Honey Lemon Marmalade


Having immersed myself in the world of marmalade over the last month, it’s definitely something I’m adding to my preserving repertoire. However, I am really grateful to be moving on canning/pickling projects that require less knife-work, as I don’t think my right hand could handle any further citrus chopping. This batch of Honey Lemon Marmalade required 14 lemons, which took nearly an hour to break down (and I seriously recommend that you make sure you don’t have any paper cuts prior to embarking upon this recipe). However, the work was worth it because this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.


Back in January, I was obsessed with drinking infusions of honey, lemon juice and ginger. It was great way to fend off the winter chills and felt fairly virtuous to boot. While this marmalade doesn’t have any ginger in it, it evokes those infusions, and makes me want to stir spoonfuls into hot tea (I haven’t done it yet, but I may not be able to resist the urge).


This is the first time I’ve used honey as a sweetener in a canning project, and I think it worked pretty well. It wasn’t the sole sweetener, I also used some evaporated cane sugar (not because I was trying to be healthier, I was simply of out regular sugar). I wanted the flavor of the buckwheat honey (darker and slightly richer than regular wildflower honey), but because it’s such a deep taste, I was afraid that it would overwhelm the delicacy of the lemon.


The other thing I did differently with this batch of marmalade is that I used a full dose of pectin. In past batches, I used a single 3 ounce pack of pectin. This time around I used a full 6 ounces, which really firmed things up. I also lengthened the cooking time, in the hopes of drawing out more of the natural pectin.

As always, I have a half pint of this marmalade that could potentially have your name on it. Leave a comment if you want in on the giveaway, I’ll pick a winner by Saturday at 5 pm. Thanks to all who entered, the contest in closed.

Honey Lemon Marmalade

Yield: Six Pints


  • 8 cups chopped lemons (14 lemons)
  • 2 cups honey (I used buckwheat honey, but you can use whatever you’ve got)
  • 4 cups cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 packets liquid pectin (6 ounces)


  1. Sterilize your jars (I used a combination of pint and half pint jars).
  2. Combine lemons, honey, sugar and water together in non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add pectin to the fruit and let it gently boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and fill jars. Apply lids and rings and process in a water bath for ten minutes. Let the marmalade sit overnight, to give the pectin time to fully activate.

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95 Responses to Honey Lemon Marmalade

  1. 51
    Patty says:

    This recipe looks wonderful! We can’t wait to make it tomorrow! Here’s my question: from what I’ve researched, it seems that heating honey destroys much of the health benefits…would this recipe still be “safe” if all was boiled and simmered as instructed except not the honey, and then the honey was added after the pectin has boiled, then water-bathed?

    • 51.1
      marisa says:

      Patty, you need to cook the honey into the marmalade or it won’t set up correctly. Most commercial honeys you buy are already pasteurized anyway, so you’ve lose the health benefits before you even bring them home from the grocery store.

      • Patty says:

        OK — thanks so much for the info’…I have raw buckwheat honey, but will proceed with your recipe as written. Your site is great and so helpful! Many thanks!

  2. 52
    Melissa says:

    I just made this today using a neighbors honey. He has his own hive in his back yard. He takes urban gardening to a new level!

    I’ve really been enjoying tackling some of your recipes! I’ve made the orange jelly (I added the champagne!) and the tomato jam. Thank you for doing this blog! I can’t wait to tackle a new flavor this week!

  3. 53
    Marcy says:

    Thank you SO very much! I’ve just finished canning four dozen jars of blueberry jam and was hunting for a lemon recipe to compliment them. These will make BEAUTIFUL Christmas presents – and it looks so easy!

  4. 54
    Amberini says:

    I haven’t yet canned anything in my life, though I’ve watched my Granny do it all my life and LOVE her canned goods. Now that I’ve moved to Germany, I’m lacking in a lot of pre-prepared foods I was used to back home and I miss my Granny’s goods (though she sometimes sneaks some in her carepackages). So, I’ve begun compiling canning recipes to help inspire me to begin the process eventually and this is in it! I can’t wait to make a can of this. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  5. 55
    Lacy says:

    Okay, I know this is an old post, but I have been searching high and low for a lemon marmalade recipe and I think that this one is the winner! I love to can fruits and veggies…it makes my inner hamster very happy.

    Did you ever try it with ginger?

  6. 56
    Jim Zradicka says:


    So, chopping lemons is not required if you have an “old fashioned” grinder. After juicing the lemons I ground the peels in a manual grinder (the same we use to make roast beef hash, to can cucumber relish, and to make homemade potato sausage.) If you don’t have one, we purchased (both of) ours at second-hand shops (then received another from mother who used hers frequently when I was a child.) I squeezed the lemons first in a manual juicer and then ground the rinds in the grinder. I discarded the seeds from the juiced lemons – reserving the pulp and adding it to the ground lemons and the water. I refrigerated this mixture overnight before proceeding with the recipe. The end result turned out great!

  7. 57

    I don’t know much about marmalade but I’d really like to try this recipe, but replace some of the sugar with xylitol. Will that work? Will it still keep?

  8. 58
    Rosalie says:

    Hi Marisa
    Very happy to have found your wbsite. I just started batch of limoncello, using the rind of 10 lemons and was looking for something to do with the lemons. Can I use these lemons – no rind but with the pith? Most recipes call for removing the pith. Did you cut the segments off between the membranes? Didn’t using the pith make it bitter?
    Thanks a bunch,

    • 58.1
      marisa says:

      Roselie, I wouldn’t use the pith. Instead, I recommend making a lemon jelly with the flesh of the fruit. Juice it, combine with half as much sugar as juice and boil until it reaches 220 degrees.

  9. 59
    Rosalie says:

    Thanks Marisa – that’s what I thought. I juiced the 10 lemons for 2 full cups of pure lemon juice and more pips than I have ever seen. I only used 1 cup of the juice, plus 1-1/2 cups of water, 2 cups of honey, 3 cups of sugar, and 2 pouches of pectin, plus the pips in a tea ball. I also had some crystallized ginger that I cut up and added to the pot – silly me I thought those pieces would melt. So I have 6 jars of honey-lemon jelly with a hint of ginger. Tastes like something to put into hot tea. Thank you again, Rosalie

  10. 60

    […] also canned some honey lemon marmalade made with Meyer Lemons and locally collected honey. Some of this marmalade will be used to glaze […]

  11. 61
    Anna In Ohio says:

    I just made this recipe this morning.. I ended up with I think a bit more than what the recipe said 100 oz. made in to 8 12 oz. jelly jars and 4 oz. jelly jar. Very easy to follow the recipe supplied and the taste is absolutely to die for! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • 61.1
      Marisa says:

      So glad to hear that it worked for you! Yield variations are entirely normal, so there’s nothing to worry about there.

  12. 62
    Delilah Lark says:

    I think I see the pith in the chopped lemons. Am I right. Does it not make the jelly bitter. I made candied orange peels one time, they were so bitter I had to throw them away.

  13. 63

    […] few other recipes for lemon marmalade, Simply Recipes has a nice one I’d like to try as does Food In Jars who added a honey […]

  14. 64
    jeanee lowery says:

    i tried this recipe and did a double batch. unfortunately it did not turn out even though i followed all of the instructions. does it take days for this to congeal into jelly,because what i have looks like syrup with lemon rinds. feel like i wasted around $40 and that doesn’t include the jars and my time. this was the first recipe i have tried from this site and probably the last.

  15. 65
    Sheri says:

    I hope you didn’t throw it out. Use it to make lemon honey tea. Stir it into either hot or cold water and drink. I plan to use this recipe for this purpose. A Chinese friend has jars of something very similar to this that is delicious stirred into water.

    Thank you, Marisa.

  16. 66
    Jessica says:

    So glad I found this recipe, and this website. My lemon and fig trees are so abundant this year — I have to do something with the wonderful fruit. Looking forward to making marmalade tomorrow.

  17. 67

    I made this and it was quite bitter even though I added another cup of sugar above what the recipe stated. What did I do wrong? I also had another question. If you have a jar whose lid seals before you put it in the water bath canner, can you still put it in safely to boil?

  18. 68
    Simone says:

    Dear marisa,

    I am going to tackle this tomorrow. I chose to do this because it looks amazing but I bought 30 lemons to make Limoncello so my lemons are naked I used the zest for the Limoncello. Do you think it is still a good idea?
    Also not sure I can find pectin in South Africa. Could I use gelatin? Thank you so much I am so excited to make this for Gifts. Love your blog.

    • 68.1
      Marisa says:

      Simone, should not make this recipe if you’ve stripped the zest from your lemons. Marmalade needs the zest. And gelatin isn’t the same thing as pectin. It won’t set up correctly.

  19. 69

    […] since I saw this honey lemon marmalade recipe here on Food in Jars, one of my favorite blogs, I’ve been dying to make it. Dying I tell […]

  20. 70
    Brenda says:

    Hi, Marisa,
    I have a bag of lemons from a family tree and local honey from the farmers market, and I’m eager to try some marmalade. After reading through the comments, I notice several folks found the results bitter. I wonder if using the technique from your blood orange marmalade– soaking the fruit in water overnight– would help reduce the bitterness? Could I reduce or eliminate the pectin if I soak the seeds along with the fruit?

    Thanks for your wonderful blog! I’m finding it a great resource as I get back into canning (learned how when I was a kid, but haven’t done anything since). Your book is on my wish list this year.

  21. 71
    Frances says:

    So I made my first foray into canning last night via this recipe. It turned out wonderfully, your site is wonderful, and I will be doing lots more canning in the future! Thanks so much.

  22. 72
    Ellie says:

    Would I be able to halve this recipe for a small batch project?

  23. 73
    Diane says:

    I made a batch today and the liquid in the jars seems to be a lot. Do you think it will firm up ??

    • 73.1
      Marisa says:

      Preserves do often thicken up over time. Put one of the jars in the fridge to see if the colder temperature will help it firm up.

  24. 74

    […] awhile back, but my friend Marisa has a really good one in her book Food in Jars, and another really toddy-appropriate recipe on her beautiful blog of the same name. Just add a glug of […]

  25. 75

    […] Recipe: Honey Lemon Marmalade […]

  26. 76
    Mel says:

    Hello! I will be making some jellies for a food shelter benefit that will be held in a bar in the next week or so. Have you ever made this with bourbon to replace 1/2 cup or more of water? I’m really interested in trying to create a “bar theme” with the jellies for this event. The shelter focuses on brown bag meals for students in the inner city during the weekend and always have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

    • 76.1
      Marisa says:

      I’ve never done anything quite like that. I will say that if when you add liquor to jams, it’s best to do it at the end of cooking, so that you don’t cook away all their flavor.

  27. 77
    Vivien says:

    Hi, I’m just making your marmalade and the kitchen smells lovely. How long will this last please? Should I water can it for increased longevity, if so for how long should I can it and how much longer do you think it would give. Thanks for your lovely recipes. Viv

  28. 78

    […] Honey Lemon Marmalade (makes 6 pints) Adapted from Food In Jars […]

  29. 79

    […] Website: Food In Jars Recipe: Honey Lemon Marmalade […]

  30. 80
    Karen says:

    I just completed this recipe. It is so bitter. Knowing that I did not want it to be to bitter, I pealed the peal off and scraped off the pith to half of the meyer lemons. It set beautifully. Can I redo this batch and add more sugar and reprocess?

  31. 81
    Jenn says:

    Just made this and it’s delicious!

  32. 82
    Susan Claire says:

    I know I’m late to the party, but I made this today, and this is what I think:
    I love anything lemon, and this marmalade certainly is lemony-too tart for anyone in the house but me.
    The honey taste shines through the lemon nicely, wonderful contrast.
    The next time I have a cold this is going into a shot of whiskey!
    P.S. I used my food processor with the 4mm blade-sliced those lemons in ten minutes.


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