Oranges and lemons

Do you have a lemon, lime (or other citrus) tree and don’t know what to do with the abundance of fruit? Have you thought of making your own marmalade jam? We enjoy a slice of fruit loaf with marmalade most mornings, but it was getting harder to find a jam that had the right amount of fruit or taste at the supermarket , so I thought I’d give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised, it wasn’t that hard to make and the taste was far superior. Besides that, you can make it how you like it (that’s lots of chunky rind for me). I like to use a mix of three or four fruits (pink grapefruit, blood orange, lemon & lime or cumquats) but you could make the jam with any combination at all. I have a lemon and lime tree that produce well and have planted  seven more citrus but it will be a few years before they are producing much fruit. The trees produced so many limes and lemons last summer that I gave lots away, made preserved limes, cordial and froze the juice in ice cube forms (still have a supply in the freezer) and jars and jars of jam. It’s so nice to give away and I always look forward to opening a jar of the next batch (they are always different).


4 fruit marmalade
Recipe type: Preserve
Cuisine: English
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
A chunky sour/sweet jam just perfect with a thick slice of toast.
  • 2 grapefruit
  • 2 oranges (blood or washington navel if possible)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • White sugar (approximately 8 cups)
  1. Wash the fruit well. Quarter the oranges, lemons & limes and cut into pieces (how you like them), reserving all pips. Peel the grapefruit with a vegetable peeler and cut the rind into strips. Remove the pith from the grapefruit and discard. Cut the grapefruit flesh into pieces and add to the rest of the fruit in a large non-metallic bowl. Tie the pips up in a piece of muslin & add to the fruit (this provides pectin). Add enough water to cover the fruit, cover the bowl and leave overnight.
  2. Next morning put 2 small plates in the freezer (for testing purposes).
  3. Put the fruit and water mixture into a large pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 30 min to 1 hour - the fruit should be tender (cook with pot covered).
  4. Carefully measure the fruit mixture and add equal amounts of sugar and place back on the stove (6 cups of fruit/juice = 6 cups of sugar). The jam cooks better if the pot is about ⅓ or less full, so I use two pots at this stage. Stir the jam over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and then simmer for about 50 - 60 minutes. Stir the jam often and remove any scum that develops.
  5. To test for setting point, remove the jam from the heat and place a little marmalade onto one of the cold plates and place in the freezer for about 30 seconds. When the setting point is reached a skin will form on the surface and the marmalade will wrinkle when pushed with your finger.
  6. If ready, discard the pip bag, remove any scum from the surface and spoon into clean, warm jars and seal. Turn the jars upside down for 2 minutes, then invert and leave to cool. Store in a cool, dark place for 6 - 12 months. Refrigerate after opening for up to 6 weeks.
  7. If the jam isn't ready, return to the heat for a few more minutes and then test again using the second plate.
Don't fret if the jam doesn't set straight away, sometimes it takes a few days. If still runny after a week, cook again, test for setting point and rebottle. Sometimes it sets perfectly and occasionally I have to redo it.


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