...Food and Recipes, Really Useful-Making


I made marmalade 🙂
I have been meaning to make it for several years, but the thought of all the chopping and peeling really put me off.
Then I saw that Riverford were doing a special ‘marmalade bag’ with seville oranges and lemons, and a recipe, and I decided that this would be the year I finally did it.

I used a different recipe in the end-this one here for Herb Scented Marmalade from Waitrose, but I omitted the herbs.
I liked the idea of boiling the oranges first and thought it might make peeling and cutting them slightly less arduous. Having never made it before, I have no idea if this was easier or not. It was a bit of a faff, but no worse than making chutney.

This is what you need:

  • 1.5kg Seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 12 dried bay leaves OR ½ x 4g tube Cooks’ Ingredients Wild Bay Leaves OR 1 growing pot fresh rosemary (if you are doing the herb scented one). I also thought that lavender might be a nice addition?
  • 2kg granulated sugar
  • muslin (or I used a pair of old tights-clean, obviously…)

This is what you do:

  • Wash the fruit and cut a hole in the end of each one-I just cut out the stalky bit
  • Place them in a saucepan in a single layer, holes downwards-I had too many to fit in a singge layer, so they did end up with a few in a second tier, but I just kept giving them a stir to shift them all around a bit and make sure they all had a turn under the water
  • Place the herbs (if using)  in a muslin or jelly bag and loosely tie the end. If using rosemary, snap all the shoots off about halfway down, leaving the remaining rosemary in the pot to grow again
  • Add to the pan with 1250ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, until the fruit is soft — about 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Sterilise your jars
  •  Scoop the fruit from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to cool
  • Pour the remaining liquid into a preserving pan, removing any stray pips
  • Cut all the fruit into quarters, scoop out the flesh and add it, with the pips, to the herbs in the bag-OR put all the detritus in a jar, and then when you are done-stretch your tights leg over the top and then up-end the jar, so all the goop falls into the leg, and then tie it shut smugly having made no mess!


  • Place this contraption in the pan
  • Finely (mine was more ‘rustic’ than ‘fine’) shred the peel and add it with the sugar to the pan


  • Bring the marmalade to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved
  • Boil rapidly, stirring frequently to stop if catching on the bottom of the pan, until setting point is reached, in about 30 minutes-mine took longer-I always find that jam or chutney recipes underestimate the amount of time needed, and I never learn and still try and cram it in to an inappropriate amount of time)
  • Remove the pan from the heat once setting point is reached
  • Scoop out the muslin bag, pressing out as much juice as possible
  • Leave the marmalade for 20 minutes before bottling, to avoid the peel rising in the jars
  • Any foam that formed during boiling should disappear (I had a huge amount of foam, and was a little concerned it wouldn’t disappear, but it did). If any remains when you are ready to bottle, skim it off with a spoon, or add a few flakes of cold butter and stir, which disperses it
  • Pour the marmalade carefully into the clean, hot jars
  • Seal, and label when cold

Hooray and hurrah!
OK, so it a little on the browny side, and the peel is ‘rustic cut’ and some of it *may* be a little charred where it caught on the bottom of the pan. But it is still, unequivocally, marmalade.
Happy days 🙂


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  • Reply fredthethread February 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I love lots of peel in my marmalade so making your own is always better. Your marmalade looks great.

    boiling the oranges is very important without it the sugar hardens the peel – I speak from experience – my first marmalade had very tough skin that was inedible! All that effort wasted, I did not skip that stage again!

    • Reply Jen February 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      It seems to be a ‘do-able’ method-I don’t think I am patient enough to chop all the peel if it is not nice and soft from being boiled!

  • Reply The Buy Nothing Project | My Make Do and Mend Year February 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    […] I’m really excited by this, and think it would be pretty cool to have a network of Buy Nothing Projects springing up across the UK. It is super easy to do-you just contact the very friendly, frighteningly (in a good way) efficient Liesl, she sets you up a page, you read the ‘rules’ and make sure you are happy, and off you go! Already, in 24 hours, the Buy Nothing Warminster page has nearly 30 members, I have arranged to meet up with a new mum, who is new to the area for coffee tomorrow, and have given away 3 jars of my ‘rustic chop’ marmalade […]

  • Reply Robyn February 1, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    We’ve made marmalade each year for the last several – using a Delia recipe, bizarrely. Only had one disaster in all the batches we’ve done, which was when we took our “eye off the ball” as it were, and let it burn. You’ll be hooked now you’ve done it once!
    Oh, and pfft to “finely” chopped peel – I’ll have rustic every time!

    • Reply Jen February 2, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Rustic marmalade is ‘on trend’, or it should be 😉

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