Seville orange marmalade in jars

How to make marmalade

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 1 hr - 2 hrs Plus overnight soaking

More effort

Makes 8 x 450g/1lb jars

Seize the short Seville orange season with homemade marmalade. Follow our simple step-by-step instructions to make this brilliant breakfast offering 

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal57
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g


  • 1kg Seville oranges, well scrubbed and halved



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

  • 1 unwaxed lemon



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

  • 2kg granulated sugar


  1. Squeeze the oranges and keep their juice. Scrape out the pith and pips with a metal spoon, again keeping everything. Juice the lemon, too, then put the lemon shells, orange pith and seeds into a square of muslin about 30 x 30cm, and tie it with string. Leave the string long – that way you can tie it to your wooden spoon, which will make it easier to lift out later.

  2. Cut each orange shell into 3 petals, then finely shred with a large, sharp knife. Put the peel into a preserving pan, tip in the juices, then sit the bag in the juice. Pour in 2.4 litres/4 pints cold water and leave to steep overnight.

  3. Next day, leaving the bag in the pan, bring the liquid to the boil, then simmer for about 1 hr, or until the peel is soft and translucent and the liquid has reduced by one third. Turn off the heat and lift the muslin bag into a large bowl. Leave the bag until it’s cool enough to handle.

  4. While you wait, get your jars ready. Wash 8 x 450g/1lb jars (or the equivalent volume larger or smaller jars) in hot, soapy water, then leave in a low oven to dry completely. Keep them warm. Alternatively, if you’ve got a dishwasher you can run the jars and lids though a hot cycle, then let them dry. Put a saucer in the freezer at this point, too.

  5. Now for the messy bit – I like to don a pair of rubber gloves at this point. Hold the bag over its bowl, and squeeze and pummel it until you’ve extracted every last drop of juice and gunge through the muslin. This stuff contains the pectin – the crucial ingredient to the perfect set. You can now throw away what’s left in the bag and wash the muslin, ready to re-use.

  6. Stir the contents of the bowl, plus all the sugar, into the pan. Stir every so often over a very gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Don’t boil before all the sugar has melted.

  7. Slowly bring the pan to the boil. After 10 mins boiling, spoon a small blob of marmalade onto the cold saucer. Leave for a few secs, then push the marmalade with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, boil for 10 mins more then try again. Even if you have a sugar thermometer (look for 105C or where it says ‘jam’), I’d still recommend the saucer test. If yours seems to be taking a while don’t worry, it can take anything from 10 mins to 45 mins for marmalade to reach setting point, depending on your oranges. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface in the meantime.

  8. Once you’ve reached setting point, ladle the marmalade into the warm jars and seal. A funnel is really handy if you have one. The marmalade will keep for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place, and for up to a month in the fridge once opened.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Paul Skilbeck's picture
Paul Skilbeck
18th Jan, 2019
I had issues with this recipe in Steps 5 and 7. When I sensed by intuition the marmalade was at setting point, it wasn't wrinkling in the saucer, so I kept cooking it. After about 40 minutes it was starting to darken so I took it off the heat. By then it had reduced a lot and is so thick it won't spread. Another problem with this recipe is lack of guidance about the volume of 'juice and gunge' we should expect to extract from the muslin. 'Every last drop' produced by a muscular man with big hands yields only about a tablespoon. More can be obtained by using a spoon to repeatedly squeeze then scrape the 'gunge' off the outside of the muslin, but this is not indicated. Other recipes treat this critical part of the process with more detail. Next time I will use those.
DJG_Food's picture
30th Jan, 2017
An excellent method that avoids many of the complicated steps of others. Slicing the peel by hand is not such a chore and gives you great control over shred size.
1st Feb, 2016
I tweaked this as per some of the comments below. added the juice of 2x lemons on top of the 1kg oranges. I also shredded the orange peel using a food processor after removing the bulk of the membrane. this saves much time and i am personally not a huge fan of large chunks of peel. That said - this still took a long time to cook & reach set point - more like 30 mins after adding the sugar and bringing to the boil rather than the 10 referred to here. the result is great.
5th Mar, 2015
have used this recipe many times - and the times always vary!! I buy lots of oranges in Jan/feb and freeze in measured weights so that I can make in small batches through the year - and it works. As I cannot eat larger shreds of orange, I blend the softened orange before adding sugar etc! Works well!
15th Jan, 2015
I followed the advice in this recipe to the letter - and what a disaster! After seekingsome expert advice I have discovered the simmering time is far too short - should be at least two hours to ensure all of the pectin is released and the orange peel is soft enough. The reduction of the volume is too rapid which will again affect the set. The advice about up to 45mins to acheive setting time is far too long, hence the reason my marmalade was cremated!!! What a waste of good ingredients, time and my my pan! I am really disappointed with the BBC website for allowing this recipe to be posted. I would have expected more researh from the producton team before allowing publication of a wholey inadequate recipe. I would normally have never questioned anything on here, but will do my homework in future. Poor show BBC.
10th Jan, 2014
This recipe is hard work but the marmalade was lovely!
27th Jan, 2012
This is fab!! I have never made jam or marmalade and last week I got the urge and found recipes. I made it half following this and half an eye on an old Delia Smith and so all I did was cut and juice the oranges then quatered them and then thinly sliced. Put the juice, peel and water into the pan and simmer, it took no more than and hour, then went on to the fast boil bit. I used the saucer and a digital thermometer to check my way. I also used caster sugar as all I had. I failed to realise how much it would boil up and had to decant half to a smaller aluminum pan and due to me not trusting my equipment, managed to burn the smaller amount but the one in the heavier pan was fine. The marmalade has received many compliments. Today I have just made the lemon marmalade using brown granulated sugar, bigger pands and so far it tastes great!!
21st Jan, 2012
halve your preperation time by peeling the oranges with a potato peeler,then use a juicing attachment on a food processer to juice the fruit
12th Jan, 2012
Excellent - made this a couple of days ago. Added juice of an extra 2 lemons, plus peel etc in muslin bag - made a really tart marmalade. Yum!
12th Jan, 2012
Excellent - made this a couple of days ago. Added juice of an extra 2 lemons, plus peel etc in muslin bag - made a really tart marmalade. Yum!


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19th Mar, 2014
To save scalded fingers, time and work, as well as increasing the pectin yield use a potato press to squeeze the muslin bag
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