Orange and grapefruit marmalade

Every so often I get obsessed by something and decide to immerse myself in whatever it is. At the moment, it’s jam – which is why readers of this blog can be forgiven for wondering why gardening hasn’t been mentioned at all for the last five posts or so.

Anyway, seeing as my jams are quite successful and enjoyed enormously by both myself and Mr Beans, I decided to spend yesterday afternoon making marmalade. Turned out great! Although it took a total of nearly five hours – if you’re cash-rich and time-poor, then making marmalade probably isn’t for you lol.

As usual, I read several recipes and then halved the amount of sugar. So here goes:


3 lb oranges/grapefruit (one grapefruit, rest of weight made up by the oranges)
Juice of two lemons
3 lb white sugar
4 – 4.5 pints water


Wash the fruit. Cut lemons in half, squeeze the juice out into the pan and discard the peel, but save the membrane/pips. Cut the oranges and grapefruit. Squeeze the juice out, add to pan and again, save the membrane/pips. Chop the orange and grapefruit peel into strips, and add to the pan.

Tie the membrane/pips from the oranges, grapefruit and lemons into a muslin bag. Add to the pan. This part of the fruit contains a lot of pectin, which will help the marmalade to set.

Add the water to the pan as well. Your pan should contain:

Juice from the lemons, oranges and grapefruit
Chopped peel from the oranges and grapefruit
The muslin bag of membrane/pips
The water.

Simmer this little lot for two hours. It will reduce down, and the peel will go soft. About 20 minutes before the end, remove the muslin bag.

When the two hours is up, take the pan off the heat, and add the sugar. Stir to dissolve. Squeeze the contents of the muslin bag into the pan (this should have cooled down enough to touch. Actually, I ended up opening the bag and straining the contents through a sieve).

Return the pan to the heat, boiling vigorously with stirring, until the marmalade sets. This takes a looooong time, so don’t expect it to happen straight away. While the marmalade is boiling, skim any scum off the top.

Decant into sterlised jars, and pop on a bit of waxed or greaseproof paper before closing with a lid. This batch filled four jars, but two of the jars were bigger than normal.

The resulting marmalade had a lovely rich “thick cut” flavour – exactly what I was aiming for.

Here is a pic of marmalade plus plum & blackberry jam: