Homemade orange and lemon marmalade is delicious and inexpensive – and can be made with lots of rinds or just a little. It also has a much better flavour than the bought variety. Marmalade is one of the most used toppings for toast on a winter’s morning – or any other morning. It can also be used in making a delicious marmalade cake.
Homemade Orange and Lemon Marmalade
Any mix of citrus fruit can be used for homemade marmalade, limes, lemons, mandarins, grapefruit, and oranges of various kinds and flavours, though for this one, we only used oranges and lemons. In days gone by, making marmalade was an onerous task as, in those days, oranges and lemons had tough skins and had to be soaked for 24 hours before cooking them for inclusion in marmalade. These days a blender/chopper can be used for the skin or choose fruit with softer skin.
Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse the jars in hot water and place upside down on racks in an oven heated to 120˚c. You can line the racks with baking paper first if you want. Heat the jars for 20 minutes. Do not place cold jam into hot jars or they may crack and break.
Preparing the Fruit
Wash and dry the fruit thoroughly. Cut off both the ends and discard. Make sure the fruit has unblemished skin. If you want only a small amount of rind, use only half of the amount of skin.
Pectin or not?
Pectin is the ingredients that makes jellies and jams spoonable. When using citrus, pectin is mainly in the citrus peel – the white, part called the pith. Since you are using the whole oranges in this recipe, there should be enough natural pectin for the marmalade to set properly.
For this recipe, we choose to use two oranges and two lemons, though you can use a variety of the citrus that you want. It is best to use fresh, firm fruit for making marmalade, as old fruit will have lost its pectin and will not set. Fruit that is barely rip and picked early in the season has the most pectin.
Ready or not?
It is very hard to tell if marmalade is ready as it thickens as it cools. Due to the natural pectin, it can take 24-48 hours to completely set. The cold plate method is great for this. Spoon about a teaspoon of mixture onto a saucer that has been in the freezer chilling. Let it cool and if the mixture wrinkles slightly when you touch it or run your finger through it, then the marmalade has reached setting point and is ready to bottle.
There are many ways to enjoy marmalade:
- Spread on bread, toast, English muffins or scones
- Spoon over ice cream
- Serve it with citrus cakes, cupcakes or muffins
- Brush a couple of tablespoons over chicken before roasting it
- Marmalade also goes well as a glaze for grilled pork chops.
Orange and Lemon Marmalade
- 2 lemons
- 2 oranges
- 3 cups of water to every cup of flesh and peel
- 1 cup of sugar to every cup of cooked pulp
- Sterilise the jars and keep them warm.
- Wash and dry the fruit thoroughly. Cut off the ends and discard.
- There are many ways to cut up the fruit and peel.1. Using a moderately coarse grater, grate off the peel and white pulp. Cut the flesh into thin slices, removing the seeds.2. Squeeze the juice out and cut the half skins into quarters and put them through the blender until fairly fine. 3. Cut the unpeeled fruit into quarters and then slice it thinly. The slices should be around 1mm or slightly less than 1/8 inch thick.Use only unblemished skin. If less rind and more jelly is preferred, cut the skins off and use only half of them.
- Combine the peel and flesh and measure in cups how much there is.
- Place the peel and flesh into a large saucepan and add 3 cups of water for each cup of peel and flesh.
- Bring to the boiling, then put a lid on the saucepand and boil for 15-20 minutes until the peel is well cooked.
- Remove from heat, cool slighlty and then measure the pulp in cups.
- Return to the saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add 1 cup of warmed sugar for each cup of the cooked pulp that you measured (two steps above).
- Boiling for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove any white residue that gathers. Depending on the amount of pectin in your fruit, you may need to cook for a bit longer than 20 minutes.
- To test when done, place a tsp amount onto a chilled saucer (on that has been sitting in the freezer for a few minutes). Let the marmalade cool and the gently push it. If it wrinkles and seems thick, it is ready.
- Take off the heat and stir to distribute the fruit and peel.
- Ladle the marmalade into the warm jars.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe spills around the rim of the jars. Seal with the lids.
- Store the jars in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. You could also transfer the cold jam to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- If putting up for storage, use a hot water or steam canner to properly seal lids, according to canning instructions.