Marrow & ginger jam

Marrow & ginger jam

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(24 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins plus overnight standing


About 4 x 450ml jars
A traditional way to use up marrows, or courgettes, that have grown too big for their boots

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal102
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
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  • 4 unwaxed lemons



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

  • 1.8kg marrow, peeled and cut into sugar-cube-size pieces
    Basket of marrows


    A marrow is a cucurbit, which means it’s from the same family as the melon, cucumber,…

  • 1.8kg jam sugar (with added pectin)
  • large knob fresh root ginger, about 85g, peeled and shredded


  1. Pare the zest from the lemons with a peeler, then juice them, keeping the juice, shells and any pips. Tie the shells and pips into a muslin bag. Put the marrow into a preserving pan with 2 tbsp of the lemon juice, then cook on a medium heat, stirring often, until the pieces are turning translucent and soft but not mushy. Bubble off any juices before stirring in the sugar, the rest of the juice, the zest, ginger and the muslin bag. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

  2. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10-15 mins or until the marrow has softened completely and the jam has reached setting point (see Tips, below). Pot the jam into warm jars (see below). The flavour of the jam will mature and intensify over the next few months, so tuck it away in a dark, cool place.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Sep, 2019
This was my first attempt at jam making and I’m so pleased with it. I had to cook it for quite a bit longer than the recipe suggests before it was ready to set but the end result is delicious. Had some for breakfast this morning with granary toast and I’m now wishing I had made more!
Gail Phillips's picture
Gail Phillips
18th Oct, 2018
Mines been in jars for 2weeks looks runny still can I reboil and put back in freshly sterilised jars
26th Sep, 2016
Had a large 2 kg marrow given so made a half batch of this with half of the marrow. Followed the recipe and it has turned out great. Filled 5 small jars.
23rd Sep, 2015
This was my first time making jam - what a disaster!!! Firstly this tastes more like a marmalade (not particularly a bad thing). I cut the marrow into sugar cube sized pieces like the instructions said but I found they were too big and took a lot longer than expected to cook. In the first step it took a while for them to turn translucent. I then added the sugar and let it boil away but after 20 mins the marrow still had a lot of bite. The Jam didn't seem to be set so I let it boil for another 10 mins. Seemed ok when I was potting it but when I opened a jar today it was so thick and hard, More like crystallised ginger! I sterilised the jars like it said - the kind with a rubber seal and a metal latch, but a seal did not form at all. I also used a few recycled jam jars and I don't think they did either. Aparantly you have to boil these kind of jars in a water bath after filing! I'd transfer it to new jars but I'm scared to boil it incase it went even harder! So now I have loads of marmalade in the fridge I have to use up in the next few weeks! I made rhubarb jam aswell and put it in a kilner jar with a two-part metal lid and these sealed fine. However they cost me 3 euros each which makes it very expensive to make
17th Sep, 2017
Do try again with other jams. Don't be put off. The majority of other people who already had some jam making experience have found this a good recipe. I think your major mistake was letting it boil for another 10 minutes when it was nearly setting. Did you try a tiny amount on a cold saucer to see if it 'wrinkled' when pushed? Once jam is near the point of set you need to test it frequently (or buy a sugar thermometer, an expensive and unnecessary luxury if you won't use it much). Re the jars, I recycle glass jars from sauces etc, hot wash in the dish washer to make sure they are really clean then have them in a low heat oven while the jam is being made. As soon as it's at the point of set, spoon into the hot jars and get the lid or cellophane jam pot covers on while they are still very very hot. Much less hassle than the fancy and pricey jars with a rubber seal.
15th Sep, 2014
i made this yesterday and it is looking very promising. I sprinkled about 1/4 of the sugar onto the marrow cubes first and left them sitting in a bowl for a morning to draw out a lot of the liquid. i then drained the marrow cubes and cooked those in the lemon juice. I kept the liquid to one side and added a bit from time to time when the pan seemed to get a bit dry. (I've put the rest of the liquid in the fridge and will use if for bread/porridge/pastry/other cooking.) the jam set very well with basic granulated sugar, but I did add 100g of 'pectin sugar'. Now to wait until it is matured a bit!
17th Aug, 2014
This is delicious and looks wonderful (more golden than your picture). It took ages to boil off the initial liquid from the marrow (only used 1 x whopper weighing 1.8kg!), but I'm sure it was worth it because the result is so good. Bought 1kg of "jam sugar" and 800g of ordinary granulated which seemed to work just fine.
28th Oct, 2013
Made the jam today, following the recipe to the letter, with a slightly longer boiling time to reach setting point. This is the first jam that we have made and found it delicious. At the moment it is very lemony and reminds us of marmalade, but we're sure that the full flavour will develop over a few weeks.
21st Sep, 2013
Made this today after being given the biggest marrow ever! Followed the recipe without adding anything extra and it has made a very nice flavoured jam. I do make quite a lot of jam each year so know that the setting point is usually longer than stated, like a previous comment suggested I did drain the marrow before adding the sugar etc and it worked perfectly :-)
19th Sep, 2013
Fantastic way to use up marrow or courgette that have grown too big, have made this for a few years now and it is lovely, but you must use jam sugar with added pectin, then setting is not a problem


3rd Oct, 2014
I wasn't sure what to do with the zest - the recipe doesn't say to chop it up small, or to take it out again when you take the pips and shells out. I chopped it fairly small and left it in the finished jam, but the zest seems very hard. I only made it last night, so I'm hoping it may soften as the jam matures, but I doubt it! Please could you tell me what I should have done, as I'd like to have another go some time!
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Oct, 2014
Hi there, thanks for the question. You discard the zest from the lemons. Just keep the juice, shells and pips. Thanks. 
23rd Oct, 2014
The method needs correcting then - at the end of stage 1, it says to stir in the zest.
18th Aug, 2016
I made this recipe today without jam sugar and without leaving it overnight. I still got a good set (even though I ran out of gas halfway through!), and is a good bit darker than the illustrative picture but it still tastes damn good even while hot. The steps I took to ensure a quicker set are: 1. Heat the sugar in an 80c oven for a good while to warm up before adding it to the fruit. 2. While I pre cooked the courgette, I poured some juice from the pan into a second pan to reduce it. 3. I heated the lemon juice and other ingredients in the second pot before adding it into the main pot containing the courgette and sugar. 3. I used a hard boil instead of a simmer for the jam-making stage (as hot as you can go without throwing jam all over the stovetop). 4. I tranferred some of the liquid jam to the same second pot to reduce faster. Looking back, it would have been much easier following the recipe, but with practice, you learn the set point of a jam by: a) watching as a jam cooks: it begins with a fast high boil and often reaches the top of the pan. As the water evaporates you may notice, after several minutes, the level of the jam recede once the viscosity of the liquid prevents it rising as high. This indicates you are making progress! b) then look at how the bubbles break on top of the jam as it reaches set point - they tend to hold for a little longer and are often swallowed back into the depth before you see them break. They seem almost 'lazy'. c) watch how the liquid falls from the spoon or spatula you are using. It starts quite watery and may drip off at several points of the spoon/ spatula. As it becomes thicker, the number of stream and drips reduce and the liquid coats the spoon a little bit. a) at this point, do the set tests (I tend to leave the jam boiling). Have at least 2 plates in the freezer ready to rock. Make sure to stir the jam with the spoon and then place a small amount on the plate (about a tsp will do) allowing some room for a second or even third test. Tip the plate on its side to allow it to spread and perhaps even wave it about to aid a quick cool (you may notice condensation form on the plate - give it a wipe with a dry cloth before a subsequent test). If, as you draw your finger through the jam, a noticeable 'bow wave' with some wrinkles form, the jam is set. If only a 'bow wave' forms, give the jam another 30 secs to 1 min and try again. If you think it is well overset, pour a couple of teaspoons of water in and test it. Leave the jam to cool for perhaps 5 mins and then place them in the sterilised jars (this allows the jam to set a bit so the fruit doesn't all float to the top). If the fruit floats noticeably, stir it with a dry sterile spoon after a minute or two. I have read several comments stating that the jam did not set and was reboiled after it cooled. This will cause a sharp decrease it the quality of the jam, so it is better to get it right first time! Try an easy jam like raspberry or black currant to begin with if you are a beginner or you are really browbeaten by more difficult fruit jams. I'll happily elaborate on points I've made or other aspects of jam making if anyone has a question.
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