Homemade Marmalade

Let’s face it making it never crossed my mind to make homemade marmalade before lockdown. Maybe it had, but it was never a real thing. But as it started to rain for yet another day, I decided to give it a go. Apparently this is the perfect time to make marmalade, as it is peak time for Seville oranges. Homemade marmalade would be a thing this year. I waited for a particularly grim Sunday to get started with my Riverford marmalade kit.

Unsurprisingly it takes a long time, but you do have a lot to show for your effort – 8 jars full (nearly 9). It should keep us going for a (long) while. Was it worth it? Yes, I really enjoyed the process. Homemade marmalade uses everything at some stage of the making process. You need a minimum of ingredients, oranges, lemons and sugar. And you can add your own twist – in my case it was adding Three Spirits to the recipe to add depth to the flavour.

The basic recipe I used came with my Riverford kit for homemade marmalade and is available here – and is probably totally fine on its own. In the recipe I am sharing, I added the Three Spirits quantities (quite a bit in the end). I made this change, just to make the most of that one time of me making marmalade. The colour of my marmalade is just darker and deeper than the original recipe will yield.

Who has tried to make marmalade (or jam, on my list still). You can also check out my other recipes here.


  • 1.5 kg Seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2.5 kg cold water
  • 2 kg granulated sugar
  • 400 ml Three Spirits (mix of nightcap and social elixir)


  • With a sharp knife, peel the skin from the oranges and lemons, leaving as much white pith on the fruit as possible. Chop the peel into 3mm strips and put in a large pan (it takes forever, it is worth the hassle).
  • Line a large bowl with a piece of muslin, leaving plenty to overhang the sides of the bowl. Cut the oranges and lemons in half. With your hands, squeeze the juice from the fruit over the bowl, dropping the leftover squeezed fruit (pith, pips and flesh) into the muslin.
  • Lift the muslin out of the bowl, gather the sides and squeeze any remaining juice into the bowl. Tie the muslin together with string to keep the fruit in and form a bag
  • Place the muslin bag in the saucepan with the peel. Add the squeezed fruit juice, 2.5 litres cold water to the pan and 200 ml of your Three Spirits mix.
  • Heat until boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the peel is tender. Put a few saucers in the fridge to chill.
  • Remove the muslin bag and squeeze all the sticky juice from the bag into the pan. (An easy way to do this is to put the bag in a colander and use a spoon to press it out).
  • Measure the contents of the pan in a jug (include the shreds and liquid). Return to the pan and add 450g sugar for every 500ml liquid. I got about 2.5l of liquid in the end. I then added the rest of 200 ml of the Three Spirits mix.
  • Gently heat for 15 minutes, until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.
  • Test that the marmalade has reached setting point by putting a teaspoon of the liquid on a cold saucer and gently pushing with the back of the spoon. If the liquid starts to wrinkle, setting point has been reached. If no wrinkling happens, keep boiling and re-test every 10 minutes. Turn off the heat as soon as you reach setting point. I had to wait a bit to make sure it would set.
  • Leave the mixture to stand for 15 minutes. Stir gently, then carefully spoon into warmed sterilised jars (use a jam funnnel if you have one). Boil the jars and lids for a few minutes and leave to dry before using.


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