Marmalade recipe, using whole oranges

I’ll put the link to the recipe using a pressure cooker at the end.
Prep: 40 min, Cook: 90 min


10 Seville oranges (weighs about 3 lbs, 1.5 kg)
 2 lemons 
1.5 litres water 
2 kg sugar


Put some saucers in the freezer.  Simmer the whole oranges and lemons, covered, in the given water until the skin is very soft; this takes about 40 minutes depending on the fruit.  Use a smaller upturned saucepan lid that fits comfortably inside the pan or a plate weighed down with a tin, to keep the fruit immersed. Piercing the oranges after about 20 minutes encourages sinking, and rotate the fruit if not fully immersed.  A large saucepan makes this easier than using a preserving pan at this stage.

Lift the soft fruit into a colander over a bowl and leave to cool. You can speed this up by cutting each fruit in half and putting them onto a plate. Quarter the soft, cooled fruit. Use your fingers or a teaspoon to pinch out the seeds and hard membrane into a bowl. Slice or chop the peel in your preferred thickness. Do not worry about the thick pith as this will melt to thicken the marmalade.

At this point there is a choice.  If you are quite sure the peel is cooked through, add the sugar to the liquid in the pan and stir, heating gently, until it’s completely dissolved.  If it boils before it dissolves, it will become granular. 

Or, if any of the peel shows a white layer, cook very gently for a few more minutes in the liquid until it’s cooked through.  Once the sugar is added, the peel won’t soften any more.

Put the seeds into a sieve and push with a potato masher, The purée will come through, leaving the seeds behind.  Put the purée in the pan (any odd seeds will float to the top later and can be skimmed off). If you haven’t a masher, just chuck in any purée you can isolate from the pips and abandon the rest.

Bring the marmalade to simmer over your largest burner stirring thoroughly and constantly with a long wooden spoon to avoid sticking points. Once the marmalade begins to simmer, increase the heat and boil hard, stirring occasionally, until setting point is reached. This varies depending on the fruit and previous evaporation and takes about 5 – 15 minutes. purée

Once it begins to look syrupy, test by placing a teaspoonful on an icy saucer. Cool, then push with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s done. Leave the marmalade to settle for 5 minutes. Stir again and pour or ladle into hot, sterilised jam jars. Leave for 5 minutes, then cover and cool. Wipe any spillages off the jars while they’re still warm and it’ll come off easily.  Label and leave for 24 hours to set before storing. Ready to eat immediately.

I have a preserving pan so would use that for boiling the marmalade.  If using a saucepan, it must be large enough – the boiling mixture will more than double in volume.  If it’s too much, halve the quantity (you could do the initial cooking, then halve for the final boil).

Link to Cottage Smallholder’s recipe for marmalade using a pressure cooker

11 comments on “Marmalade recipe, using whole oranges

  1. PixieMum


    What a complicated kerfuffle!

    Using the same ingredients I sit quietly and peacefully at kitchen table, sharp knife in hand, preserving pan in front, saucer to side with muslin bag open for pips.
    Cut fruit into quarters first, squeeze juice in pan, scoop out seeds and slice peel to desired thickness and slide into pan.

    Meditating or listening to radio 4 optional at this time, unless time is 7.02pm or 2.02pm when it is compulsory.

    Add water, 2 pints for every pound of fruit. Pan with fruit and pips can be left overnight if convenient so initially cooking can be slightly shorter.

    Heat fruit gently, go away and do fun stuff like blogging or knitting for about an hour. Put plate in fridge (if I remember) and washed jars in coolest oven.

    Weigh out sugar, about 2 pounds for every pound of fruit. When peel cuts easily with wooden spoon, remove pips, add sugar carefully, stir to ensure it has dissolved and bring mix to boil.

    Meanwhile great fun had by squeezing bag of pips with 2 spoons to get all the gel out. Can squeeze with hands over pan, but need a blunt knife to get it off your hands.

    Once boiling turn up heat for a good rolling boil, keep an eye on it, stir occasionally and when it turns from bright orange to a more mature deeper shade it’s ready to test.

    Test and if shows sign of setting, eat the sample, turn off the heat, read the paper for 15 minutes before putting marmalade into warm jars.

    We do this using a soup ladle and funnel, last scrapings use a plastic scraper.

    Give marmalade away so you run out before year’s end or enjoy it yourself on home made bread.

    I’m sure whatever method it all tastes jolly good

    Best wishes, Madeleine

  2. Vagabonde

    I don’t think we get Seville oranges in Georgia, we get mostly Florida oranges. Right now I am visiting in California and they have great oranges too, the navel kind – the skin is quite thick. They sell orange marmalade pretty cheaply here but for my taste it is too sweet. When I am back in Georgia I’ll try to make some marmalade though.

  3. Z

    If I made it sound complicated, it was my bad writing. It’s just the same as cutting up the raw fruit, except easier. I’d done it your way for 30 years, now I’ve tried the other I’ll not ever do that again! The advantages are that there is no need to squeeze the juice, the cooked peel is far easier to cut up and the cooking time is a lot shorter and therefore the marmalade tastes really fresh.

    I thought this way would be messier so never tried it. But last year I made marmalade only two or three weeks after getting my new hip. The chairs in the kitchen were too low and the stool too high, so I had to work standing up, which wasn’t good to do for long. And I wanted to make it all in one afternoon, so I had one batch cooking in a saucepan while the marmalade was boiling in the preserving pan.

    Vagabonde, I’d try it with a pound of fruit to a pound of sugar, perhaps. This is the method for sour oranges. I’d certainly add lemons, maybe a grapefruit. I’ll see if I can find a recipe.

  4. Blue Witch

    Using a pressure cooker cuts the cook time in half and the prep time in quarter. I’ve been doing that for about 10 years now, and I just cannot bear the the thought of chopping hard peel (the old way).

  5. Z

    I agree with you, BW. Making several batches of marmalade used to be a big job and now it’s quick and a lot more fun. If I don’t get around to making all I want, I’ll put a few bags of oranges in the freezer and make it later in the year.

    I’ve lost the weights to my pressure cooker. I should buy new ones, because that would be even better.

  6. Christopher

    Yes, I can definitely sense those marvellous marmalady scents wafting down here on the northerly airflow.

    Could you perhaps fry some real bacon next? Or bake some bread? Or even fried onions would do, at a pinch.

    It’s called noshtalgia.

  7. Z

    Kippers on Monday, then. Half past seven. Evening, not morning, that is – when I was a child, kippers were breakfast food, but I think I’ll stay with my poached egg for now.

  8. Z

    I had a pint of Adnam’s Broadside with my roast pork (with crackling) for lunch. I hope you received some through the ether?

    How do you like treacle tart?


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