Three-Citrus Marmalade Recipe

February 15, 2010(updated on August 30, 2021)

4 1/2 pounds of fruit

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.

de-zested citrus

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.

serrated peeler

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.

chopping zest

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.

zest in motion

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…

chop, chop

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.

bundle of seeds, pith and membranes

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.

draining the zest bits

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.

boil, boil

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.

the magic temperature

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.

finished marmalade, waiting to be poured into jars

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).

filling jars

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.

three-citrus marmalade

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.

5 from 1 vote

Three-Citrus Marmalade

Servings: 3 1/2 Pints

Ingredients

  • 2 pink grapefruit
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 4 cups of zest poaching liquid

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Recipe adapted from several marmalade recipes in “So Easy to Preserve“

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191 thoughts on "Three-Citrus Marmalade Recipe"

  • There’s not a thing you put in a jar (that I’ve tried) that I haven’t loved!

    Aww, thanks Steve! You’re an excellent, appreciative taster! -Marisa

  • Why do contests work? So funny that I’ve known about your blog for months & this is the post I choose to click on. Though in my defense, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of your blog post tweets before.

    But I totally subscribed because reading about canning is yummy. And I’ve heard your jars taste incredibly yummy, too.

    Maybe one of these days I’ll actually give it a try.

    The allure of a contest is strong! 😉 And not to toot my own horn, but the rumors are true. My jams are pretty yummy. But I’m sure your jams would be yummy too! You should definitely give canning a try. -Marisa

  • Hi Marissa!
    I’m changing my handle on here, since there’s already another Lauren floating around 🙂 I have a marmalade question. I made a batch of lemon ginger marmalde a few months ago using the technique you used, and it turned out great. the only thing is, those carefully extracted segments breakdown completely, which makes me wonder, why bother? Why not just remove the zest, then cut the lemon in 1/2, juice it, and save the seeds for the pectin bag?

    When I make seville orange marmalade I cut the oranges in 1/2, juice them, then rip the membranes out before chopping the skin. This obviously makes for a more robust marmalade since I include all the pith, but the texture of the jelly is very similar to my lemon marmalade.

    My lemon ginger marmalade has proven really popular, so I want to make a ton more, but separating the segments is a royal pain in the you-know-what, do you think the simpler method might work?

    Well, hello Evil Tinkerbell! The only problem that I see with your method is that you lose a bit of volume. You could certainly do it that way. -Marisa

  • This looks fantastic–thanks for sharing! I just recently made 3 citrus marmalade using tangerine, orange and bergamot…and I’d love to taste yours!

  • This looks like so much better of an idea than the giant vats of marmalade that got me into this whole canning thing. I’m surprised I was still interested after that!

    Actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I still have jars of not set marmalade lurking in the back of the pantry, waiting to be reprocessed.

    Recently, my mom re-cooked and canned some marmalade she had made that did not set. She cooked it to 220 degrees and re-canned it. And it worked! -Marisa

  • Please enter me to win the marmalade! I’ve been quite proud of the marmalade I’ve canned, but never did the cheesecloth part … I must try that! Thanks!

  • I have not made any marmalade yet in my canning experience. I am more into pickling right now. I might try a marmalade or two soon. Enjoy all the snow you are getting.

  • Of course I want a chance at that gorgeous marmalade! Nice job with the zest and supreming–I never have the patience for it!

  • Usually I am not so into marmalade but this recipe looks delish! Pick me and prove my assumption correct?!
    Thanks for the blog!

  • My mom grew up in Florida and learned “supreming” at 4H. I learned by watching her! Sometimes people are impressed when I present a bowl of “ambrosia” (citrus fruit salad) made with individual segments, but to me, that is just how you do it and it is no big deal! I’d love to try your marmalade!

    Fran, it’s interesting how people think that supreming is a big, fancy deal. I’ve found that once you get comfortable doing it, it makes for quick, easy to eat fruit salads (and of course, marmalade prep). -Marisa

  • Sorry, Evil Tinkerbell. 🙂 You can blame my mom & dad.

    I’ve never tried marmalade before, is that bad?

    Lauren, I am aghast. You’ve never had marmalade?!

  • Oh this looks delicious! We use the Orange Marmalade I buy at the Farmer’s Market instead of duck sauce on our Chinese food. Your instructions are very thorough but I have a few questions (I’m still learning to can this year so you’ll have to excuse me ;o)

    1. Do you have to weigh your fruit or can I just count out the same amount of fruit like you have? 2. I’ve heard that preparing your jars by running them thru the dishwasher & heat dry makes this process quick for having them ready? 3. I have a steam canner so is it still 5 minutes that I run them for?

    Thank you for your beautiful, easy to read blog. I’ll get canning yet!

    1. I weigh the fruit because size can vary greatly. You want between 4 1/2 and 5 pounds of fruit for this recipe, and so it’s good to count it out and then weigh it, to ensure you have enough. I’m going to go back into the post and clarify that point better. 2. You can certainly use your dishwasher to sterilize jars. I don’t do it because I rarely have an empty dishwasher when I decide to make jam. 3. Just so you know, the USDA does not recommend the use of a steam canner, as it doesn’t allow for the same level of penetration as a boiling water bath does. However, the USDA is often over-cautious. I’m not passing judgment on your equipment, but I have no experience with a steam canner, so I can’t even hazard a guess as to how long you should process your jars in it. -Marisa

  • I love marmalade! Will have to try this recipe, I confess, I’ve never tried to make it myself.

    You can do it! -Marisa

  • Wow, Marisa! Your photos are particularly vibrant! And I love that bit about Gosford Parl, since that line in the movie has always stuck with me, and I haven’t seen it since it was in theaters! How nice to have a stocked pantry, and so much of it this year was thanks to inspiration from you. This marmalade will have to make the docket for next year, while we eat up and enjoy what we have… Unless I win, then I promise to make proper scones to enjoy this with!

    Goodness, thank you! I’m so delighted to hear that you’re enjoying your stocked pantry. I find that it makes life so much easier and more enjoyable to have a few homemade jams and pickles tucked away. I also applaud your restraint and decision to step back and choose to eat up what you have instead of making more. I don’t possess that particular variety of self-control. -Marisa

  • The first time I ever tasted orange marmalade was in Oslo, Norway. It was different, but I liked it. I was 12 years old and was on a visit with my sister and maternal grandparents. I remember the food well; although I grew up on my grandmother’s Norwegian cooking, there were even more “exotics” to be had once in Europe. I also remember my first salmon, a whole, wild-caught filet broiled with butter; and open-faced sandwiches with egg and tomato.

    Oh Kristine, what wonderful food memories! -Marisa

  • This looks like beautiful and delicious marmalade! I would sure love to win a jar. I just made your Honey Lemon Apple Jam (which turned out wonderfully by the way – thanks for a great recipe!). I have some lemons left in the fridge and this may be the perfect reason to pull them from the fridge and start canning again!

    Laura, I’m so glad to hear that the Honey Lemon Apple Jam worked out well for you! You should definitely make this marmalade. There are a lot of steps, but it comes together easily. -Marisa

  • My marmalade did not turn out well last year, so I would welcome the chance to try some proper marmalade. If I don’t win, I supposed I will have to go ahead and make this. Perhaps it was too much pith… Looks so delicious.

  • A wonderful recipe, we just moved in with a lemon tree. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t have citrus here in CA!

    Summer, I don’t understand people who live in sunny CA and don’t have citrus trees. If I lived there, I’d immediately plant a mini-orchard. -Marisa

  • This looks divine! I’ve got some cheese cloth that needs a use and this marmalade might be the perfect way to bust it out. Plus, it will go very well on the muffins I intend to make with the whole wheat pastry flour I need to use up. Marisa, your jar would be a good comparison to assure I followed your instructions just so:)

  • As per usual this looks outstanding!! I love the bright colors. This is something we definitely need more of in the dead of winter.

  • Oh, this looks good. I got the canning bug this summer and this looks like a perfect next recipe to try. My husband is half Scottish and LOVES marmalade.

  • I am so excited to have discovered your blog! Preserving has always intimidated me, but your pictures and recipes are so tempting I will just have to get over it. I am really looking forward to poking around here.

    Thanks Robin! -Marisa

  • The detailed directions you give here are among the best I’ve seen for marmalade.

    I just tried using a ton of reserved mandarin peels to create a marmalade, and while the flavor was good, it was far too thick. I need to adjust the recipe, and this recipe of yours will help me figure out how to make it work. In fact, I think I’ll just start by doing your recipe here, step by step, to get a feel for it before I start riffing away.

    Thanks for the great resource.

    Christina, I’m so glad that you’re finding this post helpful! Good luck with your next batch! -Marisa

  • I can’t say I’m a marmalade fan, but then again, I haven’t tried this marmalade. Maybe your marmalade will inspire me to can again, as I’ve been in a bit of a winter (it makes sense though, doesn’t it?).
    A question: I recently found 3 jars in my pantry whose lids had popped up, but they still felt sealed. I put them in my refrigerator, but do you think they’re ok?

    Please, trash those jars immediately. Raised lids indicate the presence of bacterial growth (as the bacteria grows, it releases gas, which leads to the firm raising of lids). -Marisa

  • Great description! But I’m still afraid marmalade might be too much bleeping work for a canner with two small children. 😉

    Remember in “Gosford Park” when Dame Maggie Smith says: “Bought marmalade? That is rather feeble.” Hee.

    Emily, I love that scene. I think of it every time I make or eat marmalade. -Marisa

  • Heh. You’re going to get me canning things yet. Up until this point, I’ve made any number of excuses for why I avoid the process (time, experience, equipment, time). But, orange marmalade??!! How can I resist?

    It would be a shame not to give it a try, when there’s all this gorgeous citrus in season! -Marisa

  • I’d love to win this. I had an epic marmalade fail just last week, and am in danger of swearing it off! Change my mind!

    Beth, don’t give up! I have complete confidence in your marmalade abilities! -Marisa

  • I just got a beautiful enameled dutch oven for my birthday. Maybe I should put it to good use with this recipe!

    I think you should! -Marisa

  • wow, that sounds great! i’ve never tried my hand at citrus preserves, i’m thinking that i’m going to have to tackle it!

  • Good morning. I first found your site while looking for blackberry jam information. I am also a *jar* person. I have canned for many years, but have never made marmalade. Is this the recipe you used during your recent class? Seattle is a little too far away to travel from for your class. (not to mention the snow causing problems with the airlines.) I am excited about trying to make marmalade. Thank you for the pictures and help.

    It’s always good to hear from another jar person! Unfortunately, my class was canceled because of low enrollment. However, this is the recipe I was planning on using. -Marisa

  • Oh, me! Pick me!

    Finally! You’ve managed to make marmalade look pretty simple. Now I just need to get my snowy butt to a market where the citrus is likely to have less wax.

    The Fair Food Farmstand often has organic and unwaxed citrus this time of year. -Marisa

  • This is pretty much how I make my marmalade – using the zest, supreming the fruit, and then squeezing the juice out of the remaining membrantes. Though I toss the pith and membranes and use commercial pectin. I find my marmalade is less bitter this way.

    I can see how using the membranes/seeds/pith for their pectin would increase the bitterness. I like your work-around! -Marisa

  • Two things: I’ve never had homemade marmalade and I MUST watch Gosford Park. I bet it came out when I had too many children hanging on my ankles -there are great gaps in my movie watching because of that.
    I do like the storebought stuff I’ve had, but I’m betting homemade is much better.

  • How adorably perfect that little jar is! This new year, I resolved to can one project each month, and have been thinking about what to can next. Methinks marmalade wins!

  • A jar of marmalade? Of COURSE!! That is just what we need as we watch the snow, hear of all the people stranded here and there, watch the Olympics unfold on TV, and dream of the next canning project.

    Yes, it would be just lovely to win one of yours! 😉

    Yum.

  • Great way to use the beautiful citrus fruits in the grocer’s bin right now – good thing we have citrus fruits to get us thru the winters here in the North. Your marmalade looks delicious!

  • We made something almost exactly like this at Christmas for gifts. Several of your techniques will make it a lot easier next time we do it. Thanks for sharing the recipe and preparation steps :o)

  • This looks absolutely lovely. I managed to find your site somehow and I’ve been obsessively collecting jars since. My next goal is finding a pot large enough to sterilize the big ones and I’ll be set.

    Don’t let your pot lack keep you from making this marmalade. You could halve the recipe and just make enough to keep in the fridge and eat. -Marisa

  • I love marmalade, but my family is not so crazy about it. I might have to try this though since we have a ton of citrus this year. Can I reduce the recipe so I won’t have so many jars of marmalade to eat?

    Yep, you certainly could reduce the recipe. -Marisa

  • I made marmalade for the first time this year. It turned out great! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thank you for sharing.

  • I loved the longhand version of this recipe! The part where you were talking about lowering the jars into the canner made me long for those end-of-summer days and want to get mine back out. Think I just might have to sometime soon. 🙂

    Oh, and the marmalade looks wonderful–great tips, thanks!

  • I had been putting off getting my canning tools until summertime, but this recipe has reminded me that I can start canning now!

    I’ve found that canning can be done all year round! -Marisa

  • your marmalade looks fantastic! i’ve been making marmalade all winter but for some reason never thought to combine the different varieties of citrus. yum!

  • I just discovered your blog, so your enticing marmalade give-away is an awfully convenient excuse to post and say, “I hope your blog will eventually turn me into a canning fiend.” So far, the only thing I’ve dared can is apple butter, but I’ve certainly aspired to more. As it is, I don’t even have a set of proper canning tools, but maybe your recipes will motivate me to finally do something about that. And how funny that you’re a Whitman grad, too. We’re everywhere . . . .

    Hooray for Whitman grads! And, I do hope I’m able to turn you into a canner. That is my goal! -Marisa

  • I’ve been lovin’ your blog ever since I came over via smitten kitchen – and it inspires me to tell everyone how we should all be canning our own treats, and making our own jams and marmalade! I’d love to try yours out!!
    I’m also constantly sending links to my sister in philly, being all, um, do you do this or go to this farmers market or that little shop!?!
    thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    Aww, thanks! And how fun that you pass my Philly spots along to your sister! -Marisa

  • With a bag of donated Navels and my Meyer lemon tree full, I’ll be making your marmalade today! I’ve never made citrus jam but have wanted to. Your detailed descriptions and pictures are very helpful. I wouldn’t have thought the seeds, membranes and pith as a source of pectin, but makes sense! I’ll have to keep you posted on my resulting application of the finished product.

    I look forward to hearing how it turned out for you! -Marisa

  • my south philly street has not been plowed, my car is in snow prison, and to top it off, i have a horrible cold and can taste nothing. your citrus marmalade will add some sun to my winter doldrums!!!

    I hear you on the lack of plowing, I’m still fighting uncleared streets and sidewalks! -Marisa

  • i just bought a ton of citrus to make into marmalade and ran into your recipe. so beautiful! i can’t wait to make mine!

  • I can smell it!! It looks absolutely Scrumptious! Scones should be a must! Thank you for explainly it all so well!

    You’re welcome! Glad it was helpful! -Marisa

  • I’ve canned various fruit preserves over the last several years. Only since finding your blog, have I tried my first marmalade – two in fact. The blood orange and just this past weekend (while snowed in!) I tried a regular orange marmalade. Very tasty – – keep the inspiration coming!

    I’m delighted to hear that you’ve tried to make marmalade! I’ll do my best to keep the recipes coming! -Marisa

  • Hi Marisa,

    I just found your blog earlier today, I cannot wait to spend more time here. This recipe sounds perfect seeing that I have an abundance of citrus in the fridge. I will be making this soon 🙂 Thanks for sharing this recipe and thank you for entering me in your sweet giveaway. Oh, I listed a link to your blog on mine and hope you don’t mind.

    Have a wonderful evening!
    Sharon

    Thanks Sharon! -Marisa

  • I am so pleased you posted this recipe. Firstly because using a vegetable peeler to take off the peel seems so easy, and secondly because every year when we go to visit my in-laws I buy a jar of marmalade de trois fruits (three fruits) and have to make it last until the next visit (they don’t sell it where I live). Now I can make it myself!

    Leslie

  • You make it look so easy. How long did this take for you from start to finish:? I always think of canning in the summer. Do you can year ’round:?

    Cindy, the marmalade took about two hours, from start to finish. And yep, I do can all year round. There’s always something that can be canned, from fall fruit butters, to citrus fruits, to sauerkraut or pickled spring vegetables. -Marisa

  • Thank-you thank-you thank-you! for posting this recipe. My marmalade had ‘issues’ (let’s just leave it at that) and you have answered several questions that might make my next attempt a success 🙂

  • I want to eat your blog.

    I have made marmalade a couple times with mystery mini-citrus from a potted plant. (It’s supposed to be a “dwarf lime,” looks like a kumquat, tastes like a lemon…) It was pretty good, but this looks like a much more professional operation.

  • I want to make marmalade now!!

    I’ve done my fair share of jam making, but have never attempted making marmalade; I’m afraid it’s going to be runny.

    Bookmarked for a snow day. 🙂

  • Hi,
    I love your blog! I recently stumbled upon this site and after attempting canning for the first time this Christmas I am inspired to try new recipes.
    Thanks!

  • This recipe looks amazing! I may have to add it to my list of preserves to try making myself. I’d love to try your very own batch!

  • I was lucky enough to try this marmalade last week (I just had to, orange marmalade being my favorite) and I have to say that, as with the jams that you’ve made and that i’ve been lucky to try….this is the best ever!!

  • This was fun to read: I made a three citrus marmalade for the can jam challenge and this is quite similar but still different–in particular the membrane and seed in the cheesecloth bit. Thanks for the help on removing the pith–I had a hard time with this so I will be checking it out (and hardly knew there was a term for it)!

  • Well…this is kismet at its best! I bought a few too many navel oranges a few weeks ago, and then my roommate bought me grapefruit last week when I asked him to pick up some grapes at the store (he’s italian…his english is great, but I think we had a momentary lapse in communication 🙂 ). I thought an orange-grapefruit marmalade would be interesting, so I headed over here to see if you had any ideas. And lo and behold, you have just posted exactly the recipe I need. The world works in mysterious ways!

    Also, the grape catchup turned out really well! I’ll be posting some pics to flickr/blog soon. I used a package of liquid pectin, and the consistency is exactly how I wanted it. Thanks for the tip.

  • I am attempting preparing to begin canning…..I have not yet been successful in getting all necessary tools, my canning pot arrived dented with chips cracking off already so I am waiting for that to be returned. Once it does marmalade is first on my list, but I have a question. I bought lbs and lbs of blood oranges and at first I was looking for a straight blood orange recipe and it was hard to find. Most recipes include other fruits, which is fine now that I’ve used up all my oranges and will be starting over, but if I happen to have all of one citrus could I substitute as long as I use the same amounts? For example, in this recipe you call for 4 1/2 lbs of fruit, could I use all oranges if it was 4 1/2 lbs? I know it would definitely change the taste, but would it affect the actual process?

  • These instructions are so clear and inspiring that I tried making my first marmalade yesterday. I used all of your proportions, but used local blood oranges. It has a great flavor but did not set. Would it be ok to open the jars, reboil to temp and reprocess? Should I strain out the peels first?

  • Well shoot, Susan, I’m so sorry to hear that your marmalade didn’t set.

    The good news is that you can open the jars, reboil it to temp and reprocess it in clean jars. The only thing you lose in doing that is the time and lids (you’ve got to use new ones). If you want to cheat a little, you can also add an envelope of liquid pectin, to ensure you get a good set.

    Also, this is a good situation in which to use the plate test, where you put several small plates or saucers in the freezer before you start processing and then, when it comes up to temperature, to put a dab in the center of the very cold plate. Let it sit for 30 seconds or so and then push it with your finger. If it has formed a skin and wrinkles, it’s a good sign that it has set.

  • Thanks for your tips, Marisa. I reboiled the blood orange marmalade with liquid pectin and it set up a little too hard, but still tastes great. I made another batch with oranges from a friend’s tree and it came out perfectly. One of the previous comments talked about using pectin instead of the pulp bundle, and I did this. I got a better set and a brighter,less bitter flavor. Have you ever used mint as an added flavor for marmalade? I have some grapefruits coming my way and thought that would be a good combination.

  • Also – I used some of the blood orange marmalade in a dessert. Butter cookie dough baked in 9×13 pan. Cool. Spread with marmalade. Sprinkle with sliced toasted almonds, drizzle with extra dark chocolate. YUM!

  • I haven’t canned in years – and never marmalade – so your three citrus was the first on both counts. Unfortunately the first batch didn’t set. I made a second version, thinking perhaps I had let the marmalade bubble too long at temperature while I waited for the jars to sterilize. It didn’t set either. I decided that there simply wasn’t enough pectin given this instructions. I’ll try it again a third time – this time with blood oranges and ugli fruit. And I’ll add the pith into the cheese cloth to see if that solves it.

  • Sally, I’m so sorry to hear that your first two attempts at marmalade didn’t set. I wrote the recipe exactly as I prepared it myself and I achieved a good set, but there are a number of factors that can alter outcomes, including environmental humidity, pot size and the heat level of your stove.

    You can still save the unset marmalade (although you will have to sacrifice the lids you used). To do this, you uncan the marmalade and recook it, bringing it up to set temperature. You can boil it, using the cold plate method to test for set, or you can add a packet of liquid pectin to it while it boils, to ensure a jellied set.