Seville orange marmalade

Diana Henry shares her secrets for a sweet-sour homemade marmalade, better than anything you can buy
By Diana Henry
Seville orange marmalade
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 1.5kg
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 24 hrs soaking
  • Effort: medium


  • 900 g seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2.85 litres water
  • 2 kg preserving sugar


1. Cut the oranges and lemons in half and roughly squeeze the juice into a large bowl. This is done so that you can get the pips out more easily, not so that you extract all the juice. Fish out all the pips and tie them in a piece of muslin or a clean j-cloth.

2. Slice the fruit skins into fine shreds and add them to the juice with the bag of pips and all the water. Leave to soak for 24 hours. This just helps to soften the skins.

3. Put everything which was soaking into a preserving pan and simmer gently until the orange rind is soft - it should take a couple of hours. The rind must be soft as it will never soften after the sugar has been added. Don't over cook it either, though, or you will ruin the flavour and colour.

4. Remove the bag of pips from the pot - you will have extracted the pectin from these so don't need them any more.

5. Warm the sugar in a low oven for 20 minutes or so then tip it into the pan. Stir well and bring everything to the boil slowly. Stir from time to time to help the sugar dissolve.

6. When the sugar has all dissolved boil rapidly until the mixture reaches setting point (106C). This could take as long as 20 minutes but it may take less. You have to be careful about watching for the setting point because if it goes beyond that your preserve will not set at all. Check after 5 minutes of boiling and then frequently after that (every 3 minutes or so).

7. Leave the mixture to cool until it starts to get firm then stir to redistribute the peel. Pour into warm sterilized jars and pot. Label and store in a cool, dark place.

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