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This Orange Marmalade recipe is made with ordinary oranges and lemons, and it’s as unfussy as it is delicious. It follows the “old fashioned” technique of sitting in a pot overnight, and every spoonful will make your morning toast sparkle.

This recipe makes about 3 quarts total, or 12 (8 ounce jars). It freezes beautifully or you can process it in a water bath for canning.

3 jars of homemade orange marmalade.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Orange Marmalade Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for orange marmalade.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Oranges: This recipe is made with regular seedless oranges. You can definitely substitute Seville oranges if you can find them. They are only in season from the end of January to mid-February, but they have an intense flavor that is ideal for marmalade.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Cut oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. Discard any seeds. In a large stainless steel pot, add the sliced oranges, lemons, and any accumulated juices.
Oranges and lemons sliced into half moons for orange marmalade.
  1. Add water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
A pot full or orange and lemon slices for orange marmalade.
  1. The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Turn heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees (you must hit this temperature for the natural pectin to gel with the sugar).
Scraping the foam off a pot of orange marmalade that is cooking.
  1. To test if the marmalade is ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it’s cool but not cold. If it’s firm (neither runny nor hard), it’s ready. It will be a golden orange color. If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it; if it’s hard, add a bit more water.
The orange marmalade "cold plate test" to see if it's finished.
  1. Pour the marmalade into clean hot mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Chill in the refrigerator. It may take 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up properly.
A pot full of finished orange marmalade.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 3 quarts (96 ounces) of marmalade.
    • If using 1/2-pint (8 ounce) jars, you’ll need 12.
    • If using 1 pint (16 ounce) jars, you’ll need 6.
    • If using the tiny jelly jars (4 ounce), you’ll need 24.
  • Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • Freezer: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Cold-plate test: To test if your marmalade is ready, spoon some hot marmalade on to a plate and put it in the freezer to chill, or spoon some over an icy cold plate fresh from the freezer. If the mixture wrinkles slightly when you draw a spoon or finger across it, it has reached the setting point. Your marmalade is ready to go! If not, keep boiling and make sure the temperature reaches 220 degrees.
  • Set-up time: Orange marmalade takes 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up completely. If your marmalade is still a little runny looking when it cools, check again in a day or two.
  • Pectin: While many jam and jelly recipes require added pectin, you don’t need to add any to this marmalade. Pectin is naturally concentrated in the pith of the orange (the bitter white part under the peel). This recipe coaxes out that natural pectin by letting the citrus soak overnight and then boiling it rapidly until enough water has evaporated that the mixture can reach 220 degrees.
  • Agave nectar: Agave cannot penetrate and sweeten the peel as well as sugar can. When I tested it, the consistency was fine, but the rind tasted like raw rind. I don’t recommend this substitution.
  • Low sugar: I haven’t tested low-sugar/alternative sweeteners in this recipe other than agave as listed above. I recommend seeking out recipes from experts in that area.
  • Canning: If putting up for storage, use a hot water or steam canner to properly seal lids according to canning instructions. Otherwise, refrigerate and use within the month. Or, freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Slow cooker marmalade: While it is technically possible to make marmalade in your slow cooker, it really depends on the power of your appliance. I no longer recommend that method because it isn’t reliable enough.
  • Instant pot marmalade: Even with an overnight soak, the IP doesn’t break down the rind sufficiently. I don’t recommend this method.
Orange marmalade on toast.

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3 jars of homemade orange marmalade.

Orange Marmalade

This Orange Marmalade recipe is made with ordinary oranges and lemons, and it’s as unfussy as it is delicious. It follows the "old fashioned" technique of sitting in a pot overnight, and every spoonful will make your morning toast sparkle.
4.97 from 529 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Overnight soak 8 hrs
Total Time 11 hrs 10 mins
Servings 96 servings (2 tbsp each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine British
Calories 68

Ingredients 

  • 4 large seedless oranges scrubbed clean (about 3 pounds or 8 cups slices, see note 1)
  • 2 lemons (about ½ pound or 1 cup slices)
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 cups granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Cut oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. Discard any seeds. In a large stainless steel pot, add the sliced oranges, lemons, and any accumulated juices.
  • Add water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
  • The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Turn heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes.
  • Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees (you must hit this temperature for the natural pectin to gel with the sugar).
  • To test if the marmalade is ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it's cool but not cold. If it's firm (neither runny nor hard), it's ready. It will be a golden orange color. If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it; if it's hard, add a bit more water.
  • Pour the marmalade into clean hot mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Chill in the refrigerator. It may take 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up properly.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Oranges: This recipe is made with regular seedless oranges. You can definitely substitute Seville oranges if you can find them. They are only in season from the end of January to mid-February, but they have an intense flavor that is ideal for marmalade.
  2. Yield: This recipe makes about 3 quarts (96 ounces) of marmalade.
    • If using 1/2-pint (8 ounce) jars, you’ll need 12.
    • If using 1 pint (16 ounce) jars, you’ll need 6.
    • If using the tiny jelly jars (4 ounce), you’ll need 24.
  3. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  4. Freezer: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Cold-plate test: To test if your marmalade is ready, spoon some hot marmalade on to a plate and put it in the freezer to chill, or spoon some over an icy cold plate fresh from the freezer. If the mixture wrinkles slightly when you draw a spoon or finger across it, it has reached the setting point. Your marmalade is ready to go! If not, keep boiling and make sure the temperature reaches 220 degrees.
  6. Set-up time: Orange marmalade takes 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up completely. If your marmalade is still a little runny looking when it cools, check again in a day or two.
  7. Pectin: While many jam and jelly recipes require added pectin, you don’t need to add any to this marmalade. Pectin is naturally concentrated in the pith of the orange (the bitter white part under the peel). This recipe coaxes out that natural pectin by letting the citrus soak overnight and then boiling it rapidly until enough water has evaporated that the mixture can reach 220 degrees.
  8. Agave nectar: Agave cannot penetrate and sweeten the peel as well as sugar can. When I tested it, the consistency was fine, but the rind tasted like raw rind. I don’t recommend this substitution.
  9. Low sugar: I haven’t tested low-sugar/alternative sweeteners in this recipe other than agave as listed above. I recommend seeking out recipes from experts in that area.
  10. Canning: If putting up for storage, use a hot water or steam canner to properly seal lids according to canning instructions. Otherwise, refrigerate and use within the month. Or, freeze for up to 3 months.
  11. Slow cooker marmalade: While it is technically possible to make marmalade in your slow cooker, it really depends on the power of your appliance. I no longer recommend that method because it isn’t reliable enough.
  12. Instant pot marmalade: Even with an overnight soak, the IP doesn’t break down the rind sufficiently. I don’t recommend this method.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 68kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 13mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. This is the easiest recipe to follow and the colour and flavour is fantastic, fruit distribution through out the jar is perfect. Highly recommend and it is the only recipe I use now..5 stars

  2. Viola! How deliciously quick, easy and satisfying with a taste like one of the other commenters from my grandmothers kitchen. I also halved the recipe used mandarins and loved the flavor and softness of the rind but pulled it out and gave it a good dice for better consistency. Thanks for a perfect recipe5 stars

  3. This is the first time I’ve made Orange Marmalade. A request from my grandson. I’m curious if the peels cook down enough that they won’t need to be chopped/puréed/etc so there aren’t large pieces of rind.

    1. Hi Marilyn, how nice! The rinds will break down and soften some, but the outcome really depends on how thinly the oranges are sliced. I hope you and your grandson enjoy it! Take care! – Meggan

  4. I found this recipe to be surprisingly forgiving. Due to my being generally chaotic in the kitchen, I accidentally halved the amount of sugar and didn’t follow the boiling instructions exactly. To my great surprise, my marmalade passed the fridge test and tastes amazing! Even if you’re not that confident in the kitchen, I would recommend giving this recipe a try.5 stars

    1. Hi Brooke! I’m so glad it worked out! Thank you for taking the time to write me! – Meggan

  5. I made this marmalade yesterday, used half quantity and boiled it for one hour as peels were nice and soft. I added the lemon peels too and there did seem to be a lot of peel and was a little unsure if I’d like it, but unlike supermarket brands the peel is very soft and you only know you’re eating it because you get lovely intense flavour, it was delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again. Thank you so much for sharing.5 stars

  6. I studied abroad in southern France for a year back in 2000. My host mother would make orange marmalade and the rush flavor has haunted me for 22 years.

    This is the first time I’ve been able to either make or buy orange marmalade that has the exact same taste as her classic French recipe. I will be making this for the rest of my life!

    It was easy, CHEAP, and it’s absolutely scrumptious! I didn’t adjust the recipe at all. Everything came out flawless.5 stars

    1. Hi Ken, I’ve never done this but other readers have and said it came out delicious! Hope this helps. – Meggan

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