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. 1
    Slobokan says:

    I never would have thought to make honey lemon marmalade. I bet it is delicious. We get our honey from a local “Bee Man”, so it will be interesting to try this with the various flavors we get from him.

  2. 2
    lauren says:

    that looks DELICIOUS.

  3. 3
    kickpleat says:

    Man, I really wish you could travel to Vancouver to teach a few classes! One of these days (soon) I’ll actually try my hand at canning!

  4. 4

    This looks great – as usual! (If you need an assistant to help clean your dishes, I’ll be happy to get paid in jam.)

  5. 5
    jkbc says:

    Hope I win — maybe I can convince my girlfriend to try this marmalade, she loves lemon!

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Livia says:

    I’ve had such a love affair with buckwheat honey this year!

    So how would the marmalade be with some ginger?

    It would be amazing with ginger. I just didn’t use any because 1). I’d already made a citrus marmalade with ginger and 2). I wanted the flavor of honey to stand out. -Marisa

  8. 8

    interesting that it’s so dark-colored; was that your honey or the evaporated cane sugar? I made nearly the same recipe in January with Asha and Mara (though I think it was a lot less sugar, and we used organic, but otherwise ordinary, cane sugar). either way, it was absolutely delicious. we put a bit of vanilla in, too.

    Sarah, I think the color came from the honey, buckwheat honey is nearly the color of molasses. I really questioned the amount of sugar I put in, but I wanted to make sure it would jam and have a longish shelf-life, especially since I was giving some of it away. -Marisa

  9. 9
    Lelo says:

    This giving away thing is a great way to gain participating and feedback. Seriously though, the chopping? Impressive.

    I admit, I’m a comment glutton, so giving away jars of my jams and marmalades does serve to feed my hunger for feedback. However, there’s also something really nice about knowing that people other than my immediate friends and family are getting to taste and (hopefully) enjoy the things I’ve made. -Marisa

  10. 10
    Henry says:

    I Keep saying this is going to be the one I try when I start canning but this time I mean it. This looks so good!

  11. 11
    Shiv says:

    oh, that looks AMAZING. the perfect antidote to the end of winter blues!

  12. 12

    Buckwheat honey is such a treat…I can imagine how its depth plays off the citrus!

  13. 13
    Jess says:

    I love the combo of lemon and honey!

  14. 14
    yoko says:

    Buckwheat honey is so lovely. I never thought to pair it with lemons. Your idea of stirring the marmalade into tea tempts me.

  15. 15
    Kate says:

    This sounds so good!!! I think we will have to give it a try.

  16. 16
    martha says:

    Would a mandoline (sp?) speed up the chopping? Or just create more of a mess?

    Martha, unless the blade was really, really sharp, I think a mandoline would make more of mess. I briefly considered using a food processor, but I was afraid it would turn the fruit into pulp. I don’t have a shredding blade for my food processor though, and I think that might be a possibility. -Marisa

  17. 17
    Sarah says:

    That looks amazing…I drank a LOT of hot toddies (toddys?) this winter, thanks to the cold that I caught every month.

  18. 18
    Pat says:

    I would love to sample this Marisa! I usually buy local (Central VA) light honey; as opposed to dark. I am very willing to give this one a try on a piece of my home made bread.
    Or….. straight from the spoon.

  19. 19
    Lisa G. says:

    I just found your site and you are my hero! I have hopes of canning pickles this summer, I have the cucumber plants started. I come from a long line of canners, but haven’t embarked yet on the real thing.

    Aww, thanks Lisa. I’ll be doing pickles pretty darn soon, so check back for a report of how it works out for me! -Marisa

  20. 20
    Dayna says:

    All my friends make fun of me but, call me a granny, I Lurve marmalade!
    …and this nice twist must be worth the the endless lemon cutting you’ve had all week!

  21. 21
    Another Marisa says:

    If you included a cheesecloth bag with the seeds in it, would you still need to add pectin? I made a lemon-ginger marmalade a few weeks ago, and it set VERY firmly without added pectin, but I had a bag with seeds in the mix for the entire cooking time.

    (I think the dark color might be – at least in part – due to the longer cooking time. My marmalade looks pretty dark, too, and it was just sweetened with sugar.)

    If you go the routine of gathering all your seeds in a cheesecloth bag, I don’t think you’d need the pectin. I’ve never used that technique, so it makes me slightly nervous. I wanted to guarantee that my marmalade would gell, especially after chopping for an hour, so I went with the method I knew best. -Marisa

  22. 22
    rebecca says:

    Looks lovely. I’ll be making it soon to enjoy with the yogurt I’ve just started making for myself. Love your blog!

  23. 23
    Fran says:

    ooh, I love the photo of the measuring bowl full of lemon bits…8 cups of lemon bits! There is a flickr group called “kiiro” of yellow things (kiiro is yellow in Japanese) and I bet they would like to have that photo in the group!
    And I hope I win this marmalade!

  24. 24
    Mike says:

    First off, you make it all look so easy…and good. Secondly, when is the knife skills workout tape coming?!

  25. 25
    michelle says:

    Local honey is also good for allergies, so the lemon/ginger/honey really is good for you….I think that more than justifies eating this on an english muffin for breakfast, don’t you?

  26. 26
    teal says:

    i’ve had terrible luck with marmalades….(seville orange and grapefruit). It’d be neat to try some that worked out!

  27. 27
    Mo Mack says:

    Yum! Another reson we should move to Philadelphia

  28. 28
    pam says:

    I was just at the store yesterday, eyeing some meyer lemons, wondering what I could do with them.

  29. 29
    Liz says:

    Mmm.. That sounds like the base for citron tea- it’s a korean thing, and you just stir it into hot water. Give in to the temptation to do that with your marmalade, it’s delicious! Also, that sounds like the best use for some excess blueberry honey ever! I may have to try making some!

  30. 30
    Tara says:

    I am almost more interested in that honey than I am in the marmalade. 🙂 It looks like something I need to try. I have never tried using honey in canning either. Would love to hear an update in 3-6 months how well it held up.

    The thought of chopping all those lemons is a little daunting-hats off to you for all that effort! I would probably have tried at least one in a food processor to see how it worked just out of not wanting to put that much chopping effort out into it. I bet the kitchen smelled wonderful though!

  31. 31
    Jenn FL says:

    Wow .. that looks really yummy! We do the hot lemon, honey, ginger concoction here all the time. I love it.

  32. 32

    We should be able to start harvesting our honey this year, and I want to try to use it it jam & jellies. I am somewhat hesitant because of its taste, so I’ll have to try. Bet it’s delicious with lemons. Such a good idea.

    On a totally different matter – but still canning related: I want to can some fruit juice this summer, but I’d like to use bottles that I can process through a boiling water bath, not Mason jars. Do you have any suggestions for a source of canning bottles?

  33. 33
    Erin says:

    Lemons are just so gorgeous. I bet this tasted phenomenal!

  34. 34
    Marisa says:

    Erin, it was really, really delicious. I had some friends over for brunch yesterday, and we ate it on some muffins (recipe to be posted later) it was transcendently good.

  35. 35

    […] These muffins are particularly good with a dab of Honey Lemon Marmalade. […]

  36. 36

    Marisa, dahhhhlink. Albert at the Fair Food stand told me about your new blog–how much do I love it? I love it!!! Especially this recipe. I have been on a pickling kick lately (just made some brined lemons), but this brings me to new levels of planning. I can’t wait to try this marmalade.
    So, I have to buy you another martini. Our last chat inspired me to finally start looking at food blogs instead of just reading food mags. I have become obsessed. Yesterday, I started my summer project: a cheese blog. I’m still playing around with it, but I just wanted to say thanks for snapping me out of the print world and onto the web. xoxox

  37. 37
    Mommaofmany says:

    I stumbled upon your blog today looking for some new recipes to can. This looks wonderful! I have saved the recipe and will be trying it soon. I have a neighbor with lemons dripping off his tree a friend whose stepdad owns and operates a bee farm. All my ingredients will be FRESH!

    Welcome! How lucky you are to access to straight from the tree lemons! -Marisa

  38. 38
    Howard Tuckey says:

    Cook the lemons first, then add the honey or sugar later, and you won’t have to use pectin at all. I just found this page — after making a batch of lemon marmalade last night. Made some orange marmalade a coupld of weeks ago, and someone at work asked if I could make lemon. So I did! I also added a little bit of grated ginger
    I sliced the lemon on a mandoline (one of those inexpensive orange plastic ones) and it came out well. The only problem was in picking out all the seeds.
    If you add the sugar at the start, it interacts with the pectin, and causes it to not set up. Wait until the fruit is soft, and then add it, stirring constantly.
    I started with 10 lemons and 6 cups of water, plus a tablespoon or so of ginger (real fine) — next time I’ll add mor ginger.
    Brought to a boil for about 40 minutes, then added 3 1/2 pounds of sugar. Stirred until it reached a temp of 215 or so, then put in jars and processed for 20 minutes in hot water bath canner.
    It actually set up a little too much — not runny at all.

  39. 39
    Jberickson says:

    Hey, I’m wondering something, because I just made this and I’ve been scouring recipes on other web sites and such and I can’t find anything on how LONG it actually takes to set up. I did everything (although I didn’t check to see if it got to 215 degrees, but I did boil it for about 45 minutes with the sugar and honey). I ladled it into jars, processed for 15 minutes, they all sealed, but the marmalade is runny. It’s only been, oh about 22 hours now since I finished processing everything. But should it have set already? What are others experiences? I’m worried that I just made 16 1/2 pints of Honey Lemon runny stuffy instead of yummy thick marmalade.

  40. 40
    Laura says:

    I’ve made jams, jellies, pickles, canned tomatoes all my life, and I’ve never processed the jars. I learned this trick from my mother and my grandmother. After you fill the jars with the hot liquid and screw on the lids, just turn the jars upside down until they cool. They seal just as well as going to all the bother of water processing without all the fuss. I don’t think we’ve ever lost a jar.

  41. 41
    Marisa says:

    Laura, the water bath is not just about getting a good seal. It’s about ensuring that all the nasty bacteria is killed, so that your jam, pickles, tomatoes and more don’t develop mold or worse (I’d be particularly wary of eating unprocessed tomatoes).

  42. 42
    Rochelle says:

    I had a lemon marmalade for the first time today @ brunch, so now I’m searching. I’d like a lemon marmalade that would lend well to becoming a lemon drop martini and glaze on a lemon cake with a sirracha chili whipped cream frosting. Could this be the recipe I’m looking for?

  43. 43
    Martha Philipps says:

    A friend in Az. just shipped me a box of lemons from her tree and I am going to try this and send her some jars as a Thank you! Just wish my neighbor still raised bees so I didn’t have to depend on store bought honey! LOL. On the water bath processing, I MAY just turn the jars upside down (as another person said) because that is they way I have always done my jams, jellies and pickles that were “hot packed”.

  44. 44
    Elaine says:

    My brother-in-law just sent me to your site. This marmelade recipe is definitely on my “to do” list. I would love to win a jar before I made a full batch. (Just hinting!)

  45. 45
    Robin says:

    Just made this and it is delicious! I did two batches this weekend. The first batch didn’t turn out right (too bitter and the pieces of peel were too large.) For the second batch I added an additional 2 cups sugar, and also chopped the lemons much more finely. Tastes great and will make lovely holiday gifts.

  46. 46
    Belinda Phillips says:

    Thanks for the encouragement to use honey. I’m seeking to turn a favorite recipe for lemon ginger marmalade into Korean citrus (s’posed to be citron but I can’t find fresh ones) honey tea. Using honey, no pectin, I’ll see how it goes and either call it marmalade or the famous Korean tea for winter ills. Also, I am obsessed with using a lot of ginger, having fallen in love with ginger marmalade in Canada.

  47. 47
    Jane Sasser says:

    I made the honey lemon marmalade last night. I used Meyer lemons, and I cut the recipe in half, since I didn’t want to run the risk of making way too much and not liking it. I followed Robin’s suggestion and raised the amount of sugar. I love lemons, but the rest of my family is not as crazy about them. However, when we tried the marmalade last night, my husband and I both loved it, and he told me to definitely keep this recipe for future use. Thank you so much for posting!

  48. 48

    This recipe was FABULOUS. We loved it- and even my husband who isn’t a marmalade guy loved it. Thank you for sharing… I have bookmarked you and will be back often!

  49. 49
    Laurie Sanderson says:

    I love this, even though the chopping is time consuming. We made some several times and people keep asking for it! Just a great receipe!

  50. 50

    […] friend Katie and I made Honey Lemon Marmalade today to use up some surplus citrus we had acquired. And it was […]


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