Tangy marmalade

It’s January, which means Seville oranges are available and it’s time to make a year’s supply of marmalade. This recipe uses a lot less sugar than traditional recipes and has a delicious bitter tang to it.


  • 2kg Seville oranges
  • 3kg sugar
  • 4l water
  • 2 lemons
  • coarsely ground coriander seed


Squeeze the oranges and lemons and put the juice in a large, heavy bottomed preserving pan. As you go, collect any pulp caught by the juicer in a bowl or separate pan.

MarmaladeScoop out the worst of the pith from the orange and lemon skins. Add the coriander seed and tie it and the pulp collected earlier in a loose piece of muslin. Make sure there is plenty room—if in doubt use two or more pieces of muslin.

Discard the lemon skins.

Chop the orange peel as preferred and add to the preserving pan. Pour in all but 1l of water and place the muslin bundles in the pan. Place on the heat, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 2 hours, until the peel is soft.

Remove the muslin bag and allow it to drain back into the pan. Rinse it through with the remaining litre of water.

Slowly stir in the sugar. When it is all dissolved turn up the heat to full and bring to a rolling boil. Using a sugar thermometer, boil until the temperature reaches 104°C (220°F). The reduced sugar and water in this recipe means this often does not take very long, so don’t take your eye off!

When the temperature reaches 104°C, take off the heat and drip a few drops onto a chilled saucer. If a skin forms it’s ready. Otherwise, return to the heat again.

When it’s all done, allow to cool somewhat and bottle it all up in clean, warmed jars. If you put the marmalade in the jars when it’s too hot all the fruit will rise to the top of the jar.

Now wait for breakfast.

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