

Some people like that, but others (like me) like the tang of traditional marmalade. This is easy to achieve by swapping one or two tangerines with a lemon or lime. The tangy lemons balance out the sweetness of tangerines perfectly.

You’ll notice that I’ve used basic granulated sugar in this recipe and this is because tangerines have plenty of pectin in already, so you don’t need to spend your money on fancy marmalade sugars.

If you already have one in the cupboard, don’t worry, just use it and your tangerine marmalade will set slightly quicker and firmer than mine did.

If the delicious flavour of natural tangerines wasn’t enough, you could always add complimenting spice in (such as cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice) or add a dash of whisky. Make your recipe as described and add any flavouring after you’ve tested the marmalade for setting and you are ready to pour.

Alcohol evaporates around 70C, so leaving the marmalade to sit to cool down for a bit it’s not only good for the distribution of the tangerine rind but also for not burning out the flavours or alcohol.

Hope you’ve enjoyed making this tangerine marmalade recipe and I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions.