Orange-Ginger Marmalade

March 19, 2009(updated on August 30, 2021)


I’ve never been much for marmalade. It wasn’t a condiment we kept around the house while I was growing up. When it came to peanut butter sandwiches, my sister and I preferred the strawberry jam that came in a blue plastic tub with white lid and handle, like a little bucket. My mom always had a stash of something homemade tucked in the back of the fridge for her toast, while my dad typically gravitated towards the squeeze bottle of honey.

Chopping in progress

The only person I knew who kept marmalade on her grocery list was my grandmother Bunny. She would often spread a fine layer on a piece of morning toast, or use a bit as a pork chop glaze. On occasion, she’d offer me a bite, and I always found it displeasingly puckery and not nearly sugary enough for my young taste buds.

Bubbling Marmalade

Several years ago, I watched the movie Gosford Park. There’s one scene, in the final third of the movie, in which Maggie Smith’s character is breakfasting in her room with her lady’s maid. She lifts a cut glass lid from a preserves jar and complains bitterly when she discovers that the marmalade it contains was bought, as opposed to being house-made. That scene settled into the depths of my brain and took root, sending out shoots that carried the message “homemade marmalade is always preferable to mass-produced.”

Filling the jars

Last week, that dormant message finally bloomed and I headed to the kitchen to make a batch of Orange-Ginger Marmalade. I did some research prior to applying knife to orange and discovered a wide array of marmalade recipes. Each was a bit different from the one before. Some recommended removing the zest from the fruit with a vegetable peeler, peeling the remaining pith off and then chopping, while other recipes instructed you to chop the whole fruit. After reading seven different recipes, I decided to wing it, basing my method on my previous jam-making experience.

Filling a jar

I chopped eleven medium, organic oranges into tiny bits (they yielded a bit over eight cups of orange) and combined them with four cups of sugar, two inches of grated ginger (next time, I’d use far more, as the flavor is very faint) and the juice of two lemons. I ended up using one packet of liquid pectin to get things to jell a bit, but if you happened to have some cheesecloth in the house, you could bundle up all the seeds and orange membrane and cook it along with the fruit, as there’s a lot of natural pectin in the seeds. I didn’t have any cheesecloth (I used up the last of mine on a yogurt cheese experiment a few weeks ago), so in went the pectin.

Jars in hot water bath

The resulting marmalade is sweet, but not cloyingly so. The chunks of orange peel are a bit more toothsome than I find to be ideal, but they add good flavor and texture, so I don’t regret their inclusion (in the future, I’ll try for an even finer dice). I do wish the ginger flavor was more aggressive, next time I make this, I’m going to mince it instead of grating it, and will use a generous three or four-inch length. However, all in all, I’ve produced a really delicious spread that is perfect on toast, scones or stirred into a dish of cottage cheese.

Sealed jars

For those of you who want to taste my marmalade, I’m giving away a half-pint. Leave a comment below if you want a chance at it. I’ll pick a random winner out on Friday, March 20, 2009 at 12 noon. For those of you who don’t win, the recipe is after the jump. This contest is now closed.

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Orange-Ginger Marmalade


  • 8 cups of finely diced oranges with their juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 to 4- inch length of ginger peeled and minced finely
  • 2 lemons juiced


  • In a large, non-reactive pot, bring oranges, water, sugar, ginger, and lemon juice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and boil for approximately 25-30 minutes, until the oranges have softened and the volume has reduced by about one-third.
  • When the marmalade sheets off your spoon or spatula in thick drops, it's done.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and funnel the finished marmalade into your prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation).
  • When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortable handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

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56 thoughts on "Orange-Ginger Marmalade"

  • Inarticulate… me want… slaver…. slobber… ginger tang, piquant orange…. smooth bitter sweet oooozing across my morning toast….. want now. I deserve it. It is mine.

  • This sounds delicious and the photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! I actually did enjoy marmalade as a kid, so I can only imagine how amazing it would be homemade. Very excited about your new blog! 😀

  • I would LOVE some marmalade. Your photographs are so lush and lovely. And I have never made my own, either. This is convincing me — time to do it.

  • I love the way you blended photos into your story rather than just in the recipe part.
    Great Touch! Marmalade looks good too!

  • Having only recently become a fan of marmalade, and having too small a kitchen to currently attempt this feat, I would love to get my hands on some of that. sounds lovely!

  • I must say I want some of this batch, and I want some of the next batch too. I want it all. What a nice blog you’ve made.

  • Looks delicious; great color. I wonder whether candied ginger would be a worthwhile replacement for fresh.

    1. I recently made Meyer Lemon Ginger Marmalade using a recipe which called for 1/2 cup grated fresh ginger and 1/2 cup candied ginger. It is delicious!

  • That looks delicious, Marissa. My mother is a huge marmalade fan, always preferring it as a less sweet option for her toast. It took me years to develop a taste for it, but now, I’d love to win a bit of yours.

  • Ooh… orange marmalade, my favorite!!! And you’re right, it’s perfect on cream/cinnamon scones!

    For some reason I always make scones on the weekend and forget to bring it out. Tsk, tsk me.

  • Everything that Marisa makes is the bombity bomb so I have no doubt that this would rock anyone’s socks, too. Yay for jars! And it looks so pretty!

  • I never liked marmalade as a kid, either. I was in Florida recently, and had tasted kumquat marmalade for the first time, made by a small farm. It made me understand what makes marmalade good.

    “lady marmalade”

  • Yum. I’ve always loved marmalade — even the store-bought, sadly. Friends recently gifted me a small jar of homemade and I’m sunk. I’d be thrilled to try out your ginger-infused marmalade.

  • Marmalade and cottage cheese! I never thought of that. Can’t imagine it with store bought, but your photos look so enticing, if I win that’s exactly what I’ll do with it.

  • yes ginger, why not! looks divine. I wish I could say I’ve ‘canned’ before, but oh hell no. I should though as I am a huge lover of bread & butter pickles.

  • I made marmalade over the weekend. It tastes fine, but it is opaque. I have pored over every book I could find but no possible explanation….do you have any ideas on why my marmalade looks milky??? thanks for any help….michelle

    1. Michelle, I’m really sorry, but I don’t have any idea why your marmalade looks milky. It could be that there was something off with your pectin or that it was overcooked. I’m sorry that I can’t be more helpful!

  • Thank you! I made mine with a finely cut up lemon and ginger. I agree, the more ginger the better. I like lots of peel so this was a fast delicious recipe for me. Cheers!

  • Tried this out using about a 4 inch length of ginger finely diced. The oranges were from my sons trees (organic 🙂 ) and were a bit sour for eating. Also used 4 key limes from his tree as they had lots of seeds and I didn’t have any pectin. Used a tea bag to hold all the seeds and pith (the kind of bag you stuff and then iron shut)and I did cook it a bit longer than you indicated as it didn’t look like it was going to gel. The good news was that after refrigerating, all containers set up nicely and everyone loves it!
    Now, it would be great if I could try yours and see how they compare!
    Thanks for the recipe….the ginger makes it!

  • I used your recipe using half tangelos and 1/3 cup of minced candied ginger instead of all that grating required with a root. . This set up nicely….and I would love to taste a jar of yours!

  • Hi! Just stumbled across your blog while looking for a Ginger Marmalade/Preserve recipe. The photos are so wonderful – makes me want to attempt this recipe right away.
    Had a question for you: if I can’t get any liquid pectin, what can I substitute for it? Doesn’t the fruit itself contain enough pectin to preserve this jam (if I make a small amount)? I have no way of getting my hands on pectin of any kind so just ttrying to warp my mind around how I will make this.

    1. You can try making your own pectin. You can probably google the instructions, but it mostly just involves boiling up a bunch of chopped apples and setting them in a cheesecloth wrap to let the pectin drip out. Then you can just add however much you want to a recipe from your supply in your jar.

  • Marisa,

    You may be glad to know, you’re #1 on google when typing in “orange ginger marmalade recipe”. I’ve never canned. Cami has (quite a bit) though. We’re going to try the recipe with slivers of orange peel and more ginger. Being we’re from Arizona and need HEAT (personal prefference) we’re going to throw a habenero kick to it. Send us an e-mail and we’ll tell you how it turns out. I love the pictures and backstory – You kept my interest, thanks 🙂

  • used a little too much ginger, but added more sugar…still turned out spicy. also added three chopped lemons. should taste yummy as a marinade. thanks for the recipe!!

  • I made some orange marmalade last night, and it came out AWFUL! I was so upset. It was far too bitter. I picked some bitter oranges from my front yard, thinking that if I just added extra sugar it would cancel out the bitter flavor. After 8 cups of sugar, it was still no good 🙁 Any ideas what I can use bitter orange marmalade for, I hate to throw it all away…

    1. Faith, bitter oranges need a different style of cooking in order to become more palatable. You either need to soak them overnight, boil them until soft or remove the zest from the pith. You could try using it as a base for savory dishes, like orange chicken or roasted pork chops.

  • I want to try this recipe but do I have to use ginger? I don’t really care for ginger but the recipe looks alot simpler than the ones I found in the Ball canning book. Just got done making the Lemon Honey Marmalade from here and I am hooked. We have been seeing bags of oranges on sale for $1.49 a bag so I’m definitely taking advantge of all the fruit sales right now to stock my pantry and for Christmas gift giving.


  • I usually make my orange marmalade in Jan. or Feb. when the Seville oranges are in our shops. I’m going to try your recipe with the ginger in January. But I’ll also try using regular oranges. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • BEST marmalade ever!! I use mandarin oranges which are not always available in NJ stores, but found them for second time, and omitted the lemon juice… got great raves on this marmalade and will continue to make over and over!

  • My first try at canning was a dismal failure, I ended up with candy in a jar. I have to adjust my cooking for altitude. I live at 5,500 ft. I found a web site that says the jelling temperature for my altitude is 210 degrees, which makes a difference. For every 961 ft. above sea level, decrease the jelling temperature 1.8 degrees.

  • Hello! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂 I don’t see pectin in the recipe, but you mention it in the narrative above. Should pectin be added, and if so how much and when? I’m a marmalade newbie. 🙂 Thanks again!

  • I just made a batch but tweaked using less sugar but added some candied ginger along with the fresh. I also added a packet of pectin because I had boiled it a long time but it didn’t seem to be setting. It looked a bit cloudy when I jarred it. Someone on here had the same problem and I didn’t see an answer but after some googling I found the following: “
    What went wrong: The jam is cloudy.
    What happened/what to do: There are several possible causes for cloudy jam. Either the juice wasn’t strained correctly or there was too much pectin. If you squeeze the jelly bag while straining, the pulp will be forced through, making the jelly cloudy. Also, too much pectin, caused from either using very underripe fruit, or adding too much commercial pectin, means that the jelly sets too fast, and air bubbles don’t have a chance to rise to the top. A third cause is letting the jelly cool too much before pouring into the jar. There is no fix for cloudy jelly, but it’s safe to eat.”

    It tastes yummy! Here’s the link where I found other helpful info:

  • My mother-in-law made hundreds of pounds of marmalade, jams and chutneys every year for the family and farm workers, and she simply minced the the pulp and skins of the oranges after squeezing the juice. Brilliant idea! Just juice, save the pips, cut the skin/pith/flesh roughly into smallish pieces and mince on a fairly small mincer plate. It won’t be a clear marmalade, but quick and delicious.
    I’m going to put in 1.5oz chopped crystallised ginger, which is about three times as much as the recipe.

  • To use pips I use a new pop sock .Give it a boil to sterilise . Always works
    I an in the grandmother generation and first time to add ginger . I have added crystallised ginger .