Seville orange marmalade

26 Jan


January can feel long and bleak and dreary. But the arrival of Seville oranges in the shops is a little spot of sunshine because it means I can make this year’s batch of marmalade.

Homemade marmalade on toast with a hot cup of tea takes some beating. Quintessentially British, both marmalade and tea are symbols of Britain’s colonial past – one through trade with Spain and the other due to colonising India. The history of the empire casts a long shadow over British cuisine – and we all eat better for it…

With only four ingredients, making marmalade is a straightforward process, but you do need a few hours free to devote to the project. The marmalade burbles away quietly for much of that time, but there’s a certain amount of prep at the start, and things get very lively at the end.

Two pieces of equipment that – while not essential – do make a difference: a good cooking thermometer to confirm the set point has been reached; and a wide-mouthed jam funnel for filling the jars.

The recipe says it makes six 450g jars, but not being the sort of person who buys jars, I just sterilise several of those I’ve got tucked away, then fill as many as needed. I came across this recipe from a magazine years ago, but no longer remember which one.


(makes about six 450g jars)

  • 1 kg Seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 1.8 kg sugar
  • 2.25 litres water
  1. Halve and juice the oranges and lemons.
    Halved Seville oranges
  2. Tie the seeds and pulp up in a piece of muslin.
  3. Cut the orange rinds into 1/2cm thick slices.
  4. In a large soup pot, combine the juice, muslin, orange rinds and 2.25 litres of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the peel is very soft.
    Marmalade cooking
  5. During this time, wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water. Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and place in a low oven (200°F, 100°C) until dry.
  6. Place four small saucers in the freezer.
  7. Remove the muslin and allow to cool a bit, then squeeze as much liquid as possible back into the pot.
  8. Heat the sugar in the oven then add to the pot, stirring until dissolved.
  9. Increase the heat and boil the liquid hard until it reaches its set point. If you have a cooking thermometer, the set point is 105°C. Otherwise, after ten minutes hard boiling, place a teaspoon of marmalade on a chilled saucer and leave in the freezer for a couple of minutes. If the surface of the marmalade wrinkles when you push it, but doesn’t run, the marmalade is ready. If not, boil for a further few minutes then retest until set point is reached.
  10. Remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool for ten minutes. Skim any foam from the surface, then fill your sterilized jars. (A jam funnel is very helpful for this.)
  11. Cover with cellophane or wax discs and seal.

4 Responses to “Seville orange marmalade”

  1. Linda January 26, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

    Wonderful marmalade!! Would be perfect with toast – yummy! 🙂

    • Andrea January 26, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

      It’s definitely brightened my day! 🙂

  2. sabaah February 13, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    This look absolutely delicious must try it. Thanks for the recipe

    • Andrea February 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

      You’re most welcome!

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