One of the very first recipes I posted to this blog was one for Orange-Ginger Marmalade. I’m having a bit of a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I’ve nearly cooked my way through an entire year of canning since then and that it’s time for marmalade, once again.
I’ve learned a great deal about preserves since then, and I think that this approach to marmalade is easier and more sensible that the one I originally took. This one used the outer layer of citrus zest, but discards the inner pith, making for easier chopping and a more tender product. I’m completely delighted with the way that this batch turned out, and last night, when I served it at a party along side a long of goat cheese, I felt so proud that it was something I had made in my own little kitchen.
To begin, weigh your fruit. Conventional fruit is fairly uniform in size these days, but there can still be a great deal of variety in weight, depending on storing conditions and length of time off the tree. I used 2 pink grapefruit, 3 lemons and four navel oranges and had approximately 4 and 1/2 pounds of fruit. Feel free to add or subtract a lemon or orange to achieve the right weight. Scrub your citrus well, so that you can feel good about including all that lovely, fragrant zest in your preserve.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from your citrus. I tried every peeler I own (at least five) and found that the serrated peeler you see above did the best job. Please take care when using one of these tools though, as those little teeth are incredibly sharp. At one point, I slipped and ended up with a series of punctures in the tip of my pinky finger. Not pleasant when working with acidic citrus.
Once your citrus has been stripped, chop the zest into fine ribbons. I found that the best way to do this was to stack four or five strips of zest and then mince them (mind your fingers!) into bits about 1/4 of an inch wide. I found that my 4 1/2 pounds of fruit yielded approximately 2 1/2 cups of zest bits.
Fill a medium-sized pot with 6 cups of cold water, add your zest ribbons and bring to a boil. Simmer the zest for half an hour, until it’s tender and uniform in color. While it boils…
Use a sharp paring knife to break your naked fruit down. Take a grapefruit and cut the north and south poles off (to give yourself stable bases). Then, working top to bottom, cut the white pith off the fruit (you want to expose the interior surface of the fruit). When all the white pith is removed, use the knife to separate the fruit from the membrane of the fruit (this technique is called supreming and there’s a helpful tutorial over on Coconut & Lime, if my written instructions aren’t doing it for you). Collect the naked segments in a large measuring cup and reserve the membranes and seeds.
When all the fruit has been broken down, gather up the reserved seeds and membranes in a piece of cheesecloth. Bundle it up well and tie off the top, so that none of the seeds can escape. One does this because the seeds, membrane and pith contain a great deal of pectin. You will boil this bundle with the fruit while you make the marmalade, so that you extract the maximum amount of pectin from your fruit.
At this point, the zest should be done boiling. Drain the cooked zest, reserving the boiling water. This liquid has been infused with a great deal of citrus flavor and so some of it will be used in the marmalade.
Finally, it’s time to make marmalade! In a large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot (a stainless steel or enameled dutch oven is your best bet there), combine the zest ribbons, the citrus segments (approximately 4+ cups), 4 cups of the zest cooking liquid, 6 cups of sugar and the cheesecloth bundle.
Bring the pot to a boil. It’s a good idea to use a big pot for this, so that you have plenty of room for the marmalade to bubble. Pair that large pot with a instant read thermometer with a temperature alarm, and you don’t have to watch it the entire time. Set the thermometer to 220 degrees (that’s the point at which the marmalade will achieve set), place the thermometer probe in the pot (balancing it so that you keep the cord away from the burner) and feel okay turning your back to do some dishes (return to it every 4-5 minutes to stir). This will need to boil for 30-40 minutes, in order to reach and sustain 220 degrees.
While it cooks, you can also prepare your canning pot, jars (for this recipe, they need to be sterilized, as this one is only processed for five minutes. I find that the easiest way to do this is to put them in the canning pot when you’re first filling it and bring them up to a boil along with the water), lids (simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat to soften the sealing medium) and rings.
Once the marmalade has reached 220 degrees and has stayed there for at least a minute, check the potential set by putting a small dab of the hot marmalade into the middle of a cold plate. Let it sit for a moment and then nudge it with your finger. If the surface wrinkles and seems firm, it is ready. If it is still quite runny, boil it for several additional minutes.
Once the text yields a good result, turn the heat off and remove the pot from the burner. Gently stir the marmalade for about a minute off the heat. I’ve learned over the years that this helps the zest distribute itself evenly throughout your preserve (I hate it when the solids clump towards the top of the jar, and this helps prevent that from happening).
Fill your jars (this recipe makes approximately 3 1/2 pints), leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. When they’re all filled, wipe the rims to remove any sticky residue, apply the lids and screw on the rims. Carefully lower the filled jars into the canning pot (don’t forget to put a rack in the pot). Process in a boiling water canner for five minutes (starting the time when the pot returns to a boil). When the five minutes are up, remove the jars from the pot and let them rest on a towel-lined counter top until the jars are completely cool.
Here’s my serving suggestion: Spread spoonfuls on freshly baked scones, drink black tea with milk and sugar, and pretend you’re in Gosford Park.
And, because I’m so proud of this lovely, fragrant, gently-bitter marmalade, I have a jar to give away. I’ve set that little four-ounce jar you see up there on the right aside for one of you lovely readers. Leave a comment by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 to enter.
A recipe, in a more conventional format, can be found after the jump.
- 2 pink grapefruit
- 3 lemons
- 4 navel oranges
- 6 cups of sugar
- 4 cups of zest poaching liquid
- Wash and dry the fruit. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the fruit. Cut the zest strips into a fine confetti. Combine the zest in a pot with 6 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature to medium high and simmer for half an hour.
- While the zest cooks, cut the white pith away from the fruit and separate the fruit from the membranes (see instructions above for greater detail). Collect the interior fruit in a large measuring cup and set the membranes and any seeds aside.
- When all the fruit has been broken down, bundle the reserved pith and seeds into a length of cheesecloth, tying the cloth well so that no seeds can escape.
- Drain the zest, reserving the cooking liquid.
- In a large stainless steel or enameled cast iron pot, combine zest, citrus fruit, 4 cups of zest cooking liquid, 6 cups of sugar and the cheesecloth bundle.
- Bring to a boil and cook vigorously until the mixture reaches 220 degrees (this takes between 30-40 minutes).
- When the marmalade reaches 220 degrees and sustains it for one minute, remove the pot from the heat. Stir for about a minute off the heat, to help the zest bits become evenly spread throughout the preserve.
- Fill prepared jars (see above for jar preparation instructions), wipe rims, apply lids and screw rings. Lower into a prepared boiling water bath and process for five minutes at a gentle boil (do not start counting time until the pot has achieved a boil).
- When time is up, remove jars from the pot and let them cool completely. When they are cool to the touch, check the seals by pushing down on the top of the lid. Lack of movement means a good seal.
This recipe looks great! As always I am scribbling your ingredients on my shopping list (this marmalade looks like it might be a perfect little Christmas gift.)
As a canning newbie I have a couple questions:
1. I might add pectin since I don’t have a thermometer like yours. You have mentioned liquid pectin a few times in comments, is there a reason for liquid pectin vs. powdered?
2. Is this marmalade very sweet? (Using six cups of sugar.) I have been using the low-sugar powdered pectin that allows you to reduce the sugar from 6 cups to 3 cups in recipes. Would you advise this or is that much sugar really needed to balance out to tart?
Hello Marisa! I followed this recipe over the weekend and also found that it didn’t set (following 3 different cold plate tests). No worries, though, because I had pectin on hand and added it at the end. I also noticed that when you boil just the rind in the beginning, it didn’t specify whether to do that with or without a lid. I did it uncovered and wound up losing most of the liquid – so I am assuming that you should boil it covered, yes? (I love love love your blog, and still found your instructions incredibly helpful!)
I also made this recipe and found it didn’t set. I am hesitant to use pectin from a box. I am trying it again tonight and am planning to boil the bag of trimmings with the zest, and then letting all of it cool before squeezing the bag like hell. I think unless you squeeze all the liquid out of the bag, you are missing a lot of that great natural pectin, which is maybe why mine didn’t set in the first set. But the flavor is so lovely!! I’ve been eating it every day!
This sounds so yummy! I love marmalade except I worry about the bitterness of cooking the pith of grapefruit. What is meant by “gently bitter?” I just discovered this blog and love canning so I hope to do some backtracking to some of your other posts.
I am going to try it with one less grapefruit, hoping that will yield an slightly more gentle “gently bitter” flavor. Love the tip about removing the pith and them extracting the pectin from those scraps.
Although my mother has canned for years, I did not do so until this winter, when I moved home for graduate school. This was my first solo canning recipe, and I’ve since made it twice.
I upped the grapefruit and cut back a bit on the other citrus, mostly because I didn’t have enough (and I love grapefruit). It’s turned out well both times–perhaps a little runny, but with so much zest in it, it kind of holds its own. I really appreciate your directions and recipes. Thank you for sharing!
I got an F in Junior High Home Ec because my supreming was so bad. But I went on to hotel-restaurant school and have worked in food/restaurants all my life! I’m going to try supreming again just to make this marmalade exactly as directed. Could we add a little ginger?
I tried this for my very first preserving experience. It turned out so amazing! I am now obsessed with trying out more of your fantastic recipes. Thank you!!!
I just made your marmalade and it looks runny, but I canned it anyway. I think in your recipe you should include the weight of the fruit and exact measurements. I didn’t get 3 1/2 pints and used your recipe exactly. I got more like 9 half pints. My results were runny, but the taste is amazing! I don’t know if it will set or not, but do you have any suggestions if it doesn’t set? And how long should I wait to see if it does set?
It was a lot of work peeling, preparing and boiling jars, etc., I don’t want to feel like my time and work were wasted.
Maria, it sounds like you didn’t cook the marmalade long enough. That accounts for both the runniness and the larger yield. Read this post for instructions on how to recook it: https://foodinjars.com.s164546.gridserver.com/arugulapesto/2011/08/canning-101-how-to-save-runny-jam/
just made this and it set perfectly. really interesting flavor profile. thank you for sharing your recipes, it’s really made for an exciting holiday season.
So glad to hear that the recipe worked well for you!
I just made this. It seems to have set up okay, but the bitterness was amazing. I ended up adding an additional 3 cups of sugar, just to get it to a “bite” and not “mouth puckering” stage. I wonder what size lemons and grapefruit you used. Mine were both large and I wondered if that was part of the problem. I also ended up with a larger volume (5 500mL jars), and since I cooked it for 45 minutes (and had it at 220F for a few minutes), I wonder if my fruit was just significantly larger than what you used?
I have some great local Florida honey that I would like to incorporate into this recipe. Any suggestions and have you tried it
I’d love to try your marmalade before making it, so send that jar to me :). I’ve tried one marmalade recipe so far which had the odd addition of tart apples (for pectin?). It’s yummy but much too firm set. I like your idea of boiling the zest to soften before adding other ingredients. I’ll keep it in mind for next summer, when I do all my canning.
Here’s a welcome shortcut: Why spend all that time making perfect little slivers of the rinds? I just throw the shavings into the food processor and whirl til they’re small bits…they taste just the same in the finished product! 🙂
My husband bought a box of organic citrus fruit and when I saw 3 lemons in amongst the grapefruit and oranges I knew what to do. I used my new kitchen scale to measure 4 1/2 to 5 pounds of fruit and started making marmalade. All went well until I combined all of the ingredients and started to cook. I had a hard time getting the mixture to get to a temperature above boiling. I started to think that maybe I needed to make some adaptations because I live at +6500 feet altitude. I did some quick googling to figure out what temperature might equate to 220 degrees at altitude. And I decided after boiling for an hour and a half to pull the cheesecloth with the pith and membranes out of the pan. I cooked to 210 degrees and then poured the marmalade into jars and canned it. The few tablespoons that were left over tasted wonderful. There was a bitterness to it; but there was enough sweetness. The marmalade set nicely and I’m completely satisfied. I will tell my daughters that this marmalade is not for peanut butter sandwiches. I’m looking for a perfect scone recipe. I want to serve the marmalade with scones and tea. Thanks!
I made a version of this, except as mostly blood oranges (w/ 1 lemon and 4 little satsuma oranges that I had laying around). I ended up using some RealFruit Classic Pectin, about 3 tablespoons, because I reduced the sugar a bit in my recipe and I wanted to make sure it got to 220 degrees. The marmalade passed the plate test before I poured it into the half-pint jars.
It’s been 5 hours since I processed the jars in the water bath, and they’re mostly set. They have a firm surface, but if I tilt the jars to one side the contents move a bit. Will the marmalade firm up more? Is this firm enough, or should I consider popping them open and reboiling tomorrow?
Chances are that it will firm up more. Preserves can take up to a couple weeks to fully set. Put one of the jars in the refrigerator and see if it achieves the firm consistency after 24 hours in the cooler temperature.
First marmalade I’ve made and it was fantastic! There was a similar recipe in “Clearly Delicious”, but I was drawn to the pretty pictures and helpful commentary on this blog recipe. Thank you for sharing!
Marisa, I just made this recipe and the jars are beautiful and the marmalade I tried was delicious! Thank you for this recipe! Whew, it was labor intensive, though.
When a friend taunted me with a Facebook photo of her in-laws’ fruit-packed pink grapefruit tree in the California dessert, I joked, “Send me some. I’ll make marmalade.” Two days later a box full of them showed up in my mailbox.
Since I had this recipe in reserve, I tried it. Just finished, in fact. Lordy, I had forgotten what marmalade was supposed to taste like. Growing up in California, my grandmother and mom made it occasionally when they didn’t know what else to do with our backyard oranges. In later years I stooped to store-bought, which is generally artificial tasting, not to mention cloying. Definitely not the marmalade of my memories.
Well, this IS. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and bitter. I vow to make it every winter. And, hopefully, once I send a couple of jars her way, my friend will keep the pinks coming north to Oregon.
Followed to the “t” last night… Tastes marvelous, but did not congeal…. What can I do to make thicker???
Silvia, here’s a blog post about how to save runny jam. It applies to marmalade too. https://foodinjars.com.s164546.gridserver.com/arugulapesto/2011/08/canning-101-how-to-save-runny-jam/
I have never canned anything before so was puzzled when I read about the “canning pot” and rack. Did a little research and am wondering if I could half the recipe, store in my fridge and forgo the boiling in jars on the rack? Your recipe sounds wonderful and I am dying to try it just not sure about all the equipment I’d need to buy.
Thank you so much for this recipe, and for the easy-to-follow instructions. My family and I made this today- it was our first try at home canning.
Now we wait to see if it will set up, although it’s very tempting to start eating it now!
Thanks so much for the great step-by-step! I had never tried marmalade before, but figured I needed to because my boyfriend and his family have an affinity for citrus that I can’t quite grasp (I love it, don’t get me wrong, but they take this to a whole new level). I’ve given quarter pint samplers to a number of people and got so many compliments and requests I ended up making *four* batches of it this January!! Hopefully it will last a few months anyway.
Thanks for posting this great recipe! I made it yesterday, but substituted blood oranges because I just couldn’t resist them in the grocery store (this was before I realized you have a recipe posted specifically for blood orange marmalade). I have a question for next time, about the amount of sugar– Since blood oranges taste sweeter than a mix of grapefruit, lemons, oranges, etc., is there a safe way to cut down on the amount of sugar used? While my resulting marmalade is very good, it is almost cloyingly sweet. This may be simply because there is no sour/tart citrus in the mix –I’m not sure, but I didn’t want to cut down the amount of sugar used willy-nilly, and risk the marmalade not preserving properly. Words of wisdom?
If I ever have access to a time machine, I’m zooming back to claim that marmalade…lol. lovely addition to my Marm file. Yummy, Thanks…!
Jelled perfectly! Delicious combination of tart, bitter, and sweet. I followed the instructions pretty much exactly only I don’t have a digital thermometer and even when my thermometer was reading 220 I was not getting the “wrinkles” with the plate test. I should have probably calibrated it before starting, I suspect it may be a bit off. I ended up with a big less yield then the recipe states, but all and all very happy. I was intimidated by all the complex recipes for marmalade out there but it was easy, although quite time consuming.
I have never made any sort of marmalade or chutneys of any sort. I have just made your recipe, it set beautifully and the flavour is delicious. I don’t have a thermometer so boiled it until I could successfully do the ‘nudge’ test. I put absolutely all the remains of the pith, membrane etc into the cheesecloth, took it out just before the marmalade started boiling, let it cool and squeezed every last drop from it. Maybe this helped it set better?!
I shall definitely explore some of your other recipes and I hope that I just haven’t had beginners luck 🙂
I made this yesterday and it is way to sweet and bitter at the same time. Are the skins supposed to give it a bitter taste? Or was it the membrane? I used all the membrane and the seeds and there were a lot of them. My batch also set too much. It is really firm. I would like to try again next weekend but not sure what to tweak. Do you have any tips? Thank you.
Jenn, marmalade is supposed to have an element of bitterness. If it overset, try stopping the cooking a little sooner.
I love marmalade, I was curious, would it be possible to add fresh ginger into the recipe? I know the rule of thumb is follow the recipe exactly. I grew up eating British Lemon & Ginger and Ginger & Lime Marmalades (my grandparents were from Scotland) and the idea of adding a little ginger kick to the mix, I just don’t want to ruin the recipe balance for canning. Thanks in advance!
I just made a grapefruit and ginger marmalade. I didn’t use pectin. Is it necessary? If so why? I haven’t tried it yet but it looks like it set up.
I tried the Marmalade and I just cannot get it to jell. I added pectin (liquid) from the start and very runny so I reboiled it and added 2 more packs of Pectin, and no luck. Any suggestions, thank so much and I have to say it tastes awesome but I would like it to be firm
Minnetta, I’m so sorry to hear that you struggled to get this to set. I really have no idea why it didn’t set, particularly after you added extra pectin.
I had the same problem with this recipe. It never set for me.
What is the altitude you live at? The higher the altitude, the longer it takes to set. If you can’t get it to temp, not just the length of the boil Had that problem at 61500 ft.
Help! I am somewhat new to canning. I have a very long family legacy and am trying to learn some basics before spending a week during harvest season with my grandmother learning so much!
So here’s what I need help with. I just finished canning the marmalade… but it looks more like (delicious) syrup than marmalade. I think that it needed more pectin, but because I’m new to canning, I don’t have extra supplies… so I canned it anyway. Can I open the cans and cook it with pectin again, then re-can with new lids?
Thanks so much from the newbie!
Yes, you can certainly open up those jars, reboil it until it sets and recan it. Sometimes these marmalades need to go higher than 220 degrees F, which is why I also included instructions in the narrative above about checking the set with the saucer test.
Well, I just made this recipe from your book. It took forever to set up and ended up a little bitter. I was going to come on here and see if you could answer my questions, but reading through your post and comments answered everything! It is SUPPOSED to be a little bitter and I didn’t remove the membranes when I cut up the fruit. Aha! Still is delicious and I think I’ll enjoy it more knowing it is supposed to be a touch bitter. After cooking what seemed like forever, I started to remove a jarful at a time and continuing to cook the rest for another few minutes. The first jar is citrus syrup and the last jar is citrus candy, but hopefully one jar in the middle is just right (I’ll know more once they fully set). It was my first marmalade so I treated it as an experiment. Thanks so much, Marisa, I have learned so much from you!
Sarah, I’m so glad to hear that coming over here to the blog helped answer your question! Here’s hoping that middle jar has set up appropriately!
I just made this and it set wonderfully! I don’t have an auto thermometer, but my little espresso one did a great job. I added one orange to the recipe, only used 5 cups of sugar, and right after it reached 220 I squeezed out the pectin ball into the jam and it seemed to help it thicken nicely. I also added 1/2 of a fresh vanilla bean. It is a little more tart than I expected, but quite delicious. Thank you for the wonderful manufactured pectin-free marmalade recipe! I will be using that method for years to come I’m sure! Saving my lemon seeds from now on 🙂
Ha! I just made this recipe and wrote the same thing in my review. I had never heard of the pectin in the pith, but once I found out my marmalade sets every time! Great finds for the kitchen are fantastic aren’t they? 🙂
So happy to hear that it worked for both of you so well!
This is a beautiful recipe (quite literally.) I followed the recipe exactly. I followed a recipe for Bitter Orange Marmalade back in December, but it didn’t give specific measurements or what temp to cook the marmie to. So the specifics helped out a lot; thank you! I apologize for not reading through the entire tutorial, but had my zest cut and drying out waiting on me to confirm a recipe to use. So, if in your tutorial you mention the pith and seed’s importance in the cooking of marmalade I am sorry. I read that there are loads of natural pectin packed in the pith and seeds and if after you cook the pith/seed bag until it is hot through, take it from the pot and allow it to cool slightly while the marmalade continues to cook. Once the pith/seed bag is cooled enough to touch (will still be hot) begin milking the contents to rob it of the natural pectin. Return collected pectin back to the pot. This should help anyone with a no-set situation. The natural pectin will be thick and milky looking. Thanks again for sharing the great recipe! (This stuff makes amazing Orange Chicken!)
Lovely recipe! I’m going to try it this weekend with my marmalade-fanatic son.
is it okay to make this in a copper jam pot?
Any time you make a fruit preserve in a copper jam pan, you need to make sure that the sure is fully dissolved into the fruit before you add it to the pan. Without the presence of the sugar, the acids in the fruit can pull a metallic flavor from the pan.
thanks, I’m working on it right now, so I’m glad you answered. So, If I just let them macerate for a while in a stainless steel bowl, (with the sugar) before I boil, it will be okay?
I did not use this recipe as I just found it. I had some navels that I wanted to try in marmalade. After researching & finding way too many variations, I used what I thought was a simple sure-proof recipe. I used 3 navels (whole thing), juice of 1 lemon, fruit from 1 pink grapefruit, 2 C sugar, 3 C water. I brought to boiling then let sit over night. Returned to boil then simmered for 2 hours; returned to gentle boil for 30 minutes, then another 30 minutes. Temp never got above 209/210 (thermometer may be bad) & it did not set up on a cold plate. Being that I cooked it 30 min longer than called for, I decided to jar it & see if refrigeration would help. Did not. I really don’t want to recook & use pectin. Can I just recook it longer? Did I not add enough sugar? Or, maybe the sugar didn’t dissolve properly? It made approx 42 ounces. Can you help me please?
I made the Three-Citrus Marmalade yesterday. I haven’t canned anything is so long. But the recipe went together beautifully and the marmalade is amazing. It’s so much better than the marmalade you buy in the store. Thank you so much for the recipe and the great instructions.
Tried it to the letter. Worked perfectly…best part is the zest texture. Planning to make more for holiday gift baskets!
I love love love this recipe!! Have tried many recipes for marmalade but have not found one that has the bitter taste that I like as this one does! Will keep a close eye on your other recipes.
Hi! Your directions and narrative are clear and instructional. I am hoping to make lime marmalade tomorrow and am “planning” on using your recipe but subbing the limes for the three fruits. I’ve poured over other recipes (mostly from the uk and Australia) and I found I just needed more structure and instruction. If you happen to read this I would love to know if you had any major reservations about me subbing limes for this recipe. Thx
I am so going to try this recipe this year, as the jams in the store are all like glue instead of jam or marmalade Thanx for posting this recipe.
I’ve always wanted to make marmalade and decided today is the day. I just set my jars to cool. Thanks for the recipe. It seems to have worked perfectly although I had to boil the marmalade for a verrrry long time. I think I need to use a higher heat next time. I love jams made without extra pectin. Thanks!
I’m in the midst of making this right now and can’t tell when to remove the cheesecloth bundle…and do I drain it or squeeze it out somehow? This looks and tastes amazing so far! Thanks for the detailed instructions!
Pull it out when the marmalade is finished cooking and give it a good squeeze with some tongs before tossing it in the trash.
Hi. Wintering in Central Florida from Montréal Canada and being a marmalade fanatic, I could not resist making some from the oranges growing in my backyard… I added 2 red grapefruits, one lemon and one lime. Followed the instructions… Enjoyed preparing the fruits while listening to 60s music and dreaming how I could add a little something to make the marmalade fancy.
I decided to add Chivas Regal but my dear Wife being more conservative, I agreed to add it to only one pot, as a test. I potted most of it, added the scotch while re-boiling the marmalade and got one large pot…
Well, let me tell you, even she agrees that it was a fantastic idea.
Next batch, scotch all the way!
Thanks a lot for the basic formula. The un-scotch is also VERY good.
I tried making this yesterday, but the jars haven’t set. The temp reached at least 221, but I guess I was anxious and it was still too runny. Do you think I could just re-cook and re-can it my marm? It looks and tastes very nice, I don’t want to waste it! This is only my 5th-ish attempt at any kind of jam since starting canning last summer and my instincts haven’t been honed yet.
You could recook and recan it. I’d give it a couple of days before you dive back in, though. Sometimes preserves like this one take a little time to set up.
Word of caution – the bitterness of marmalade is in direct proportion to how much you squeeze the bag. Push the bag against the side of the pot with a spoon (just one gentle push) to deliver the pectin, unless you like a more bitter marmalade.
My batch was ruined because the cheesecloth burned. Don’t put it in… Next time I will add separate pectin.
That is very strange. I’ve never experienced that, or had anything come close to burning.
Hey Marissa, thanks so much for this write-up. Invaluable for someone starting out in canning, nothing better than well written first hand knowledge 🙂 What would you recommend for a recipe that only used oranges? You mention that you had 4.5lbs of citrus, should I stick with that weight? Thanks so much! Looking forward to more of your posts.
I’d stick with that weight. If you can, do try to slip a lemon or two in there, because marmalade made with conventional navel oranges can be a little cloying.
Ahhh good point! I’ll make sure to do that.
I’m looking to double, or maybe triple this recipe. Do you think everything will scale up OK?
No. This recipe will not work if you double or triple it. You need to make multiple batches.
Hey again! I’ve got marmalade cooking away right now, however I think I used way too much liquid. Its been about 1.5 hours and its still not up to temp. I included all the liquid that came from chopping the fruit as well as 4 cups of zest juice. Should the former liquid have been thrown out and not used? I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Any way I can salvage this batch?
Trying this today with lemons, blood oranges and cara cara. So excited!
Finally got around to making this glorious marmalade. The flavor is heavenly.
It’s also absolutely beautiful! However, it’s so labor intensive that it may or may not be made again. Also, I messed up something and ended up with a very loose set. More like syrup. It’s terrific on blueberry pancakes!
Thanks, Marisa, for posting links to other bloggers who have tried this. Thanks to one of them, I may try this again using a zester and grinding up all the pulp with the membranes instead of supreming. Next year. 😉
PS My calculations were obviously waaaay off as I ended up with 11 half pints!
Pete, did you double the batch? Because that could have easily led to your set failure. Any time you put more volume in the pot, you create a situation in which it becomes harder to cook the water out of the fruit and end up with something spreadable.
I’ve had a drawerful of citrus and a yen to try blood oranges in marmalade, so I did the three fruits version, using six blood oranges, four meyer lemons, and two ruby grapefruit. I ended up with just over 4.5 lbs of fruit, which was just about four cups supremed. I used a zester on half the oranges and all the lemons, and cut longer ribbons of the rest. No problems with it setting; I did give the bag of seeds and membranes a good squeeze with heavy-duty rubber gloves on as it was coming up those last couple degrees. Beautiful rosy color, and just a bit bitter, as good marmalade should be. For anyone who worries about it coming up to temp, I found it came to 215 very quickly, but those last five degrees took much longer. I got exactly six and a half pints. It should be wonderful on soda bread on St. Patrick’s Day!
Why so much sugar. I prefer my marmalade tangy not sweet. Can I use less?
The sugar plays a necessary role in getting the finished product to set. Read more here: https://foodinjars.com/2015/02/canning-101-can-reduce-sugar/
Hello, Marissa – enjoyed you detailed marmalade instructions, as did so many others obviously. I’m keen on the three citrus fruit recipe, but am thinking I’d like to add some ginger to it. Any recommendations?
I’d add a tablespoon or two of fresh grated ginger.
THANK YOU FOR THE VERY BEST INSTRUCTIONS.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU TEACH????
EVERYONE CAN LEARN A LOT FROM YOU.
I made this and added lime to it as well and it worked out just as she says!
I was quite impressed with myself as this was the first time I made marmalade!!
great recipe, delivers a rich intense flavor and the consistency is perfect
Am I too late for the jar of marmalade? I am ordering Indian River Valencia oranges and grapefruit for this. Will let you know how the recipe turns out. Looks good. May reduce the sugar a little.
I’d love to try the recipe, but the free grapefruit I received are yellow. Does that matter for the recipe?
It does not matter.
Hi Marisa—I have been making this 3 citrus marmalade yearly, for a long time. I LOVE it. I”,m Canadian – this is so close to the marmalade I had growing up. Now my question–I located a nursing classmate of mine, living in Alberta..I would like to send her this marmalade- she and her husband have marmalade (seviille orange) every morning with their toast or waffles– these oranges are just not available where I live. (I have seen your recipe for Seville marmalade). What do I add more of–lemon or pith ???> to make 3citrus marm.alade a tad more bitter or an other grapefruit? I do not want to mess this recipe as it is. .I would so appreciate your ideas.
thank you — norma s
I would add more grapefruit if you want it to be more bitter.