“Several years ago I taught the wonderful folks at Western Earth Carers how to make marmalade during a Plastic Free July community event. From lemons to oranges, grapefruit to mandarins (and many more), the fruit was sourced locally, chopped and slowly simmered to create various types of marmalade. Afterwards, I was left with a small box of assorted citrus to take home. I mixed all of the fruit together and made my favourite batch of marmalade! It was sweet, tangy (not bitter) and had a lovely jelly wobble that was not too thick or thin, and spread very well on toast and crumpets”
Assorted Citrus Fruit
2kg (whole/unpeeled weight, including at least 3 lemons)
i.e. lemons, limes, oranges, key limes, kumquat, Buddha’s hands, mandarins, tangelos, calamondins, blood oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pomelos.
5 cups (approximately)
Sugar, White
5 cups (approximately)
1. Remove discoloured/damaged parts of the fruit, including any stickers (if applicable).  Weigh the fruit to determine the batch yield.
2. Sterilise all equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
3. Wash and drain fruit.
4a. Cut fruit into quarters. Holding the quartered fruit over a bowl (to catch any juice and seeds) and remove the peels. Place half of the peels into a medium saucepan, reserving the remaining half of the peels for another use i.e. candied peels, citrus vinegar, citrus liqueurs, flavoured salts, etc.
4b. Cover the peels in the medium pan with water.
4c. Bring medium pan of peels to a boil and boil gently for 10 minutes. Discard cooking water and drain well, then cover peels with fresh water and boil for a further 5-10 minutes (up to 15 minutes for lime peels because they are the hardest). Peels are ready when they can be sliced easily and the white pith can be scooped out easily with a spoon. Drain peels well and set aside to cool.
4d. Scoop away the soft bitter white pith from the peels. Discard the pith, leaving long pieces of the outer peel.  Cut zest into very thin slices, as thinly as possible (or finely dice, if preferred). 
5a. Chop the fruit flesh into small pieces (you can use a food processor if you like), placing them into the bowl with the juice and seeds collected when you peeled the fruit. 
5b. Measure the mixture of fruit/juice/seeds into a large, wide stainless steel pot (not the pot with the peels). Add 1/4 cup water per 1 cup of fruit. i.e. 4 cups of fruit + 1 cup water.
5c. Simmer fruit/juice/seeds/water mixture (uncovered) over low-medium for around 15 minutes. 
5d. Puree using a food blender, processor or immersion (stick) blender. Strain the fruit puree, collecting the juice in the large pan. Use a fine sieve (or muslin cloth) to remove seeds and pulp. 
6. Prepare clean, empty jars by boiling in a pot of water for 10 minutes before filling.
7. Measure the fruit juice. Add 3/4 cup sugar for every 1 cup of fruit juice. i.e. 4 cups of fruit juice + 3 cups of sugar. Whisk well to combine, whisking occasionally over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.
8. Stir in the strips of pre-cooked citrus rind and increase the heat to bring the marmalade to a boil. Continue boiling over medium heat, uncovered, for 15-30 minutes, until the marmalade has set (reached gel stage):
8a) Freezer Plate Method - while you are boiling the marmalade, place three small saucers into the freezer. When ready to test for gel stage, remove the marmalade pot from heat. Remove one saucer from the freezer and place a teaspoon of marmalade onto the chilled surface. Within 30 seconds, gelled marmalade will thicken and develop a skin (and when you push a spoon through the marmalade, it will be thick and jelly-like, not runny when the saucer is angled). If the jam is still loose (runny), return the marmalade pot to the stovetop and continue boiling for around 5 minutes or until ready to test with the second saucer.
TIP: Forgotten to put the plates into the freezer? Use a glass filled with iced water to chill several teaspoons to check the consistency instead.
OR 8b) Temperature Method: if the fruit, sugar, acidity and pectin in the marmalade mixture is balanced (ingredient ratios change with different fruits being used), marmalade will set (gel) at approximately 105°C (220°F). A sterilised stainless steel thermometer can be used to measure the temperature accurately. This method is not accurate with low-sugar marmalade, because low-sugar marmalade often have to be boiled for a longer period.
OR 8c) Sheeting Method: Mix marmalade and then lift the spoon above the pot and angle so the marmalade drips back into the pot. If the marmalade covers the spoon’s surface thickly and is not runny but thick marmalade that drops slowly as it cools, the marmalade has set.
9. Soak lids in hot water (not on heat) for at least 5 minutes before use.
10. Skim and discard foam from the surface of the marmalade – this foam is delicious on bread or frozen for baking, store foam in the refrigerator or freezer (airtight container).
10. Pack hot jars with the hot marmalade to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim of each jar.
11. Using a non-metal utensil, remove any bubbles and add extra marmalade if required.
12. Wipe rims to remove any food residue.
13. Add warm lids and twist to secure.
14. Place sealed jars into a pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes to a full boil.
15. Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a wood or fabric surface. Do not adjust lids during this time.
16. The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating.
17. Store jars in a cool, dark and dry place for up to 12 months. Store mason jars without bands on the jars.
18. Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume marmalade within several months.   
Processing Time for PLASTIC FREE JULY MARMALADE in a Boiling Water Bath
Jar Size
Altitude ≤ 6,000 feet
Altitude ≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 500ml (pints)
10 minutes
15 minutes
  • Maximum 8 cups cooked fruit juice per batch (around 2.5kg of fruit) – you can make bigger batches by using two large pots and having maximum 5-6 cups of cooked citrus juice in each pot.
  • This method results in a delicious marmalade with no bitter aftertaste.
  • Softening the white pith (and removing the cooking water) removes the bitterness from the citrus peels (and prevents the zest from absorbing the bitterness).
  • Pre-boiling the peels not only loosens the pith so you can scoop it out easily with a spoon or knife and then finely cut much easier - it also starts the cooking process so you don't end up with tough little pieces of rind in the marmalade. Lime peels take the longest so check that they can be easily cut into but still hold their shape. They will darken in colour after boiling so they are usually mixed with lemon and/or orange peels.
  • Adding the rind after the sugar has completely dissolved stops sugar grains from sticking to the rind.
  • Want a stronger “tangy flavour”? Add extra lemon.
  • Love rind in your marmalade? Use all of the rind from the citrus.
  • Don't like rind on your toast? Leave it out of the recipe (or remove just before bottling to add extra flavour and help the marmalade to set quicker).
  • Don't like the rind in long, thin pieces? Leave in larger pieces, finely dice or grate into the marmalade instead.
  • Try combining other citrus fruit such as lemons, limes, key limes, kumquat, Buddha’s hands, mandarins, tangelos, calamondins, blood oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pomelos.
  • Replace 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup honey (or to taste);
  • Add 1-2 vanilla beans, scraped (including pods), removing pods before bottling the marmalade;
  • Add  up to 1 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, mint or rosemary;
  • Add 1 teaspoon orange liqueur or brandy into each 250ml jar before sealing;
  • Sandwiches; 
  • Spread on bagels, baguettes, crumpets, crackers or toast; 
  • Serve with cream cheese; 
  • Use as a glaze when grilling or roasting: especially on chicken or fish; 
  • Drizzle warm marmalade over cakes or cupcakes (while they’re warm); 
  • Spread between cake layers; 
  • Stir into ice-cream; 
  • Add a spoonful into yoghurt; 
  • Use in granola; 
  • Serve with warm porridge; 
  • Use as a glaze on grilled vegetable skewers ; 
  • Make thumbprint cookies; 
  • Use in a green salad dressing; 
  • Try a marmalade cocktail; 
  • Use in gravy; 
  • Serve on rice pudding; 
  • Warm and use as a dipping sauce.

Kaya Wanjoo. Food Preserving kaditj kalyakoorl moondang-ak kaaradj midi boodjar-ak nyininy, yakka wer waabiny, Noongar moort. Ngala kaditj baalap kalyakoorl nidja boodjar wer kep kaaradjiny, baalap moorditj nidja yaakiny-ak wer moorditj moort wer kaditj Birdiya wer yeyi.
Hello and Welcome. Food Preserving acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and play, the Nyoongar people. We recognise their connection to the land and local waterways, their resilience and commitment to community and pay our respect to Elders past and present.
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