Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.
Hi, I am wanting to make orange marmalade for my boyfriend’s up and coming birthday. I have read this recipe over multiple times and can’t wait to try it. I have looked online for Seville oranges I can order, but stumbled upon honeybell oranges. They look wonderful and I was wondering if this recipe would work if I used them instead. I know they are very sweet and I probably wouldn’t add much sugar, but I was curious what you think?
Go for it, Brooke!
Okay, will do! Thank you! (:
can it be made without lemon juice? a friend brought me a lot of oranges and want to make some marmalade. by the time I get a ride to the store to get a lemon they’ll be bad.
Hi Terri, this recipe requires special Seville oranges which are quite sour, not at all sweet. If those are the kind of oranges you have, then you can skip the lemons. The Meyer lemon and the lemon juice add a little more complexity to the marmalade, but if you have Seville sour oranges, there will be enough sourness in the marmalade that you can skip them if you want. If you are using regular oranges, I do not recommend using this recipe. I also don’t recommend making marmalade with regular sweet oranges, the taste isn’t very good.
i don’t know what the oranges i have. i tasted it after adding the sugar then added some lemon juice and it was much better. the oranges were very sweet with the added sugar.
I have another more traditional seville orange marmalade recipe that I used to make all the time. Now, I alternate it with this one. My husband LOVES this one because the flavor is so intense. I never have any problems with this recipe setting. I follow the recipe pretty closely (though I use two regular lemons not one Meyer and one regular.
If you want to try something really special, try adding 2 ounces of whisky or 2 ounces of Campari! It gives it just that little extra boozy kick and tastes great :)
We made this with tiny sour oranges from our garden-room tree. The oranges are quite tart and are only about an inch in diameter. We cut them in half, seeded them into a bag, squeezed the juice, etc and it came out perfectly! Such a great recipe….thanks : ).
I’m so glad you liked the marmalade Libby! How lucky you have a sour orange tree.
Hello I was wondering what other oranges can you use
Hello Gloria, for this recipe you can only use sour oranges, aka Seville oranges.
Hi Elise. I am stuck with a small stove with a ceramic cooktop…. I could NOT get the temperature of the boiling marmalade up to 218 – 222 degrees. It seemed to be thickening, so I put it in the sterilized jars and hoped for the best. That was two days ago, and it is still very sloppy. Do I just boil it again, for “X” minutes? Add commercial pectin?? Help…
Hi Mary, are you by any chance at altitude? I can’t imagine the cooktop not giving you enough heat to get the mixture to temp. It really helps to use a wide pot, that way you get the most evaporation. If it’s still super loose after a couple of days, I would empty the jars into a large wide pot, and heat it up again. You need to get it to the set point. The best way to tell if the marmalade is at set point is the “wrinkle test”, where you put a quarter teaspoon of the jelly onto a chilled (from the freezer) plate. If it wrinkles, even ever so slightly, it’s ready. I usually start testing for the wrinkles at about 117°F.
Hi again Elise, and thank you for your response. I am at sea-level, and yes, I use a wide-bottom pot. I emptied the jars and boiled the mix up again, but still no set. Perhaps my (newer model) candy thermometer is not giving a true reading. One more try with the cold plate/wrinkle test and then I will just call it orange syrup and find other uses for it!!
This is great! I actually was in Seville Spain when the oranges were on the tree! Oh so beautiful to see. Not bitter, but sour. Great orange to use!
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 Veronica, you can water bath the jam if you want. Marmalade is so acidic, and has so much sugar in it, you don’t really need to, if you have sterilized your jars and lids. Most jams have so much sugar in it, it’s not an issue. Water-bathing will help prevent mold.
I find that the jam is best eaten within a year of storing it in the cupboard. If I think I’m going to want it longer than that, I’ll store it in the fridge.
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! To help prevent sinking peels turn the jars upside down right after canning, then turn them again 30 minutes later. Keep turning the jars every 30 minutes or so while the marmalade cools and sets. That should help to distribute the peels through the jar. 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)
Hi Juny, yes, I’ve noticed the slight change in color (to a darker shade) as well. It happens right before set point.
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.