Making marmalade

Jars of marmalade beside a vase of Australian wattle.

A couple of weekends ago Adam and I were gifted a big bag of oranges.  They were freshly picked off a sturdy tree that lives in the backyard of our friends Sophie and Tim, and had a heady sweet, citrus scent.

As soon as we got the oranges home, Adam suggested we turn them into marmalade…

We looked up half a dozen recipes online and decided to take elements from a few and combine them.

It started with giving the 2.5 kilograms of fruit a good scrub underneath running water and slicing the oranges finely, keeping the skin on about half of them.  The sliced fruit was placed in our largest cast-iron pot and we poured in just enough water to cover.  To that we added 2 kilograms of jam sugar, gave it a really good stir and then popped it on the burner under a low heat.

Finely sliced oranges.

I learnt in the process of researching recipes that in order to start to set, jam must reach 105°c. So for the next few hours our pot of oranges simmered away, getting stirred every so often, the mixture slowly thickening up. Just before we got to temperature, Adam noticed the jam was starting to stick to the bottom of the pot – we managed to save it before too much got burnt, but there are few ‘chargrilled’ rinds throughout our batch! We poured the jam into 12, 8oz jars which we’d pre-washed and sterilised by baking them in a fan forced oven for around 20 minutes at 120°.

Marmalade bubbling on a gas hob.

Our marmalade is dark orange, almost rust-like in colour.  It’s full of chunks of fruit and when we cracked open our first jar about 24 hours after making the jam, were delighted to find it’d set nicely.

Sourdough toast with home made marmalade.

I’m loving having a generous slather of our home-made marmalade of thick slices of sourdough toast with butter as a breakfast treat.  It’s nice we’ve got a ready supply of it now and I’m keen to find a few recipes I might be able to incorporate our marmalade into – I’m thinking maybe a steamed pudding, or perhaps a simple sponge with a thick layer of marmalade spread between the layers.

Have you ever made jam before?  How did it go?

Have a wonderful weekend. x

7 thoughts on “Making marmalade

  1. Beautiful photos Melinda with great attention to composition.

    Now that I am retired I am indulging my passion for cooking, I am making seasonal jams and preserves along with homemade pasta, smoked bacon, sourdough bread and butter. We also barter with our friends and neighbours exchanging fruit, veggies and eggs for home-smoked bacon or freshly baked bread.


    1. Thanks for your kind words Larry! You’re living our dream at the moment with all those wonderful homemade goodies. Adam got stuck into sourdough last year and we barely bought a store loaf all year. We joke that we want to be like Tom and Barbara in the Good Life one day! Have a wonderful weekend :).


  2. I make jams and can vegetables from late Spring to late fall using whatever is in season in the garden. It’s a lot of work, but it’s nice to have a full pantry come Winter.


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