I love the whole process of making marmalade, whether it be for Traditional Seville Orange Marmalade, or with other citrus fruits. It’s time consuming, but in a wholly relaxing way; the smell of fresh oranges is mingled with the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and the only sound, other than the radio, is the sound of chopping and shredding.

I start the day before I actually make the marmalade, as in boil it to the setting point, it’s a morning of juicing and shredding, before the orange shreds are put to bed in a bath of citrus juice and water, set aside to slumber for the rest of the day and overnight. All the “gubbins” from the oranges is tied in a muslin square and is added to the juice and the orange shreds.

The next day is the “boiling” day, when the alchemy of pectin, pith and peel all comes together, to form a glorious jewelled jelly in which delicate cooked shreds of Seville orange peel is suspended like gold dust in a fragrant gel. It’s a relatively quick process after the peel has been simmered for a couple of hours, just ten minutes or less if the pectin gods are kind.


  • 675g (1lb 8oz) Seville oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1.4kg (3lb) granulated, cane sugar
  • 1.75 litres (3 pints )water


  • Juice the oranges and pour the juice with the water into a large, lidded pan with a capacity of 6-8 litres. Remove the inner membranes and pips from the oranges. Do not remove the pith from the oranges.
  • Juice the lemon and add the juice to the pan. Put the orange membranes and the lemon shells into a food processor or mini-chopper and chop finely. Put the chopped membranes, and any pips into a 30 cm x 30cm piece of thin cotton muslin. Tie this up with string and add to the pan. Shred the oranges and add the peel to the pan. If possible, leave the pan overnight to allow the fruit to soak.
  • Next day, bring the lidded pan to boil, turn down the heat and simmer very gently for two hours. The peel should be very tender and the contents of the pan reduced by a third. Warm the sugar in a low oven, 140℃ /275℉/Gas 1.
  • Remove the muslin bag and squeeze the liquid from the bag back into the pan through a sieve, using a large spoon. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until dissolved.
  • Gradually bring the pan to a rolling boil and test for a set after 7 minutes, using the flake test. Dip a large spoon into the pan and scoop out a spoonful. Lift the spoon above the pan and turn it horizontally. If the marmalade has reached setting point of 104.5℃ ( 220℉) it will drip then hang on the side of the spoon.
  • Leave the marmalade to cool for 5-10 minutes, a skin should have formed on the surface. Remove any scum from the surface with a large metal spoon. Gently stir the marmalade to distribute the peel.
  • Pour the marmalade into clean, warm sterilised jars and cover with new twist top lids. Alternatively, seal the jars with waxed discs and when cold, apply cellophane covers secured with elastic bands. Leave the jars upright and undisturbed to set.

  • Recipe from Karen.