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You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Cooking, preserving and home brewing arrow Marmalade And Other Things To Make With Citrus Fruits


Marmalade And Other Things To Make With Citrus Fruit

Written by gil

OK, it's January or February, perhaps the most miserable months of the year. But there's an upside : the arrival of Seville oranges. And that means one thing (at least in this house) – it's time to make MARMALADE. Sevilles aren't in season for long, so keep an eye out and buy them when you see them. You can also buy and freeze them now and make your marmalade later, but you will need to use 10% more fruit to make up for the setting qualities lost by freezing (so if you freeze 1kg, make the recipe as for 2lb).

Of course you can make marmalade from other citrus fruits. And winter is as good a time as any for making it from sweet oranges (the ordinary kind) or grapefruit. Or even tangerines. But somehow, the stuff you can make with Seville oranges outclasses them all.

Bittersweet and intense, its smell and taste lift the spirits on dark winter mornings. Lemon or lime marmalades are different again, and are perhaps more of a summer task, when these fruits are in season.

As with other home-made preserves, marmalade works out much cheaper, and is far superior to mass-produced. Plus you can cut the peel to the thickness and length you prefer, and have as much or as little of it as you like in a jar. If you want your marmalade without any peel, you can make the jelly versions. No more bemoaning the fact that 'thick-cut' appears to mean 'very thin shavings' to many manufacturers. But then I was brought up on my father's exceedingly chunky marmalade, where pieces of peel in the grapefruit variety snaked their way across a whole slice of toast….

In this article, I'll cover how to make the following Marmalades with peel in (Seville, mixed fruit, grapefruit, lemon, lime)

Jelly and 'shred' marmalades (Seville orange, lemon, lime)Other things to do with Seville oranges

Things to do with marmalade (apart from the obvious)

The idea behind marmalade and jelly-making is to preserve as far as possible the taste of the fresh fruit. The longer you cook and boil it for, the more it will taste cooked, or even syrupy or treacly. The crucial thing is to get your mixture to 'setting point' (see below). This is affected by the pectin content of the fruit, and the fruit's acidity, which helps release the pectin. Fortunately, most citrus fruit is high in both pectin and acidity, so setting marmalades and citrus jellies is pretty straightforward. Most recipes involve a couple of lemons anyway, which always helps. There are basically three ways to do this, all of which are covered in this article :
A Basic Guide To Jam & Jelly Making


Marmalade, like jams and jellies, should be kept in a cool, dry, and preferably dark place. A pantry cupboard is ideal.

Jar size :

12-16oz for peel marmalades and shreds; 8-12oz for jelly.

Equipment :

Clean, washed empty jars with screw lids

For dealing with raw fruit :

Weighing scales
Chopping board, plate, bowl

For making the marmalade :

Large [stainless steel] pan
Long-handled wooden spoon
Muslin bag / small jelly bag / clean cotton hanky for boiling up pips and removing easily

For peel marmalades :


To slice up cooked fruit :

Fish slice or slotted spoon for removing fruit from pan
Plate or basin to put fruit on before slicing
Sharp knife and fork to slice fruit as thin as you want it

For shred and jelly marmalades :

Larger muslin or jelly bag
Sieve for rinsing shreds (if using)
Large basin for straining juice into
Clean roasting tin or casserole dish (for warming sugar)

To skim off scum :

A tea / dinner plate
Slotted or similar spoon, or any spoon 

To check setting point :

A cold tea plate
A teaspoon 

To pot marmalade into jars, without too much mess :

A ladle
A gravy boat, jug, or anything with a good wide spout
A tea towel to get hot jars out of oven and hold them while filling with hot jam
Adhesive labels



As a general rule of thumb, the yield for peel marmalades will be 5/3 of the amount of sugar used. So for the recipes below, it will be approximately 5/3 x 4 = 20/3 = 6 2/3 x 1lb = 6 2/3 lbs. So you'll need six one-pound jars + one 12oz jar, or nine 12oz jars, or an equivalent combination.

Seville Orange Marmalade [January/February] (and General Method for peel versions)

2lb / 1kg Seville oranges
4lb / 2kg white granulated sugar
2½ - 4pts / 1.5 - 2 litres water
juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons

1.Wash the fruit and scrub well. Sevilles tend to be unwaxed anyway, so less scrubbing needed than for other citrus.

2.Cut fruit into quarters, take out the pips*, put into jelly bag.

3.Put fruit, lemon juice, and water into pan; hang the bag of pips in the water (tie to pan handle with string)

4.Cook gently for about 2 hours till fruit is soft, with the lid off.

5.Take out bag of pips, and squeeze well into the pan. Discard pips.

6.Put the radio or some music on; get your nearest and dearest to help (optional**)

7.Fish out the quartered fruit with the fish slice

8.Cut up the fruit into thin slices (the width and length you want the peel to be, and as much of it as you want***

9.Put the sugar, jars and lids into a low oven (lowest gas mark, or <100C) to warm

10.Return sliced peel to the pan.

11.Warm the liquid, peel and pith, add the sugar****, and stir over a low heat till completely dissolved.

12.Bring to the boil rapidly, stirring occasionally, until setting point is reached (see section on Setting Point)*****

13.Take pan off the heat, skim with slotted spoon if necessary, leave to stand until a skin forms on the top

14.Stir the peel into the marmalade.

15.Pot into warmed, clean jars

16.Put the lids on immediately while hot, and close.

17.Either close tightly now to obtain an airtight seal, or wait till completely cold to do this.

18.Leave to stand until cold; close tightly if not already done.

19.Label with type of fruit and date


*Seville oranges contain a lot of pips, so you may find it easier to cut out the central flesh and pips together and put the lot into the muslin bag, which you put in a bowl to catch and save what drips through. Do the cutting on a plate not a wooden chopping board, so as to retain the juice that results, and tip this back into the pan. Another way of achieving the same end is to halve and squeeze the oranges on a juicer, pour the juice (Sevilles are not very juicy) into the pan, put the pips and pith into the bag, then cut the halves in half and add to the pan.

**This is the point at which my father would set my mother and I to work at the kitchen table, slicing fruit peel for what seemed like, and probably was, hours. But then he was making 30lb of marmalade at a time, twice a year : Seville in winter, grapefruit in summer. We ate a serious amount of marmalade, and we also swapped it for our neighbours' strawberry jam !

*** This is always smaller than you think you will want it. It may help if you scrape some of the pith away before slicing, which gives you a better view of the peel you are cutting. Just stick the pith back into the pan. You don't have to use all the peel if you don't want to, or if you get very bored. Slicing up and using only half or two-thirds of the fruit is OK. You can use the rest of the fruit for something else (see later).

****If you want dark marmalade, you can add a tablespoonful of black treacle with the sugar.

*****This should in theory only take 20-25 minutes, but will take longer if making a larger batch size.

Grapefruit Marmalade [all year round]

1 ½ lb / 750g grapefruit (you could try pink or ruby too, for a change]
½ lb / 8oz lemons
4lb / 2kg white granulated sugar
2½ - 4pts / 1.5 - 2 litres water 

Method : as for Seville Orange above

Mixed Fruit Marmalade [all year round]

2 sweet (ordinary) oranges
1 grapefruit
2 lemons
4lb / 2kg white granulated sugar
2½ - 4pts / 1.5 - 2 litres water

Method : as for Seville Orange above

Lemon Marmalade [all year, best in late summer]

2lb / 1 kg lemons (worth using unwaxed)
4lb / 2kg white granulated sugar
2½ - 4pts / 1.5 - 2 litres water

Method : as for Seville Orange above

Note : lemon marmalade turns out orange-coloured. Forget about trying to achieve the luminous green of shop-bought.

Lime Marmalade [late summer, try Asian or Afro-Caribbean greengrocers for whole boxes of limes]

2lb / 1kg limes
4lb / 2kg white granulated sugar
2½ - 4pts / 1.5 - 2 litres water
juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons

Method : as for Seville Orange above. Lime pips should not be included, as they have a bitter taste when cooked, although limes tend not to have pips anyway.

Note : lime marmalade turns out orange-coloured too. Forget about the luminous yellow-green of shop-bought. By the way, have you noticed that bought lemon shred marmalade is greener than the lime variety ?

Minced Seville Orange Marmalade

If slicing citrus peel isn't your idea of fun, or you haven't got time, you could always use mechanical assistance to deal with the fruit. The end result tends to be chunkier (cubed-effect), more opaque and paler overall.

2lb / 1kg Seville oranges
1 large / 2 small lemons
4lb / 2kg sugar
4pts / 2.3litres water

1. Wash the fruit and scrub well.

2. Halve the fruit (lemons too), squeeze out the pips, put into jelly bag.

3. Put lemon juice, and water into pan; hang the bag of pips in the water (tie to pan handle with string).

4. Put oranges through a mincer or food processor, add to pan.

5. Leave to stand 24 hours.

6. Cook gently for about 15 mins, with the lid on.

7. Take the lid off, cook gently for 1 hour with the lid off, until reduced to half original volume.

8. Take out bag of pips, and squeeze well into the pan. Discard pips.

9. Put the sugar, jars and lids into a low oven (lowest gas mark, or <100C) to warm

10. Add the sugar to the pan, and stir over a low heat till completely dissolved.

11. Bring to the boil rapidly, stirring occasionally, until setting point is reached (see section on Setting Point)

12. Take pan off the heat, skim with slotted spoon if necessary, leave to stand until a skin forms on the top

13. Stir the peel into the marmalade.

14. Pot into warmed, clean jars.

15. Put the lids on immediately while hot, and close.

16. Either close tightly now to obtain an airtight seal, or wait till completely cold to do this.

17. Leave to stand until cold; close tightly if not already done.

18. Label with type of fruit and date.

You can also make quince or apricot 'marmalades', indeed the word marmalde comes from the Portuguese word for quince, marmelo.


Seville Orange Shred or Jelly Marmalade

2lb / 1kg Seville oranges
juice of 2 lemons
3lb / 1.25kg white granulated sugar
4 ½ pts water
A few coriander seeds boiled in the pip bag (shred version) or with the fruit (jelly version) can be good. 

Lemon Shred or Jelly Marmalade

2lb / 1kg lemons
3lb / 1.25kg white granulated sugar
4 ½ pts water 

Lime Shred or Jelly Marmalade

2lb / 1kg limes
juice of 2 lemons
3lb / 1.25kg white granulated sugar
4 ½ pts water

Tangerine Shred or Jelly Marmalade

1 ½ lb / 1.25kg tangerines
½ a grapefruit and 1 large / 2 small lemons
2lb / 1 kg white granulated sugar
4pts / 2 litres water

If making the shred version, only use the tangerine peel or the flavour will be overwhelmed by grapefruit and lemon.

Shred Method

1.Wash and scrub the fruit well.

2.Peel 3 (oranges) or 4 (lime or lemon) of the fruits thinly

3.Shred this peel finely and put in muslin bag

4.Cut up the rest of the fruit roughly (into eight pieces will do), including the peeled ones.

5.Put fruit, lemon juice and water into pan, and hang the shreds in their bag in the water

6.Cook gently till soft (about 2 hours), removing shred bag after 1 hour.

7.Rinse the shreds in cold water in a sieve.

8.Strain the pan contents through a larger jelly bag, scalded in boiling water to sterilize, and leave to drip for about 1 hour.

9.Set sugar, jars and lids to warm in a low oven (lowest gas mark, or <100C) to warm

10.Return strained liquid to the pan.

11.Warm the liquid, add the sugar, and stir over a low heat till completely dissolved.

12.Bring to the boil rapidly, stirring occasionally, until setting point is almost reached (see section on Setting Point)

13.Take pan off the heat, stir in the rinsed shreds

14.Bring to setting point.

15.Pot into warmed, clean jars

16.Put the lids on immediately while hot, and close.

17.Either close tightly now to obtain an airtight seal, or wait till completely cold to do this.

18.Leave to stand until cold; close tightly if not already done.

19.Label with type of fruit and date

Jelly Method

1.Wash and scrub the fruit well.

2.Cut the fruit up roughly (into eight pieces will do).

3.Put fruit, lemon juice and water into pan.

4.Cook gently till soft (about 2 hours).

5.Strain the pan contents through a medium/large jelly bag, scalded in boiling water to sterilize, and leave to drip for about 1 hour.

6.Set sugar, jars and lids to warm in a low oven (lowest gas mark, or <100C) to warm

7.Return strained liquid to the pan.

8.Warm the liquid, add the sugar, and stir over a low heat till completely dissolved.

9.Bring to the boil rapidly, stirring occasionally, until setting point is reached (see section on Setting Point)

10.Pot into warmed, clean jars

11.Put the lids on immediately while hot, and close.

12.Either close tightly now to obtain an airtight seal, or wait till completely cold to do this.

13.Leave to stand until cold; close tightly if not already done.

14.Label with type of fruit and date


Seville Orange Brandy – Downsizer Cointreau

Buy a kilo of Sevilles, make a batch of marmalade using imperial measures (2lb fruit) and keep 2 or 3 fruits back. OR use up the cooked fruit you have not shredded or sliced. OR just buy 2 or 3 if you can get them loose.

1.Slice fruit thickly, and put into one large jar or two medium ex-mayo jars [well-cleaned] with 10 coriander seeds and a piece of cinnamon stick (spices optional), add 4 - 8oz white sugar, depending on your taste, and a bottle of brandy (French)

2.Leave to mature for 3 months, shaking daily for the first week, then weekly until all the sugar is dissolved.

3.Strain, first through a sieve, then through a jelly bag, cotton hanky, or coffee filter paper. Using cooked fruit will give a much cloudier-looking result, but still tastes fine.

4.Return to original bottle, though yield will be slightly more than you started with, so it won't all fit back in.

What a shame ! Sample the extra, or store in a small jar or bottle.


Marmalade can be added to sauces / gravies / casseroles involving duck or goose.

Marigold's Marmalade Cake (recipe contributed by Marigold)

Seeing Stacey's post about Seville orange season reminded me of this super-easy cake recipe made with marmalade:


8 oz plain wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz well-softened butter (or, if you must, soft margarine)
3oz sugar
2 eggs
heaped tablespoons marmalade


1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whiz with a hand-held cake mixer for 15-20 seconds.

2. Decant into a greased/lined 2lb loaf tin and bake at 150° for about an hour.