I’ve made marmalade and jams a few times. The recipes generally ask you to process the jars in boiling water after filling and sealing them with the jam/marmalade. How long do the jars in this recipe stay fresh? Do you keep them at room temperature or in the fridge? Thanks in advance for your response! Veronica, Palm Springs, CA
Hi, Veronica! As long as your jars are properly sealed and canned, the jam will keep for quite some time stored in a cupboard — at least a year, but likely much longer! Once opened, store the jam in the fridge, where it should keep for at least a month.
Hi again. A few more factors in my process; I did make a double batch and I’m wondering if that would have prevented my jam from setting. I used a vegetable pealer to remove the orange and some of the white of the peal before chopping. The method of scraping out the pith that you suggest in your recipe did not work well for me, but maybe I’ll try soaking the peals before trying to scrape them out next time. Last, my peals are sinking, not floating! Have you ever had this happen? I can understand why you have spent so long perfecting your process! There are so many variables!
Hi Lisa, marmalade making does have so many variables! No idea about the sinking peels. When trying a recipe like this I usually start with a single batch, and then make adjustments as necessary before making more, or attempting a double batch.
My marmalade turned out beautiful but still hasn’t set 18 hrs after jarring. I put some of the marmalade aside in a bowl and that did firm up even after a few hours, so I’m hoping that the marmalade in the jars will eventually firm up as well. I’m not in a hurry so I’m hoping that if I wait a month or so, like you recommended in a previous comment, that the marmalade will set and be spreadable instead of pourable. I’m wondering, how “often” has the marmalade set, given time in the pantry, when it has happen to you that the marmalade was not set right away? Would you count on the marmalade setting over time or is it a bit of a gamble? If it hasn’t set after a month, is it possible to cook it down more at that time? I appreciate any feedback you have for me! Thank you!
Hi Lisa, I usually find that the jam sets up over a month or two. That said, I like a loose jam. I think some people have taken jellies that haven’t set properly and reboiled them with some added pectin. I have not done that. Pretty much all jams and jellies I’ve made over the years firm up after a few months.
Thank you, Elise. Responding to all of these comments must be a full time job! I’ll store the marmalade for a month or so and see what happens.
I made this recipe but couldn’t get the wrinkle, so I cooked and cooked. Finally ended with 3 jars and they’re so stiff, you can barely get into it with a knife. Obviously overcooked. So I made another batch, and cooked and cooked. I allowed a bit to sit on the frozen plate for over 30 seconds and barely got a wrinkle. I figured it was probably good enough. It didn’t gel. All that squeezing and scraping the pith for nothing. 7 jars of unmarmalade unusable. Is there anything I can do?
Hi Judy, often if I let the marmalade sit in their jars for a month they’ll firm up over time. Or if you don’t want to wait, you can cook them further. The first batch by the way, if it tastes good and didn’t caramelize in the cooking, can be cut like membrillo paste and served with cheese. See http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/membrillo_quince_paste/
It was a lot of work and I said I would never do it again and here I am only four months later and I am out of this amazing marmalade and trying to find bitter oranges now in Denver. ha!
LOL, good luck with that! Sevilles don’t really come into season until January, but maybe somewhere someone has them frozen? November is not the best month for citrus, though we are beginning to see some Satsumas come in.
Hi Elise, and thanks for this recipe. I’m making marmalade today, and I used the 3 lbs of seville oranges in the recipe, but they yielded 3 cups of juice, not 2, and 3 cups of sliced peel, not 4. Do I still use the 4-5 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water, or should the quantities be increased? Thanks for any help.
Hi Bernadette, good question! Marmalade making is not an exact science. Sometimes even when I’m working with fruit from the same tree I get different results. In this case I would probably reduce the amount of water added by a cup. As for the sugar. Add the smaller amount first. Taste it and then if you want add more.
Thank you for your reply Elise – it arrived in perfect time for stage 2 of the process, and all went brilliantly. For the first time I’ve managed to make marmalade without caramelising, thanks to your excellent recipe and help. Thank you! :-)
Hi Bernadette, great! I’m so glad it worked for you. :-)
Can I make this same recipe without the meyer lemon? I don’t have access to them, but I have tons of bitter oranges. Should I substitute a normal lemon or a mini orange (cutie)?
Just use two regular lemons.
Elise – I have a slight confusion – do the lemon segments go into the pectin bag or are they put in with the orange juice, water and julienned skins. It says the pectin bag(actually it doesnt mention about the lemon skins – just that they need to be cut as triangles) – but I was wondering why triangle?
Also, I dont know if it is a rule, but I have been observing that the mixture kind of turns a deep (slightly dark) orange shade (more towards red than yellow) before it just starts wrinkling (when put on ice). I dont have a thermometer, and on a couple of occassions, I had false wrinkling (the marmalade didnt set after over a week too – and I had to reheat). Of late, I have been just looking for this colour change before even trying the ice plate test (thats more of a verifier for me). I am not sure its a general test though, or whether I have just been lucky that it has worked.
Also, after removing the pith from the orange peels, I usually cut a half peel into three segments before julienning. Just before that, we can just spread the peel flat on the board and scrape of the left over pith with the knife – it kind of removes most of it (quite often, trying to scoop out with a spoon wasnt very helpful)
I have been making marmalade for years, using my mother’s and her mother’s recipes from England/Scotland. I prepare everything the day before and let all sit for 24 hours, including the water and the muslin bag of pips. I do use somewhat more water, but the end result is a fabulous marmalade.
Thanks for this great recipe! I have two suggestions: To get a uniform suspension of the peels, let the jelly sit for 10 minutes, gently stirring once more before pouring into the jars (don’t know why, but it works). I also let the ingredients steep overnight in the covered pot after the first stage of cooking.
Greetings from France
Great ideas Tita, thank you!
Is it possible to make this marmalade with honey/maple syrup instead of refined sugar?
Can we make marmalade with pomelo? The peel is too thick and green so perhaps a mixture of pomelo fruit, lime peel and juice might work. Could you advise?
Hi Susan, we have a pomelo tree but I haven’t tried making marmalade with it. Our pomelos are rather sweet and marmalades do best with sour fruit. But if I were to try it, I would peel off the zest and use that, along with the fruit that has been removed from its membranes. Then adding lime peel and juice might help give more body and sourness that the marmalade needs.
Thank you. Our pomelo is sour, slightly bitter and pink. I will try it with lemon zest next time. Thank you
This is my first attempt at any kind of jam or marmalade, and so there are a bit too many basic doubts. I wanted to know whether it was safe to cook the marmalade in a steel container – someone told me anything acidic might not go with steel. I happen to have an induction cooker, so the options are also rather limited.
Hi Juny, stainless steel is fine. It is non-reactive. Aluminum? A different story. Aluminum will react with acidic foods so you definitely do not want to use an aluminum pot. Only use copper if it is lined with tin or steel on the inside because copper is reactive as well.
Thank you very much, that was rather quick. I was actually starting a research on non-steel surfaced containers that would go on induction cookers too!
This page is incredibly detailed – and you have got a hundred others chipping in with tips and tricks and pointers and what nots!!! It is amazing.
I kind of managed to make the marmalade. I didnt follow the recipe step by step – 1, I couldnt find seville oranges (I dont think I’d recognise them even if I found) and 2, I had stubled upon your blog yesterday, when I had already put in the bag with seeds and pulp into orange juice and put into the fridge overnight the day before. This blog was however so much detailed that I proceeded on with your steps – though it was the first attempt at any kind of jam/marmalade, the details and info in this page somehow made me confident about each step. So yeah, yesterday I made put juiced an additional lemon and a couple more oranges (the local ones we get here n India) put the seeds etc in a smaller bag and added into the mixture from the fridge.
I had used about 5 oranges (the bright orange ones I found in market – they arent local – some imported ones. These didnt have any seeds) and about 5 smaller locally available oranges. I had used the imported ones mainly for the skin – the local ones tend to have skin with quite a few injuries (cuts/marks etc) and on the first day, I had already peeled the skins using a vegetable peeler since an earlier blog suggested absolutely no white on the skin as it would make the marmalade bitter.
So I was a little skeptical yesterday that there might not be enough pectin and so had put in the second bag with seeds from the lemon and extra couple of oranges. From there on I just went step by step of this page.
I used a bit less sugar (3-3/4 cup for about 4-1/2 cups of mixture) since the oranges I had werent so bitter and I thought the seville ones you use are really bitter ones
Squeezing out pectin out of the bag was some work out!
I did not have a thermometer either, and so had to just look for a cold plate test. It took a long time though – about an hour of boiling – before the mixture showed any kind of resistance to flow. I would put a bit of it in a small plate and then put it into the freezer for about 1 min to test it. I took it off after about an hour, and after bottling too, I was a little skeptical whether it would set well.
Anyways today morning, it seems to have set – atleast it doesnt flow when the jar is tilted. I dont know how an awesome marmalade would taste like, or look like, but just seeing this in some form of a jelly set gives me a kick :).
The taste was OK for me – it was intense actually, kind of sweet and tangy. So yeah, I think it isnt too bad. I really wanted to send a pic too – but I had put the bottles in refrigerator and so it keeps misting up everytime I take it out. I’ll click one later in evening and send.
Just wanted to know if the peels would stay on top of the marmalade – is there a way to get a uniform distribution?
Thanks again for this amazing page – the details are just unbelievable. I am thinking of trying to make marmalade with sweet lemon which is found rather commonly here.
Thannnnkkkkkk-YOU. We have an orange tree out back that did fabulous this year and I got the urge to make orange marmalade. Boy am I glad I stumbled across this site. Thank-you for a FANTASTIC recipe and for such a well thought out and photographed process. It quelled all my marmalade making fears! I have made 4, or is it 5 now, batches and it is sooooooooooo dang good. One suggestion or thought/tip. instead of scraping the pith away from inside the orange peel I took the orange peel off the orange first with a vegetable peeler. Then juiced the oranges etc. I don’t know if it’s a jam making faux pas but my jams taste amazing and I’m happy with the results. Thanks again!
Hi Tace – The last batch of Seville oranges I received had unusually thick skins, so I followed your suggestion and used a peeler on them first to remove the peel, and then juiced the oranges. It worked great! Thank you for the suggestion. ~Elise
De-stress away the cheesecloth bags, better to get down with the seeds t/b/e for pectin in a snap-shut tea strainer hanging-in there.
Thanks for this reply, Elise. I still haven’t made my marmalade, and the oranges in the basket are rotting one by one, so I’d better get a move-on. I’m going to try to source some natural sweetener that doesn’t have a strong taste, make the marmalade, and report back to you! Catherine
Hello Elise, I’ve yet to make marmalade a la your wonderful tutorial, but I’ll be doing it in the next few days.
I’ve a tip/query: every year I make apple pectin from the Bramley cooking apples in my garden. I chop them in quarters, skin and all, and simmer them til they’re mush. Then I slop the whole lot into a cloth (an old pillowcase, actually) and let it drip out.
What drips out is the pectin, which I use when I make yoghurt out of raw milk, because it tends to be runnier than if made using pasturised milk.
I then tend to use far less sugar in my marmalade recipe (made using tinned sevile oranges, what a cop-out, never again), as the pectin helps it to set, so less sugar is required. I hate to use so much sugar in anything.
In your recipe on this page, could I use more of my apple pectin (as well as your pith and pips pectin — great idea, never heard of it) and reduce the sugar even further?
Even better, could I use something other than white, processed sugar, because that stuff’s nasty (but nice). Would rapadura, etc, have the same qualities (preserving, setting, etc) as white sugar? What did marmaladers do before white sugar was invented?
I know sugar also preserves it, but I could store my marmalade in the fridge, so that wouldn’t be a problem. I have never been able to find a marmalade recipe online that uses a natural alternative to white sugar. Would love some tips!
Thanks for fab tutorial. Catherine
Hi Catherine, this recipe already uses much less sugar than what you usually find in a marmalade recipe. I have tried making it with even less, but then you get something very tart, especially if you are using tart seville oranges. Perhaps if you were using valencia oranges or navel oranges, that are more naturally sweet. Ive made marmalade with rose hips, apples and navel oranges (see rose hip jam) that works well. I still add sugar though. As for other types of sugars, you will get other flavors in your marmalade if you use other sugars. If you want those flavors, great. If not, then your best bet is to use white sugar. ~Elise
I have 3 large bags of satsuma mandarins that I need to use before they go bad. The problem with satsumas (if I follow your recipe), is that the peel is very thin, and I think it would be hard to get enough peel for a marmalade after removing the bitter pith. I have access to other citrus: key limes, lemons (not meyer, but I’ll look for some this week), and sweet oranges. Perhaps I can use some of the sweet orange peel?
Do you have other recipes for citrus? I’d like to try making candied peel and glace orange slices. Thank you. Suzi
Hi Elise: Thanks for responding to my email. On my post last night, I’m the one who had the problem with removing the pith from the poached oranges, with the peel falling apart. What I really want to do is poach all the 12 orange rind halves, after I’ve juiced them with the piths intact, as I’ve read that the piths contain alot of pectin also. I tasted the boil water from the poached orange (2 hrs)and it did not taste bitter at all. The poaching would include the piths, orange halves, seeds and membranes in a separate muslin bag(s), then soak the whole caboodle for 12 hours. As you can see, the 6 cups of liquid I don’t think is going to cut it with 12 orange halves. What I was thinking of doing is add 2-3 cups more water, then after the soaking time is up, take out the peel and pithe, and boil the seeds and liquid down to where I have 4-5 cups of liquid left and remove the seeds & pithe, squeeze the seeds and then proceed with the recipe. What do you think? Thanks Lawrence Mathon
Hi Lawrence, I think you may have to just experiment to see what the right ratio of water to oranges is. Let us know how it turns out! ~Elise
Helo Elise: I finally was able to purchase a case of Seville oranges. They are about 3″ diameter. I’ve experimented with one of the oranges before I make the marmalade. When I cut it in half, there is not a whole lot of juice in there. The pith is about 3/8″ thick or more. I’ve tried cutting the pith out with a sharp spoon, but no luck, its too hard. I simmered both orange halves in water for 2 hours, still no luck. The orange was very soft and when I tried to cut out or spoon out the pith, the outer peel all broke apart, some of the peel even turned to mush. The pith was soft, but it was still tougher than the peel. Maybe I should only simmer the orange for 30 minutes. Any ideas as to what I’m doing wrong. Another thing. According to your recipe, if I have 4 cups of water, plus 2 cups of squeezed juice, plus 4 cups of julienned peel, plus the membranes and seeds and pith of 12 oranges and lemon, in muslin bags, there won’t be enough liquid to simmer everything in the initial cooking stage (before adding the sugar) PLease advise. Thanks Lawrence Mathon
Hello Lawrence, that’s odd about the pith. You might want to check out one of the other seville orange marmalades on the Internet, one that requires soaking the oranges overnight. Regarding my recipe and the measurements, if you have 6 cups of liquid, and 4 cups of peel, and the pectin bag with some of the membranes and seeds, you will have plenty of liquid to simmer everything. If you want, just put the seeds into the muslin bag, not the membranes. The seeds are loaded with pectin. ~Elise
I made this marmalade a few years ago and it was great. I’m getting ready to make it again.
The ingredients call for 3 lbs of Saville oranges and say about 12 oranges. My Saville oranges must be a lot bigger because 6-7 weight 3 lbs? But they don’t look like they’d make a lot of marmalade. I can’t remember from the last time but do I have very big oranges?
Hi Pat, I think my Seville oranges are on the small side. ~Elise
everytime i make seville orange marmalade the peel rises to the top of the jar, so the end result looks like half jelly half marmalade, any suggestions ?
That is more of an issue when you use a peeler to take the zest for the peel, than when you scrape out the inside of the orange. I have that issue too. I haven’t yet figured out how to adjust the recipe to avoid it, but if and when I do, I’ll update the recipe. ~Elise
Good Recipe. The marmalade turned out great, just the right amount of bitter. I replaced 3 cups of water with 3 cups of champagne. It gave it another depth of flavor. It is like a secret ingredient. Next I will be adding passion fruit in one batch and ginger in another, though I will be using this recipe as my base, with champagne, of course!
I just made this recipe with regular old navel oranges from my garden and it turned out fantastic too. I added a couple of Eureka lemons not Meyer as they are a little more tart. I kept the sugar on the low side as navels are sweet. Best recipe I have come across so sar.
Loved the recipe! I had Clementine oranges on hand that were a bit too tart to enjoy, but I didn’t want to waste them. I used your recipe and it turned out beautifully. Yum. Thank you!
If a marmalade recipe requires 14 cups of sugar, (its seems to always be 2:1)and you want to cut it in half to 7 cups, boiling the syrup to 220 degrees F. will not work. It won’t set. Adding commercial pectin to the syrup (in addition to the pectin you squeezed out of the pips) won’t work either, as the commercial pectin breaks down like overcooked cornstarch way before it reaches 220 degrees F. Apparently, the commercial pectin is totally different from the citus pectin you squeeze out of muslin bag of pips and pith. The commercial pectin is only supposed to be boiled in the syrup for only 1 minute, not 220 degree F.
Would doubling up on the amount of pips & pith in the muslin bag help the marmalade to set (cold saucer method) when it reaches 220 degrees F? Desperately need help, as I refuse to use that much sugar (2:1) in a marmalade recipe. Thanks
Hello Lawrence, I do not know to which recipe you are referring as my recipe described here uses 7/8 a cup of sugar for every 1 cup of cooked orange peel and water mixture. I also don’t make marmalade in as big of batches as you describe. I suggest that if you are looking for a marmalade recipe that uses less sugar than the recipe you are describing, that you try this recipe above. ~Elise
Thank you so muchy for this recipe, even my husband who doesent eat marmalade loved it and has asked me to make more.
I am from Argentina. I made the recipe,really excelent marmelade. This is not posible to buy anywhere. Thank you very much, I did it as it is written and it become perfect, and it tastes great.
I found your recipe very interesting and would like to make this marmalade. I am planning of including ginger to it. My question is when should I incorporate the ginger and what is the amount? I have not made a marmalade before but would love to give it a go. I love eating jams and marmalade which I bought from our supermarkets but I am choosing the ones that are good. But surely making your own homemade marmalade and jam are the best and no artificial ingredients added. Thanks in advance for the help. I will post again what will be the result after I made the marmalade to give other enthusiast an idea or tips for their next cooking.
Hi Gloria, I would recommend doing an Internet search for marmalade and ginger and seeing what recipes and methods you find. I haven’t yet marmalade including that ingredient so don’t know what to tell you. ~Elise
Hi – I’m in the middle of making this marmalade (adding some tips I learned in a June Taylor marmalade-making class) and I wanted to mention that the website http://www.ripetoyou.com is selling Seville oranges NOW (January 2011). They cost about $3.40 to $3.60 a pound including shipping (FedEx) and you must buy at least 6 pounds, but it’s worth it. The quality is good.
Also, you might try Middle Eastern markets in your area. From late December through mid-February a lot of them carry Seville (or bitter or sour) oranges, which are a big ingredient in their cooking. Sometimes Cuban stores have them too.
Thanks so much for the recipe and advice!
My grandmother use to make marmalade with Seville oranges and then the recipe was lost… and Seville oranges were hard to find (even if living in Spain).
Eventually we “reconstructed” the recipe with great results… had we found your recipe we would not have bothered to “think so hard”, since your recipe is great!
I would like to make two observations:
(1) For those who have orange trees, even if they are meant to be sweet oranges, if you do not prune them and tend them much, the tree will eventually go “wild” with more pricks on the branches and the oranges becoming bitter. So if you have a garden, you can plant an orange tree, just give it minimum attention and most likely will end up with “Seville” oranges. (You will have less production of fruit though… but enough to make several batches!). It also works the other way round: a “wild” tree can change its fruit from tart to sweet in less than two years if carefully tended and pruned.
(2) We have stopped using lemons as an ingredient and there is little difference in the end (still we get a nice bitter edge and lots of flavour)… is it because we leave a bit more of rind with the peel?
As a marmalade lover, THANK YOU for your enthusiasm, for a set of marvellous instructions and for your additional comments.
Great recipe with clear and easy instructions! Thank you! However, I over cooked my orange mixture, I was going by my candy thermom, a digital therm AND the plate method. Once it seemed perfect, I removed from heat and started to laddle the mixture into the hot jars, and noticed some of the peels on the bottom were dark brown. All of my jars gradient in color, nice amber, to brown. Talk about falling flat on your face at the finish line! I was so disappointed. I made them this morning and haven’t popped open a jar to see if the caramelization will be an issue. Next time I’m stirring more often and removing from heat BEFORE it reaches 220.
Thank you for all your detailed notes!
Should I have been stirring the mixture during the 2nd boil?
Hi Lorrie – how frustrating! I’m assuming that if it is a amber to brown color, then yes indeed it has caramelized. I’ve had such inconsistent results with using thermometers that I almost rely completely on the frozen plate test. And then the second it even wrinkles in the slightest, just a hint of a wrinkle, I take the pot off the heat and pour out. Or if it reaches 220 and it doesn’t wrinkle, I still take it off the heat. Yes stirring is a good idea during the second boil, I’ve made the adjustment in the instructions. Sorry your first attempt went awry. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been making marmalade for years and I still have off batches here and then. ~Elise
I have been hooked on Seville Marmalade since the early 40’s. For many years I use to make annual treks to Canada to purchase President’s Choice Seville Marmalade by the case. They have informed me that this product is no longer in production after all these years. At one time Smuckers made Seville Marmalade. Not for a long time now. Thanks for the recipe as I am now forced to make my own. (Reduced Sugar?)
My husband makes seville orange marmalade every year – we have a tree in the garden. However his 2009 batches have cyrstalised in the jars – especially at the top – do you know what might have caused this to happen. Need help before he makes this year’s batch. Thanks
Hi Jane, from what I understand, sometimes if a sugar crystal isn’t completely dissolved in the batch, it will cause the recrystalization of sugar in the jam. This is why often in jam making recipes people suggest using a wet pastry brush to brush down the sides of the pan while you’re cooking the jam, so that any stray sugar crystals will dissolve. ~Elise
I got back into marmalade making this year to take advantage of the huge amount of bitter fruit on my orange tree (don’t know if it’s a Seville, but it certainly is bitter!)
I collected a few recipes, and tried this one first.
To my surprise, the yield (from 12 medium oranges, 4 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar to every 4 cups of jelly) was a mere 1 1/2 1-lb jars.
The jelly set quite quickly, and was immediately bottled. When cool, the marmalade had the consistency of thick molasses (axle grease, said one unkind family member), and is almost unspreadable. The taste is delicious, but that’s mainly down to the oranges and the tiny strips of peel without pith I took the trouble to cut.
I feel the recipe could have specified 2-3 times the quantity of water.
But you have to start somewhere.
Every fruit is different. Even fruit from the same tree, picked at different times, are going to set up differently. Sounds like your batch could have used more water. Marmalade making is the kind of thing you have to do over and over again, to get the feel for what is going to work as you do it. ~Elise
Your description of your tree sounds like it’s a Calamondin orange. And yes, they make an excellent marmalade!
I want to make bitter orange marmalade and don’t want to wait until January when the Seville oranges are in season. Here is my question: will oranges that are for sale at this time of year (May) be OK for making bitter orange marmalade?
So you want to make bitter orange marmalade without bitter oranges? Hmm. Yes you can make orange marmalade with regular oranges. They won’t taste the same though, because bitter oranges have a distinct flavor. You could try adding some lime juice to the orange mixture to try to mimic the flavor a bit. Valencia oranges make excellent juice, though I haven’t tried to make marmalade with them. I would avoid navel oranges; they aren’t as flavorful. Find an orange with seeds, you’ll want to use the seeds for the pectin. You might also try adding some lemon and lemon peel to the marmalade. You’ll have to experiment with the recipe to figure out what will work for you and the fruit you have. ~Elise
Elise, I’m really sold!
I’m in the middle of my fifth batch of Seville Orange marmalade and prepared in advance by buying a $15 electric Black & Decker juice squeezer through Amazon.
Not only does the squeezer vastly reduce the elbow grease required to juice a dozen oranges, but it also provides the appreciable force needed to carve out the pith. A great boon!
Here’s a separate point concerning large batches.
I make lots of jam through the season and and handle large batches by completing the final high temperature finishing process using a 6-cup round-bottom copper pot.
The pot has a long handle and from the large batch of boiling near-jam I ladle roughly two cups at a time into the copper pot.
The small quantity is qjuickly brought to the high temperature boil require for jamming and is easily poured in awaiting jars.
I modified your recipe and made blood orange marmalade last winter. It was wonderful. I would like to try again but I had a problem extracting the pectin from the membranes/seeds. I added a little powdered pectin towards the end. My “milked” pectin didn’t look like sour cream and my marmalade never passed the chilled plate test without the commercial pectin. All I can figure is that I didn’t boil it long enough(and I boiled it for quite some time) or I didn’t have enough seeds/membranes. I have puzzled over that one since last winter! Thanks for the great recipe and site.
p.s. When you refer to membranes, you do not mean pith/peel, correct? Do you mean the pulp and other stuff left behind on the juicer? Thank you again.
Right. I do not mean the pith. I mean the pulp and stuff left behind on the juicer. Regarding the pectin, could be you didn’t have enough seeds. Seville oranges are very seedy. Blood oranges, not so much. ~Elise
Great recipe!I would like just add info.
what I do make my Orange Marmalade.
This will maybe help.
I use any type of oranges depends on season
(I live in Florida).
I cut the orange peel in sections and soak them
in cold water for 24 hours or longer.I put small
plate on top to weight the peel down.
Makes very ease to totaly remove pith with edge
Also,my family likes marmalade very smooth so
I use Food Processor to make peel very fine
after is boiled soft before I add sugar for rest
of cooking time.I use wooden spoon to stir and
low heat so marmalade does’t burn.Cristina
Elise: I forgot to add this question to my previous post. Do you happen to have a good fig jam/preserve recipe using fresh figs? Another neighbor has several fig trees, and it pains me to see the fruit fall and go into the trash can (I know – yikes!). When I was in Argentina a few years back, I had a delicious fig jam at someone’s house. What I liked about it was that the figs had been cut up a bit and the jam was spreadable (as opposed to having whole fig lumps in it). Thanks in advance for whatever you can find.
PS. Am making my 4th batch of marmalade today.
Sure! Here is a spicy fig jam flavored with orange zest. ~Elise
Having rec’d from a neighbor’s tree about 20 lbs of oranges, I’ve been using this recipe for the past 2 days to make marmalade. I’m on my 3rd round, and have to say this recipe is the best I’ve come across in terms of detail, ingredients, and procedure.
A few observations from my use of this recipe:
1) I used a melon baller to scrape out the pith from the skins. I recommend this highly. I would say that i removed about 90% of the pith from the skins w/ this method.
2) Because I didn’t read all the comment here, my 1st batch was a double batch (which the author does not recommend doing). It was a bit runny going into the jars, but set up nicely overnight. Since then, I’ve been making marmalade in batches 1.5x what the recipe calls for.
I am looking forward to giving my neighbor and friends the fruits from all my cooking these past 2 days. Oh, and did I add that this recipe yields a perfectly yummy marmalade!
Hello Elise, I made various batches of Marmalade for the first time this weekend and it was fab. I played around with the ingredients and use less sugar, added ginger, whiskey etc. However I’ve just found your recipe. I like you web page and will come back again for more tips. Any chance of getting those quantities in metric on the recipes for the rest of the world?! It’s twice the work and my computer will get all sticky all that googling while cooking.
PS. Most orange farmers will have Seville oranges that they probably throw away. Sweet orange trees are grafted onto roots of Seville orange tree (because the root ball is better) on occasions the root branches out and Seville oranges will grow. Make sure you try to get organic oranges so the skin has not been sprayed with pesticides
Would you describe your “best jelly results” in more details? The first batch I made was set overnight and I didn’t see the jelly move at all in a jar, but the second batch was different. The jelly was moving in a jar, but it still had a very nice texture, not too runny. I’m just curious what the best jelly results should be…
I used those words to indicate that the “best jelly results from stopping the cooking…” “Results” is a verb not a noun in this usage. It just means that I stop the cooking at 220°F with my thermometer and at my altitude, when the jelly would just barely wrinkle if put on a cold plate. Once jarred, the jelly will continue to set over 2 weeks. So many things can impact the set, it’s almost impossible to predict. Some batches will be firmer than others, even though you’re working with oranges from the same tree, picked the same day. ~Elise
My husband got the wild idea that “we” should make marmalade yesterday. When I googled for recipes and your site came up, I just KNEW it’d be great because everything else I’ve ever made from your site has been perfect. And the marmalade was, too!! The step by step instructions were a life saver and a definite reason the marmalade turned out so well.
I didn’t have sour oranges so I used the oranges we had on hand, meyer lemons from our trees and 2 varieties of kumquat from the yard — centenial and meiwa — to add some bitter/tartness into the mix. It tastes GREAT! This was our 1st try at home canning and “we” will definitely be making more soon. I think tomorrow we’ll try to make the Meyer Lemon Marmalade…
Thanks to all for a heap of useful info. Here in Fiji, commercial pectin is not easy to come by. So I’ll also try the pectin part of this to use with various other low-pectin fruits, and hope for the best. (At worst, I like syrup too.) And I’m delighted to have found another use for citrus seeds — I mean, how many can you plant??
By the way, oranges seem not to be a winter crop, but rather a December crop. It’s summer here, but the oranges are ripening wonderfully on my mother-in-law’s (and others’) trees.
Hi Tom, the great thing about oranges is that different varieties grown during different seasons. Most citrus come in season in the winter. But there are varieties of oranges that come in season during other parts of the year. ~Elise
If you ladle the marmalade into glasses while it is still very slowly perking, it is much simpler and cheaper to cover the glass with a piece of SaranWrap and a rubber band. Jams and marmalades keep for months like this and, at very worst, might have a spot of mold on the surface that one can scrape off. But usually they have long since been eaten up!
Hi, your recipe looks great. Right now we have a glut of limes, they are obviously very tart and they have plenty of seeds and juice. Can I use these to make this marmalade instead of the seville oranges, we don’t get them here in Barbados. Thanks
Yes, you can make marmalade with limes, though I don’t think I would process them the same way as seville oranges as the peels are so thin. I might try just quartering them and slicing them. You probably need a bit more sugar too, because limes tend to be even more tart than the sevilles. ~Elise
I have been making marmalades for years but this is the first time a recipe used seeds for pectin. What a wonderful tip!!
We recently purchased a property in Florida which has a very large fruit tree which we have been told is a Kelly Orange. The fruit is orange in color, and about the size of a cherry tomato with paper-thin skin. It is also extremely tart..even more tart than a lemon. I have researched every site imagineable and can not find anything by that name. Can you help? Thank you, Sandy
Sounds to me like a type of kumquat or mandarinquat. I’ve never heard of a Kelly orange. But if it is tart, it would probably make a good marmalade. ~Elise
Thanks for the detailed instructions. They made all the difference, especially the bit about using the membrane as well as the seeds in the muslin bag.
I had been struggling with the very vague recipe in a book by or from Harrods. The results were tasty but disappointingly runny, sticky and/or dark. With this batch the texture and colour is just right.
BTW this recipe works very well with the small fragrant grapefruit from the old tree at my country place outside Melbourne. I have never seen fruit like it but they are perfect for making marmalade. There is at least another batch left on the tree. Now I need to find more jars.
I love marmalade, so finding new recipes is always interesting. If you want to color to stay lighter add pure Ascorbic acid as Vitamin C by itself will only slow the breakdown of the sugars. Another thing to try is evaporated cane sugar or juice in place of normal sugar.
I made a few jars of marmalade last week and opened one up a few days after for a little taste. It tasted great, but the marmalade is separating. There are pieces that have the consistency of jello, but they are surrounded by a syrup. Has anyone else had this problem? What can I do to fix it?
Which method of peeling the orange did you use, the whole peel, with scraping out the inside? or did you take a vegetable peeler to the oranges? If you use the whole peel, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you took a vegetable peeler to the oranges, you aren’t going to have as much pectin in it, so there will be more problem with firming up. I have found that even jelly-ish marmalade will continue to firm up over time, so I would give it a few more weeks. Also, keep it cool. If it is still too liquidy after a month, then you may want to reboil and add some liquid pectin to it. ~Elise
Interesting article. Here is my two-cent’s worth. I make orange marmalade in a big batch about every year or so, until run out of it. I also give it to my Sri Lanka neighbour who has a taste for it. Not having access to sevilles, I pick valencias and meyer lemons from our dwarfs, using fifteen oranges to four lemons. Juice the fruit,scrape and discard he pith, cut the peel to your preferred size, fine shred to thick cut. Put into a SS big pot along with ten cups of water more or less and ten cups of regular sugar. Bring to th boil,shut it off and go to bed. Next day, simmer the mixture, stirring once in a while until it beads nicely on a spoon.have patience okay. Have another pot of water boiling and when the marmalade is finished boil the jars and the seals and the jar filler cone for ten seconds ,lift onto a clean cloth, and fill to about 1/2″ from brim. Screw the lids on, not too tight and set aside on a rack or cold surface. After awhile you will hear that popping sound as the jars draw a vacuum. Never fails and tastes yummy.
I have a citrus tree in my yard, here in Japan; the fruit is bitter and inedible and the rind is thick. I’ve made candied peel from the fruit successfully, but want to try marmalade. I can’t find canning jars here but last time I was in the US, I bought containers for freezer jam. Any ideas or recommendations about what to do?
Make freezer jam? ~Elise
I make seville orange marmalade nearly every year. This is a very good tutorial. I use a different and slightly easier method to make a bitter chunky blend. In my method (handed down from an elderly English friend’s grandmother) you first boil the whole oranges for two hours (better as Elise says not to attempt more than 2kg, or 4 pounds at a time) allow double the weight of sugar to oranges. You produce about 7 pounds of marmalade per pound of oranges. I don’t add lemon. After two hours take out oranges and cut in half. Scoop out seeds and put in muslin bag and then chunkily chop peel and flesh. Dont use a food processor as you want nice handcut chunks. Return to water in which oranges were boiled. Add warmed sugar and boil for 15/20 minutes and use saucer test. Remove pip bag( I have never squeezed and always get a lovely set). The jars I sterilise in a low oven or in the dishwasher. Marmalade will darken with age. If you bring it to a set more slowly (Look at Delia online) it will be darker as is traditional with Oxford marmalade. It keeps for years…
You can make marmalade with any citrus but seville orange is best.
Elise, you are so kind to respond with the blood orange marmalade recipe. I may try that one actually. I will say that today I duplicated the seville orange recipe above, with the change of using blood oranges in place of the Seville oranges, and also about 1/2 cup less sugar. It came out absolutely delicious. My wife (a British marmalade eating citizen) is in love with my new hobby of marmalade making. Just thought I would let everyone know that your recipe accepts the blood oranges more than favorably. Now I am wondering about your other blood orange marmalade recipe…sounds delicious as well.
I have now made four batches of this wonderful marmalade. I am about to try it with blood oranges as my Seville supply has dried up. This recipe makes wonderul, delicious marmalade. My particular cheese cloth was so tightly woven that the first batch was a real chore to milk the pectin with four layers as directed. I now fold it only once and use a spoon to scrape the pectin from the surface of the bag as I squeeze it. This speeds up the process quite a bit for me. Also, as opposed to a spoon to scrape out the pith, I use a melon baller as there is a sharper edge and it works more effectively. I endorse this recipe wholeheartedly…thanks for posting. You have helped to stock our pantry.
Hi Robert, I’m so glad the recipe is working out for you. We have a blood orange tree with some especially flavorful blood oranges. To make marmalade with them I make a mixed marmalade – 5 Meyer lemons (cut as explained in the Meyer lemon marmalade recipe), 1 pink grapefruit (thinly peeled with vegetable peeler, peels sliced, then grapefruit pith removed, grapefruit segmented and membranes removed), 2 blood oranges (thinly peeled, peels sliced, peel pith removed as if you were going to supreme the oranges, then the orange flesh chopped), 1 navel orange (prepared the same as the blood oranges), and the juice of one regular (non Meyer) lemon. Have to do sugar to taste, doesn’t need as much as the Seville oranges. For this recipe you can also use Seville oranges in place of some of the Meyer lemons and the navel orange. ~Elise
Which themometer do you recommend?
I have several thermometers, but this one seems to work the best. ~Elise
Please – where can I buy Seville Oranges.Live-southern Vermont.
Hi Elise, My marmalade turned out very well. I added Greek Metaxa brandy and my husband is thrilled with the results. I used less water and I think that may be another answer for quick setting.
HOWEVER, the rind did still rise. I’m going to make another batch tomorrow and follow a piece of advice that I got from Googling. I’ll add it here at the bottom. It’s amazing how different British methods for marmalade making can be!
15. [Boil 20 min and remove from heat] Allow to stand until a skin forms to stop peel rising in the jar. [Then ladle into jars.]
(No need to add this note unless you think it might be of help to others. Joy)
Hi, Your recipe is quite similar to one I’ve been using for years. I’ve had some problems though and would love advice. The biggest problem is that quite often the rind floats to the top of the jars. I’ve been advised to stir for several minutes before ladling into jars, but it doesn’t really help. Another thing I’ve done is after the jars have sealed I turn them upside down several times as they cool. But this is tedious. Any suggestions?
Another problem is that the marmalade at the top of the jars turns dark after a few months. Eventually the whole jar darkens. I’ve started storing my marmalade in a downstairs fridge and that helps postpone it, but this is also a nuisance. I use my marmalade more as gifts than for myself. It tastes fine but doesn’t look good.
I love the idea of adding alcohol and will try it in the batch I’m making now, probably brandy or cognac.
Great questions. I have the same issues with the floating rinds and the darkening marmalade. Regarding the darkening, I heard from one knowledgeable friend that the darkening is natural, and that the jam improves with age and is more fully “ripened” when the whole jar has darkened. I had never heard that before, but at least it doesn’t bother me anymore when the jam begins to darken. ~Elise
I just had to come back and update about this wonderful recipe. Its perfect and my marmalade came out perfect (this was my first time too!). I had made a small jar and added a dash of whiskey to it. It was delicious and right on the taste buds. A note about this -it stays fresh for till now 4 months.I stored it in an open jar (not tight fitting) and it stays on my countertop and is still as good as the first day I made it. For all those sparse marmalde eaters I think the whiskey is a good idea.
My mother makes it with grapefruit and oranges and maybe lemon do you have a recipe?
You can make marmalade with practically any citrus. I have made it before with a combination of ruby grapefruit, meyer lemons, and seville oranges. I don’t have a published recipe for it at the moment, but if you scroll down the comments a bit you’ll see I’ve given someone notes to one of the combinations I use. ~Elise
A very useful recipe.
As a wine maker, I tend to sterilize my marmalade jars and lids in hot water with potassium metabisulphite dissolved in it, about a tablespoon per sink-full of hot water, and dry them with freshly laundered teatowels. Metabisulphite is available in wine making stores.
Boiling to 222 F assures setting but seems to make it a bit dark. Boiling to 216 F makes it light but a bit too runny. If some food technologist could advise us on the optimum temperature in degrees above the boiling point of water on the day in question, it would be great.
I make marmalade in 2.5 gal batches using 6 to 8 lb oranges, 15 lb sugar.I’m not sure about Certo pectin, how much is required for bulk batches.
I added one shot of oro tequila to each pint of jam. Oh yes it is great.
Regarding the sealing of jars of marmalade. I have gleaned from this web site that I don’t have to have a canner for this. The jar lids seal themselves without cooking in a canner? Can I use parafin to seal the marmalade and if so do you pour on the parafin immediately after pouring the marmalade into the jar?
Thank you for all the information.
Yes the lids seal themselves, and yes you would pour on the parafin immediately after pouring the marmalade into the jar. ~Elise
My sister and I want to make some orange marmalade. I have what is known here in Arizona, as an “ornamental orange” tree. The oranges are a beautiful bright orange, but definitely not for eating, too sour. I’m wondering if this is the same thing as a Seville orange? Thank you for the detailed instructions.
Very likely. Seville orange trees used to be planted all around downtown Sacramento (they cut them all down a few years ago) for ornamental purposes. Seville oranges are quite sour, like a lemon, and have lots of seeds. So if your oranges are sour and seedy, they are likely Seville oranges. ~Elise
A friend gave us some homegrown Navel Oranges and after looking around this recipe seemed liked it would work the best. With 7 navel oranges, 2 lemons (not Meyer), it made the same amount of juice and marmalade.
Using less sugar (3 1/4 c instead of 4 1/4 for the 4 3/4 cups of liquid, the taste is still zingy and eye-opening. It’s definitely sweeter than the Seville’s, and it looks like it’s going to be a bit runny (could be less sugar, could be that the temp didn’t quite reach 220/222). It’s still looks, smells and tastes fabulous.
Some lessons learned – definitely invest in electric juicer, get someone to help with the julienne process & use a deeper, narrower pot so the candy thermometer can actually hook to it without hitting bottom (oops!)
thank you – it’s very exciting to be making maramalade.
Next batch with Seville oranges!
Actually, you do want a wide pot for jam making, it will help with the evaporation and will take less time to get to a set. Just tip it to one side when you want to take the temperature. (Trick a pastry chef friend taught me) ~Elise
I hope you can help me! I made some delicious lime marmalade using an old recipe from an MFK Fisher book, and all seemed great. However now that it is all nicely sealed in its little jars it is very runny. Any ideas on how I can correct this? Do I need to dump them out, boil the marmalade more, and re-jar?
Sometimes when you first jar the marmalade, it will be runny, but after a few weeks, it will firm up on its own. I suggest waiting a few weeks and seeing if the jelly firms up a bit. If not, then yes, I would boil them again, this time adding some pectin to the mix. You can make your own pectin by putting 20-30 citrus seeds in a cotton pouch, boiling it for 15 minutes, removing the pouch from the water, letting it cool, then massaging it to extract the pectin. Limes don’t typically have seeds, so you may not have as much pectin from just the limes as you might need for the marmalade to set on its own. ~Elise
A little over a year ago, I traveled to London and stayed with a friend there. For breakfast, an option was her homemade Seville Orange marmalade. Although I’m not a fan of marmalade (having had up until then only the store-bought American stuff), I thought it the perfect thing to have with tea, as it was after all an English breakfast! Well, I was in complete heaven. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of making it and feeling intimidated (I’m a cook, but have never canned before). Thank you, thank you for this well documented instruction and recipe. I can’t wait. We do have a market that sells Seville oranges here, and I eyed them enviously last year. I’m hoping they’re available as early as December for Christmas gift-making.
I am in rural China with a large supply of fresh local mandarin oranges that I need to use. I have several questions that I hope you can help with.
The mandarin oranges do not have seeds – will this be a problem for making the pectin? Is there an adjustment that I should make for this?
I also do not have access to lemons. If I omit the lemon juice will that be okay?
We have a large steamer that we use for cooking steamed buns – I am assuming that it will be suitable for sterilizing the jars that we use for canning. Please let me know if this is not the case.
Hi Connie, I can answer your third question. The steamer will be fine for sterilizing the jars. Your first two questions have to do with making marmalade with mandarin oranges, which have thin peels, are sweet, and have no seeds. This recipe is for seville oranges which are sour and have tons of seeds. Since I have never experimented with making marmalade with mandarin oranges, I don’t know what to tell you about how it will work out. I suggest that you try it, and see what you find. I suspect that you will find the flavor lacking, as you need a sour note to bring out the flavor. This you would normally get from the sour oranges and the sour lemons, so without lemons to balance the sweetness of your oranges, I don’t think this will taste particularly special. As for the seeds being missing, I would use added commercial pectin to ensure a set. ~Elise
I live in the southernmost tip of India. I tried my hand at marmalade last week with local Nagpur oranges with loose jackets. I had not seen this recipe then. As the oranges we have are sweet, the recipe online with Seville Oranges that I followed did not work. But I added juice from an equal number of lime from our garden and grated in a cup of raw papaya for pectin. The lime gave tartness and papaya being virtually tasteless just blended in leaving no trace, but helped with the setting. I do not have a thermometer and checked in a saucer kept in the freezer. Our climate is hot and humid and now it has the consistency of honey. Easily spreadable and not dripping. I think it should have been allowed to evaporate more but was afraid of the colour changing.
The taste is lovely. We had it with hot buttered toast and I pour it over curds/ unflavoured yoghurt and have it as a dessert.
The local shop products are either hard or are jellies and lack flavour.
Wish I could learn to make the perfect marmalade.
Love this site. Thank you.
Where do you buy Seville oranges?
They are very hard to find in stores, that’s for sure. The season is January February in the US. You may be able to get a specialty market or Whole Foods to order them for you. I have not found an online source. ~Elise
I have a quick question for you – what does adding the lemon do? The reason I ask, is I want a really sweet/rich tasting marmalade. I am trying to emulate some from a local bakery here… and theirs definitely doesnt TASTE like it has lemon in it, but you never know. What are your thoughts?
Lemon sharpens the flavor of the orange, making it more distinct. The marmalade definitely doesn’t taste of lemon. ~Elise
I finally did it- after 6 months of staring at this recipe I made my own batch of orange marmalade. Your recipe was perfect followed it to the letter. Made some changes though- I scaled it way down and used 3 tangelo oranges + 1 regular lemon and adjusted sugar and water accordingly. It did set perfectly but tastes somewhat bitter but not burnt bitter. Is it possible I squeezed the pectin bag too much- becoz it tasted a bit like the pith or may be its because of the tangelos (I read somewhere that they work well- but should have listened to you). It was anyway good and I got used to the bittery taste rather fast (will try seville oranges next time). Also added a dash of whiskey made somewhat of a difference in my mind atleast! It was easy and I got 1 small jar of goodness. Wanted to thank you and encourage others, beginners like me, to go at it- will make you feel giddy with happiness!
I should add- we used raw sugar rather than refined white sugar, and while our marmalade went quite dark, it tastes and looks great.
I just made a batch following this recipe and it turned out perfectly (I just heard the jar lids pop as the vacuum seal was being formed!). This is by far the easiest-to-follow marmalade recipe I’ve found. The oranges we used were fresh off the tree out the back so I think we wound up with pectin-aplenty, we put some on a spoon to cool for immediate use on toast and it was solid within seconds.
I also just peeled with a potato peeler, found it a very easy way to get the peel off without the pith.
Thank you for this helpful info! How long do you store your marmalade before eating?
Um, as soon as they are cool? You can eat them immediately. Stored unopened in a cool place they’ll last a couple years. ~Elise
I used your recipe yesterday to make Seville orange marmalade using Sevilles grown in the USA. I found your recipe and procedure easy to use and will certainly use it again (next year).
It took slightly over 1 hour to bring the mixture to the jel point and the colour was on the brownish side indicating that some caramelizing had taken place.
One items that appears to be missing from the recipe is removal of foam – I removed most of it but some still ended up in the finished product. Perhaps foam removal is assumed to be a standard procedure that anyone making jam or marmalade would know.
High River, Alberta
Hi Peter, marmalade making is so tricky! I’m in the middle of it myself. Yesterday I put up some marmalade that had gotten all the way up to 224°F on my very exact thermometer, but hadn’t passed the wrinkle on the plate test. By the time the marmalade had cooled, it had jelled fine.
If the colour is brownish, I think it got overcooked. A lot of people remove the foam, but I think it is only necessary if you are looking for a clear jelly. I’m not here. This is a very intense, thick jelly. If you taste the foam actually, you’ll see that there is nothing wrong with it.
Well I made the marmalade in two batches (second is on right now). It came out great and it’s very easy to make. For anyone who wants to do this make sure you have an electric juicer. I think I would have quit if I didn’t get one.
The whole process reminded me of watching my mother do this back in the 60s while growing up in Ireland. She made marmalade every year (plus many other jams) just about the exact same way.
I kept mine a little on the bitter side. I can’t stand all the sweet ones in the store.
I will be making this many more times.
Hi, I just ordered some Seville oranges to make this marmalade. I was wondering would you think making a double batch would be a good or bad idea? I’ll have enough oranges so I want to use them but don’t really want to do it twice.
Usually in jam-making, double batches are a bad idea. When I’ve made a double batch, I’ve actually made two single batches, and cooked them in separate pans at about the same time. The reason is that when you double the batch in one pan, it changes the cooking dynamics – less surface area, more volume of jam to heat, etc. So, best to stick with the amounts given. ~Elise
This is the most comprehensive tutorial I have ever read pertaining to a recipe. It’s greatly appreciated. I do have a question. If one cannot find Seville oranges (I live in Virginia Beach, VA), what is a good substitute for this marmalade?
Hi Debrah – You can also make this recipe with Meyer lemons, but they must be Meyer lemons, not regular lemons. Meyers are actually a hybrid of orange and lemon, so they are sweeter than regular lemons. Citrus comes in season in the Winter, so the best time to attempt a citrus marmalade is in the winter months. You can also make a marmalade with quince, which becomes available in the fall, along with apple season. The original marmalades were actually made with quince. ~Elise
I have only ever heard of sterilizing jars in a hot water bath, with the water gradually being heated up with the jars to prevent cracking…do you ever have cracking problems with the oven method?
Hi Mele, hot air heats things more slowly than being surrounded by hot water, so the glass doesn’t crack. ~Elise
Really great tutorial!
This is almost identical to the method my mother, and now I, have been using for god knows how long. I adore the tartness and so does everyone I give jars to. I haven’t found anything comparable in commercially bought marmalade and this makes it sort of special – I urge those who’ve not done it before it give it a try.
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