Make your own marmalade

20150106_170946 (1)A calming January marmalade-making session is a good antidote to the mayhem of Christmas and New Year. Put the radio on, get peeling, slicing and simmering, and fill your house with the distinctive bittersweet aroma.

We buy our Seville oranges from Ave Maria Farm in Mairena del Alcor near Seville, which is run by Amadora and her two daughters. They produce wonderfully gnarly, knobbly, thick-skinned fruit with the incredible aroma and unusually high pectin content that make them so valued. There have been orange groves on their 60 hectare farm since 1867 and they were the first orange farm to be awarded organic status in Andalucia. Riverford founder Guy Watson visited them in 2011 and was hugely impressed by the crops and wildlife on the farm, not to mention the energy and orange-devotion of Amadora and her family!

Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe
We’ve won awards for our marmalade, which is made to this recipe. You could substitute in a few of our glorious blood oranges to get a rich, caramel-coloured preserve or use our incredibly perfumed bergamot lemons to really crank up the aromatics.

Guy’s tips:

  • Make sure the pan is big enough – if it is too full it will boil over and all that sugar will be a nightmare to clean off your cooker
  • When you are dissolving the sugar, don’t heat it too vigorously as it will catch on the bottom and you will end up with burnt marmalade – not tasty.
  • Don’t boil it too for long; if you go past the setting point you will end up with jars of concrete!
  • Skim off any scum before potting up to get a clearer set.
  • Let the marmalade stand for 15 mins before jarring – this will stop the fruit from settling at the bottom of the jar.

makes 6 jars, prep 30 mins, cook 3 hrs

1.5kg seville oranges
2 lemons
2.5l cold water
approx 2kg granulated sugar
a large pan
sterilised jars
screw top lids or wax discs
cellophane covers
elastic bands


  1. With a sharp knife, peel the skin from the oranges and lemons, leaving as much white pith on the fruit as possible. Chop the peel into 3mm strips and put in a large pan.
  2. Line a large bowl with a piece of muslin, leaving plenty to overhang the sides of the bowl. Cut the oranges and lemons in half. With your hands, squeeze the juice from the fruit over the bowl, dropping the leftover squeezed fruit (pith, pips and flesh) into the muslin.
  3. Lift the muslin out of the bowl, gather the sides and squeeze any remaining juice into the bowl. Tie the muslin together with string to keep the fruit in and form a bag.
  4. Place the muslin bag in the saucepan with the peel. Add the squeezed fruit juice and 2.5 litres cold water to the pan.
  5. Heat until boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the peel is tender. Put a few saucers in the fridge to chill.
  6. Remove the muslin bag and squeeze all the sticky juice from the bag into the pan. (An easy way to do this is to put the bag in a colander and use a spoon to press it out).
  7. Measure the contents of the pan in a jug (include the shreds and liquid). Return to the pan and add 450g sugar for every 500ml liquid.
  8. Gently heat for 15 minutes, until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.
  9. Test that the marmalade has reached setting point by putting a teaspoon of the liquid on a cold saucer and gently pushing with the back of the spoon. If the liquid starts to wrinkle, setting point has been reached. If no wrinkling happens, keep boiling and re-test every 10 minutes. Turn off the heat as soon as you reach setting point.
  10. Skim any scum from the surface. Leave the mixture to stand for 15 minutes. Stir gently, then carefully spoon into warmed sterilised jars (use a jam funnel if you have one). If using screw top lids, put the lids on while the marmalade is still hot and turn upside down for 5 minutes to sterilise the lids (or boil the lids for a few minutes and leave to dry before use). If using cellophane, put a wax disc on the marmalade while warm, then seal with cellophane and an elastic band.


8 responses to “Make your own marmalade

  1. Great to see that the Seville Oranges have arrived for Marmalade. I intend to add some to my next order. It was also a great suggestion to suggest the Bergamot Lemons to go with the oranges, however when I go to the website you only sell the oranges in the marmalade kit, including the lemons, but standard lemons only, why not put the Bergamot lemons in as standard. Also great suggestion to add some blood oranges to the mix, last year I made Blood Orange marmalade from a recipe I found on line, it was a little sweet, but mixing with the seville oranges should balance it out.

  2. I have been making marmalade with the Riverford kits for the last four years and that aroma filling the house is very addictive! I have introduced the kits to several colleagues at work, and fun to compare our results! Guy’s recipe says ‘peel skin leaving as much pith on the fruit possible.’ That I have been doing which gives a very skinny peel and nice clear result. However, a friend gave me some of her marmalade she made and the peel was quite chunky, very nice! So my question, how thick can I make the peel for a thicker cut? Thank you!

  3. Where can we get your lovely oranges in Blairgowrie, East Perthshire.

  4. About to make my fourth batch of marmalade, having made two lots with Seville and one with bergamots. The oranges are fantastic quality and make really good bergamot marmalade is seriously good albeit a little sweeter. Bergamot curd has also been made this weekend – running out of jars…!

  5. Pingback: Unnecessary cooking: a perfect waste of time - Gluts & Gluttony

  6. Why aren’t rhe orange wrappers included with the kit? I have been collecting wrappers for years so they would be a wonderful addition.

  7. Christine Ford, the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of groping her when he was 17 years old, has a “witness” – Mark Judge. But Mark Judge says that “she is nuts”. There you have it. One woman stating that she was groped and her ‘witness’, who says she is ‘nuts’. That’s the end of the story.

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