How to Make and Set Marmalade Jam


The word marmalade comes from the Portuguese "marmalada," which refers to a jam made from quince, an apple-like fruit. In today's parlance, marmalade describes a type of jelly that has pieces of fruit suspended in it. Orange marmalade is the most common variation of this preserve, followed by other types of citrus fruits such as lemon or lime. Any combination of fruits can be used to make marmalade, with some recipes including peaches, pears or even tomatoes. Even so, most marmalade recipes will contain some kind of citrus fruits, peels or juices.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 4 medium-sized oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Large saucepan
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spoon
  • Candy thermometer (optional)
  • 4 sterilized half-pint size canning jars
  • 4 canning lids and rings
  • Boiling water canner
  • Tongs
  • Wash fruit, scrubbing well to remove any wax that might be on the peels.

  • Peel the fruit with the vegetable peeler. Note that the pith, the white part beneath the colored part of citrus peel, is bitter. However, it contains the most pectin, which is the substance needed to thicken fruit preserves. Be sure to leave a small amount of pith on some of the peel strips so the marmalade will thicken properly.

  • Cut the grapefruit peel into thin strips and measure 3/4 cup into the saucepan.

  • Cut the orange peel into thin strips and measure 3/4 cup into the saucepan. You will only use the peel from one or two oranges, depending upon their size.

  • Cut the lemon peel into thin strips and measure 1/3 cup into the saucepan. Discard any remaining citrus peels.

  • Add the cold water to the citrus peels and simmer, covered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.

  • Section grapefruit, oranges and lemon, removing seeds and membranes. Cut fruit into small pieces. Add fruit to the saucepan.

  • Add the boiling water and sugar. Boil mixture over high heat, approximately 20 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture measures 220 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a candy thermometer, scoop a bit of the marmalade up on your spoon. Tip the spoon sideways. If two big drops slide together and form a sheet that hangs from the edge of the spoon, the marmalade is of the proper consistency.

  • Remove pan from heat and skim any foam from the top. Pour hot marmalade into hot, sterile jars and leave a 1/4-inch space at the top of each jar. Wipe jar rims with a dampened paper towel. Screw canning lids and rings onto jars.

  • Process in a boiling water canner for six minutes. Remove jars from canner with tongs and place on a clean dishtowel. Allow to cool fully before storing.

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  • Photo Credit marmalade making image by hazel proudlove from
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