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Making Marmalade

An introduction to making your own marmalade

Making Marmalade

preserving | fruits | grow your own | recipes

In our article Making Jam we looked at how jam is made. In this article we will look at how to make marmalade.

Homemade marmalade on toast

What is the Difference Between Jam and Marmalade

The difference between jam and marmalade is mostly semantic with most countries calling what in the UK is called marmalade their cover-all word for jam. The basic definition of marmalade is a preserve made from citrus fruits - usually from oranges - and which typically contains small pieces of shredded peel which give marmalade its slightly bitter taste compared to jam.

Making Marmalade

Jam is made by boiling up fresh soft fruit pulp until it releases a substance called pectin. Sugar is added to help to preserve the fruit and to give the jam its sweet taste. When cooled, this reduced fruit-sugar mixture sets thanks to the pectin, and the jam can be stored for many months in sterilised jars. Marmalade is made in exactly the same way.

Orange Marmalade Recipe

All that is required to make delicious Orange Marmalade is delicious oranges, double their weight in caster sugar, and lemon juice. With six small oranges weighing in at around half a kilo, one kilo of sugar is required, and the juice of one small lemon.

Cut the oranges in half over a bowl (so that no juice is lost), and scoop out the orange flesh leaving the pith behind. Now scoop as much of the pith out of the orange shells as possible and discard it before slicing the remaining peel into very thin (julienne) strips.

Orange peel strips to be added to marmalade

Put all the scooped out pulp (pips and all) into a food processor or blender and blend everything together until it becomes a smooth puree.

Pour the puree through a fine sieve (pushing all the juice through with the back of a spoon) into a large heavy bottomed pan, and add the julienne orange peel to the pan.

Cooking up marmalade in a large heavy bottomed pan

Add the juice of one lemon, and around 1.3 litres of water (for this 500g of orange, and 1kg of sugar recipe). Bring the liquid up to the boil and then turn down the heat and leave it to simmer for around 60-90 minutes.

When the volume of liquid has halved and the sliced peel has gone soft, slowly stir in the sugar, and keep stirring until it has all dissolved. Boil the mixture gently for around 10 minutes, occasionally using a spoon to skim off and discard any froth which accumulates on the surface.

As with all jam recipes, spoon a thin smear of the marmalade onto a cold plate (from the fridge), and if it sets the marmalade is ready. If it does not set, boil the mixture for another 5 minutes and try again.

Homemade orange marmalade

Follow the instructions in our Making Jam article on sterilising jars, filling them with your marmalade, and storing them safely.

Shopping List

Here are some useful links to relevant products:
jam jars
jam thermometer

Article Published: 21:08, 9th Jan 2011

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