Old stuff …

(This page is old material from an earlier web site, and dates mostly from 2004.)


Seville Orange Marmalade (circa 2004)

  • 6 Seville oranges (I process 36–48 oranges in 4-6 batches every year.)
  • Water to suit …
  • 7 1/2 cups sugar approx
  • 25 ml blackstrap (cooking) molasses (optional, and I’ve only done this once)
  • 50 ml orange liqueur or whiskey (optional — whiskey is very nice … even in marmalade — and again, I’ve only done this once)

The Process:

1. Cut washed & rinsed oranges into sixths or eighths, cutting over the pot so as not to lose any precious liquid.
2. Cover with water & bring almost to a boil and simmer for several hours or until very soft. The peel should rub to almost nothing between your fingers.
3. Lift out oranges from cooking water with a slotted spoon, and scrape out the inside pulp and pips using a spoon
4. Strain the pulp & pips through a jelly bag, saving the liquid & discarding the pulp.
5. Meanwhile, thickly slice soft orange peels and return peels into their cooking water.
6. If left to sit overnight (or longer), more pectin & flavour seems to be released.
7. Add sugar, grated peel, the drained liquid of the pulp, (and the molasses if desired). I start with 9 cups fruit to 11.5 cups sugar in a thick-bottomed stock pot. (I use the approximate ratio of 1 orange to 1.5 cups peel & liquid, which is more dilute than many of the standard recipes by as much as an additional one-half — and I don’t notice any diminution of the intensity of the bitter flavour I strive for. My rationale is that the new fresher Sevilles now available are much superior fruit in every way.)
8. Slowly bring to a boil under constant stirring, until sugar dissolves. Simmer 20 to 60 minutes observing the temperature constantly. As the temperature climbs over 103°C, I proceed to the next step.
9. I then add a cup of sugar at a time, bringing it back to a full boil for a few minutes, and checking the temperature constantly. I bring the temperature up to a finishing temperature of 105° this way, and then finish the marmalade normally, using all three tests.
10. Cool for at least 20 minutes, add liqueur / whiskey if desired.
11. Pour into sterilized jars and seal immediately.

Miscellaneous Marmalade Notes:

  • This recipe has been progressively modified from my modification of a recipe (posted January 25, 1996 to newsgroup rec.food.recipes) which in turn comes from the Homemaker magazine (a Canadian magazine).
  • Seville oranges are available here in the Toronto area of Canada in early- to mid-January for about three weeks. Until several years ago, they were imported from Seville, Spain, and were typically tough withered specimens. Recently, they are imported from Arizona, and are usually much fresher — moister skins and juicy (sour!!!) pulp.
  • In January 2001, I paid $3.28 (Canadian) for a kilogram of oranges. I bought 48 oranges for a total of about $18.00. Add to that 16 kilograms sugar (approx. $12.00) and jars, the total project cost about $45 — and a few hours of work for Anne and me and our supporting cast of choppers and washers and tasters. In 2003, Sevilles were $3.79/kg — and better than ever. In 2004, I paid $2.84 and $3.29/kg in two different stores. The oranges aren’t always as large nor as juicy.
  • In 2015, I bought a case of Sevilles directly from a fruit and veg distributor near the Toronto Airport.  I paid less than $65 for 109 small but wonderful Sevilles.
  • In 2016, I bought a case of Sevilles in Ottawa from a fruit and veggie store. I paid $75 for 48 Sevilles — the biggest and wartiest oranges I’ve ever seen!  Same size case, just much bigger oranges! Again, wonderful fruit!
  • You should be able to rub the peel to nothing between your fingers when the oranges are properly done. If the peel isn’t cooked thoroughly enough, or if the sugar is added too soon, the peel will be very tough in the finished product. Simmering the cut-in-half oranges for several hours works very well for eliminating the one step of separately simmering the pulp and pips.
  • Various tests of the finishing point:
    • 3-5 Celsius degrees above boiling. (I personally find this to be too low — I cook it to 5 Celsius degrees above.)
    • the marmalade wrinkles when you push it with your finger after
    the marmalade has sat for a few minutes on a cold plate in the
    freezer. I’ve never been able to get what I think is a clear indication of this …
    • the preserve ‘sheets’ off a wide metal spoon. Again, sometimes this is clear, and sometimes not …
  • I have used a Foley food mill to press the juice from the pulp — it does a fine job, though it may make the marmalade a bit cloudier — which isn’t as much a problem in the molasses-darkened product as in the traditional clear type. It is simpler to use a jelly bag to accomplish the same task. In recent years, I’ve just filtered the juice from the pulp by letting it passively drain through a Foley food mill. The result has been a clearer product. It seems to be mostly starchy material in the pulp, not pectins.
  • My daughter, Anne, modifies the recipe by straining the pulp through a sieve and then through fine cloth. The result is stunningly clear — somewhat like the famous ‘silver shred’ — an old trade name. Another maker hand-washes the peel, gently rubbing it to clarify the resultant jelly.
  • Another modification that I used to use was to first quarter the oranges, separating the pulp and trimming most of the inner white rind. I simmered the pulp and white rind separately from the peel for several hours. After simmering the pulp and white rind, I used the Foley food mill as above. I sliced the fresh peel, and then simmered it for about two hours, until the peel rubbed smoothly between my fingers. So the recipe became the combination of simmered outer peel plus the juice from the pulp and white rind plus sugar. Separating the pulp and chopping the peel when the orange is uncooked is slow and tedious. I prefer to do the long simmer method — it’s quite fast!
  • My current method, more or less followed since 2004: The modifications that have worked for me include making the combined cooked peel and pulp up to 6 cups of pulp, peel, and water for every 6 Seville oranges. Then, add 7.5 cups sugar to these 6 cups cooked fruit mixture. Bring this to a good boil, and observe the temperature carefully. (I find it helps to have a large batch, so that the thermometer is well-immersed in the boiling mixture. I start with 9 cups fruit to 11.5 cups sugar in a thick-bottomed stock pot.) I then add a cup of sugar at a time, bringing it back to a full boil for a few minutes, and checking the temperature constantly. I bring the temperature up to a bit below finishing temperature this way, and then finish the marmalade normally, using all three tests. This method is faster, results in more product, and yet, because of the long cooking of the peel and pulp, still produces the very strong bitter flavourful marmalade that I love.
  • If you add in the molasses, your marmalade will be dark in colour and strong in taste. It comes quite close to a style of marmalade sold in England called Oxford Thick Cut, which is common in the central part of England.
  • The original poster ‘cheats’ on the sugar – she uses only 2 kg, and adds some pectin. She reports that it still tastes delicious — but others don’t …. I sometimes add the about one-third the recommended amount of pectin near the end.
  • Leaving the cooked pulp and the cooked peel soak overnight (or longer) seems to bring out both flavour and pectin.
  • Really let the marmalade cool before you put it into jars — twenty minutes of occasional gentle stirring is not too long!
  • If you have any thoughts or methods that get you a guaranteed jell without the peel floating or sinking, then let me know, please, and if you have any other recipes that work, then I’d be glad to link to your marmalade page(s) or to publish your recipes here. (I cheat, and turn the jars onto their lids as the marmalade cools … flipping it back and forth as the jelly sets — and I finally get reasonable success!)


Japanese Amanatsu Marmalade

(as made by the grandmother of Izumi Kamitani, from the Osaka area of Japan. Her grandmother was born in Hiroshima, and now lives in Yamaguchi.)

amanatsu recipe

“My grandmother makes marmalade around April, which is the season for Amanatsu oranges in Japan. In Japan, we use slightly sour oranges like Amanatsu or Hassaku.

4 oranges (about 1 kg in total).
sugar (800 g; about 80% of oranges).
A little bit of salt.
If you think that this is not sweet enough, you can add honey (200 g).
If you use sweet oranges, you don’t need so much sugar.
If you use frozen oranges, it’s better to use more sugar. Wash oranges with hot water, because peels are covered with wax.
Score the oranges into 4 sections and peel.
Cut away the white inner rind from the orange peel because it’s bitter.
Slice the peel and put them into water and wash them two or three times, rubbing them thoroughly. Then squeeze them well.
Remove the membranes from the sections and discard the membranes.
Use an enamel pot. Put peels and pulp into pot and pour water over them until you cover them, and leave for two to three hours. (When you leave them in water, peels release pectin so they thicken when boiled.)
After 2 to 3 hours, start to boil over low heat until peel becomes soft. After that, put in sugar and salt and continue to boil for 3 to 4 hours.
After boiling, put into clear bottles. Cool down and freeze. Then eat little by little!”


Calamondin Orange Marmalade

I get occasional responses from around the world from readers such as yourself, many with comments that add to my understanding of what I’m doing. (Thanks!)

Early in 2004 or so, I got an e-mail from O.G.Touchstone, <ogt111 at mindspring.com>: “marmalade recipe is great. thank you for sharing- if you send current address i will try to send sample. i used calamondins oranges from greenhouse this past weekend & modified accordingly. got”

True to the promise, in a few weeks I got a heavily-wrapped jar of lovely fresh and fruity calamondin orange marmalade! (And a jar of my finest is on it’s way back to Alabama!)

Calamondin oranges are the tiny cherry-tomato sized oranges that grow on small decorative shrubs — I’ve only seen them grow in greenhouses up here in the frozen north!

  • Slice over bowl to save all juice & remove seeds (save seeds & scraps)
  • 9 cups sliced oranges
  • Cover with water + 1 cup = 11 cups total
  • Heat in pot uncovered until froth rises to surface (do not boil)
  • Prepare seeds & scraps separately with more water
  • Put entire mixture (seed mix separately) in ceramic bowls & allow to soak overnight
  • Strain to separate liquid from pulp & peels
  • Strain seed / scrap mix same
  • Hand rinse pulp & peel in cold water to clean pulp from peels
  • Add peels to liquid & slowly bring to boil adding sugar to taste (approximately enough sugar to equal liquid — less if sorghum is used)
  • Alternate: add cup of sorghum per cup of mix for dark colour& flavour
  • Boil vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes until thick (to test place 1 T on saucer in freezer for 3 minutes, marmalade should wrinkle when touched if ready)
  • Let stand for 20 minutes before putting in jars
  • Alternate: add 1 T Grand Marnier per cup just before putting in jars & stir in

TOTAL FINISHED PRODUCT: 12 half pint jars


Grapefruit Marmalade

Our daughter and marmalade partner, Anne, made marmalade from pink grapefruit, following my old standard recipe. The result was distinctly grapefruity — “breakfasty” is Anne’s comment — but otherwise very much like the Seville marmalade.

grapefruit marmalade


Indian Marmalade

Our other daughter, Gillian, brought me back a jar of marmalade from India, where there are many varieties of citrus fruits. This jar is made by the Gaddi Women’s Self-Help Society in Bhagsunag, Baal, and Naddi, which are mountain villages in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. Apparently, the marmalade is made from Kinu oranges.

The marmalade was sweet, not bitter, and quite fruity. The taste was reminiscent of the Calamondin marmalade described above. … The jar was soon empty! …

Old stuff …