Dark muscovado & whisky marmalade

Dark muscovado & whisky marmalade

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(15 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins - 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins


Makes about 4.5kg/10lb
A real grown-up marmalade – rich, dark and just a hint of boozy flavour

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
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  • 1.3kg Seville orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 2 lemons, juice only



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 2¼kg granulated or preserving sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 450g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150ml whisky



    Whisky usually means an ethanol-based spirit produced in Scotland. Ethanol is an intoxicating…


  1. Place the whole oranges and lemon juice in a large preserving pan and cover with 2 litres/ 4 pints water. If this is not enough to cover the fruit, put it in a smaller pan. If necessary, weight the oranges with a heat-proof plate to keep them under the water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for about 2 hours, or until the peel can be pierced easily with a fork.

  2. Warm half of the white and dark sugar in a very low oven. Pour off the cooking water from the oranges into a jug and tip the oranges into a bowl. Return the cooking liquid to the pan. Leave the oranges to cool until they are easy to handle, then cut them in half. Scoop out all the pips and pith and add these to reserved orange liquid in the pan. Bring to the boil for 6 minutes then strain this liquid through a sieve into a bowl, pressing the pulp through with a wooden spoon; the result is high in pectin, which helps to ensure the marmalade has a good set.

  3. Pour half this liquid into a preserving pan. Cut the peel into chunky shreds, using a sharp knife. Add half the peel to the liquid in the preserving pan with the warm white and dark muscovado sugars. Stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and bubble rapidly for 15-25 minutes until setting point is reached. Stir in half the whisky.

  4. Take the pan off the heat and skim any scum from the surface. (To dissolve any excess scum, drop a small knob of butter on the surface, and gently stir.) Leave the marmalade to stand in the pan for 20 minutes to cool a little and to allow the peel to settle, then pot in sterilised jars, seal and label. Repeat for the remaining batch.

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Comments, questions and tips

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15th Aug, 2013
I've tried many recipes of marmalade, and this has got to be the best ever, when the Seville oranges aren't available I put a grapefruit and 1/2lb of lemons with 1and a half pound of oranges (any), 2pints of water and 4lbs sugar (mixed), then follow original recipe,
13th Oct, 2014
Do you use this instead of the 4 pints of water and 2.25kg of sugar? Doesn't it affect the setting if you change the amount of sugar and water?
28th Jan, 2013
I rewrote the recipe before I started (1kg oranges / 1 batch) - the marmalade is gorgeous! I have always used the traditional method in the past but I think this method is quicker and there is no muslin to mess about with! You do have to scrape away at the sieve to get the pectin-gloop through - but it sets really well and it’s worth the effort!
23rd Jan, 2013
This is the best marmalde I've ever made, so much easier than the other recipes I've used. I made it as 1 whole batch, and boiled for approx 40 mins, I made sure it was well set before adding the whisky, by testing on frozen plates. I must admit the instructions to make it is somewhat confusing, thats why I decided to do it in one batch. GOOD LUCK
29th Sep, 2012
can I use normal large oranges?
7th Jun, 2012
I made a batch of this marmalade last night the colour is perfect same as the picture above but it's stuck in the jar!!! It is so sweet and looks/tastes like a strong caramel. Is there anything I can do to "save" it or will I have to throw it out? There's no way it could be spread on toast it would break the knife!!!
10th Jan, 2012
I certainly should have let it boil for another 10 minutes, but boy-oh-boy was it good! I made it as a Christmas present for friends and family, and have had fantastic feedback too. Lovely and easy recipe for wintery marmalade.
17th Dec, 2011
Reenapegg, I'm so sorry for you that this didn't work for you! It sounds like you've ended up with too much sugar making it syrupy, you should have just boiled it up again until it reached the right consistency, it doesn't matter than you had tried to set it already. If you still need christmas gifts the fruity christmas biscotti on this website is really nice and quite quick and easy to make!
Rowena Wilkes's picture
Rowena Wilkes
15th Dec, 2011
Made this for xmas prezzies and it was SUCH a hassle to make! Like others it didnt set properly so i had to add more jam sugar which then made it far too sweet so I had to add more whisky. Im still not happy with the consistency. It turned out more like a really thick syrup, not really like marmalade at all. What was more, I had to watch it like a hawk during the simmering process to ensure that it didnt bubble over and go everywhere making my kitchen a huge sticky mess (which it did!) Not to mention scolding myself on the boiling water when transferring it! Huge, huge hassle and I probably wont be making it again unless people like it so much they ask for more
Rowena Wilkes's picture
Rowena Wilkes
11th Dec, 2011
Followed recipe exactly but like others, , mine has not set. Any reccomendations? Would adding gelatine help? Very reluctant to start again as the cost isnt cheap but really want it to work as was planning on jarring up and giving as christmas prezzies. Please help!


goodfoodteam's picture
29th Jan, 2014
Hi there. Yes, you could swap the whisky for a non alcoholic drink instead. Orange juice or apple juice would work well. Hope you enjoy the marmalade. Thanks, BBC Good Food team.


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