Seville Orange Marmalade

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I have made all sorts of jams and jellies in the past but never marmalade. I had it in my head that six oranges should turn out to be about 3 small jars of marmalade. I figured it wouldn’t be enough to can. Instead I would simply pour it into a jar, stick it in the fridge, and call it a day.


It turns out that six Seville oranges makes exactly 50 thousand gallons of marmalade. Canning would be required. In the end, I processed enough jars to fill up two batches in my canning pot. I could have done at least one additional load if not more but was so fed up I just poured the remainder into a big jar and considered it done.

Oh and it turns out, I don’t like marmalade. Thankfully Davin does. I’ve already gifted some jars to friends.

If you’d like to try your hand at making marmalade I recommend this recipe. I decided to follow a recipe rather than going it alone since I was unfamiliar with the bitter flavor of Seville oranges. I chose this one because it had the least amount of sugar. I followed the instructions fairly closely but experience with citrus peels has taught me that the pith scrapes off easiest when you blanch the peels very quickly first. I blanched mine for less than 30 seconds and then used a spoon to scoop the white pith out.

Another change I made was to package up both the innards and the seeds in cheese cloth to make the pectin. Mine didn’t turn out very gel-like and I had to cook the mix longer than I would have liked (it ended up with a slight caramelized flavor) and add commercial pectin to make it set. I don’t think it was adding the extra innards that caused this setback but rather the fact that I packaged it up in butter cloth, which is more dense than your typical loose weave cheese cloth. I think that the pectin couldn’t get through the denser cloth as easily, resulting in a mix that was too liquid and not enough gel. Or maybe it was the recipe. I’d have to try again to know for certain.

If you try this, let me know how it turns out.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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9 thoughts on “Seville Orange Marmalade

  1. It looks DELICIOUS, but I don’t like marmalade either! I kind of wish I did just because it always looks so bright and cheery.

  2. We love marmalade. Last week I made a batch using lemons from the tree outside our place in Florida, grapefruit from a neigbour’s yard, and a couple of purchased ‘honeybelles’ for extra sweetness. Yum.
    If you invert the jars for a few minutes right after canning, the fruit will be better distributed throughout the marmalade.
    Your photo is lovely.

  3. Looove marmalade. I think its more a southern tradition than a northern. I was raised on it. That marmalade looks beautiful

  4. Beautiful colour! I just made a batch of blood orange marmalade, which has a lovely ruby glow. Thought I’d lost the whole batch because it wasn’t setting up… then it cooled to a lovely jelly. Only 6 or 8 small oranges (and a couple of meyer lemons) for mine, but I still got about 8 goodly jars. Tangy!

  5. Kelly: that’s how I feel about marmalade. Gorgeous in a jar but doesn’t taste so hot.

    Mary: That is an excellent tip!

  6. … sitting, relaxing with a spoonful of marmalade – half the jars gone – I JUST LOVE IT – that bitter-sweet tongue zing – not a lot beats it today – besides being at the allotment, watching everyones dogs rolling in huge gooey mud puddles at the park and potting up seeds at the greenhouse! Thanks Gayla!!

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