Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Orange Marmalade (with a hint of vanilla and whiskey)

Orange Marmalade with a hint of vanilla and whiskey by Carole's Chatter

This is the second time I have made Orange Marmalade and this time I took some short cuts – and it still worked out ok.  The first time I slavishly followed a recipe which said you had to juice the oranges first and then cut off the peel (not getting any pith) and then cut the pith off and chop up the rest.  Well it took simply ages.

This time I prepped the oranges much more simply:

I washed them since they came from the neighbour's tree and some of them had been laying on the ground.

Then I roughly chopped them up – no juicing, no getting rid of the pith.  I didn't even worry too much about the pips.  If I saw one and it was easy to get to, I pulled it out.  In the original recipe it said to collect the pips and put them in a muslin bag and cook up in the pot and remove – what a fusspot.

I then popped it all into a stockpot (I had 1.5kg of fruit – just over 3 lb). I added the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of one.  Then in goes 5 pints (2.8litres) of water.  You simmer that away for at least 2 hours – because I had left the pith in I wanted to be sure it wasn't too bitter so I did it for 3 hours.  When I looked into the pot at that stage I saw that some of the chunks of peel were really chunky – so I gave it about a 10 second whizz with a stick blender.  It went unclear in colour so I thought I had blown it – but as you can see it came nice and clear when boiled up with the sugar.

You add 2.7 kg of sugar (which seems a lot but remember the peel etc is quite bitter).  If I had been thinking clearly I would have substituted the stevia product I bought recently for some of it.

I used a combination of white sugar and jam setting sugar.  If you don't have jam setting sugar (which has some added pectin), I suggest you just add the juice of another lemon.  I also added a splosh of vanilla extract and a spoonful of whiskey (both entirely optional).

Then you boil the marmalade rapidly for 15 to 35 minutes until it sets when you test it on a cold plate.  This one took about 20 minutes.  I always get very nervous at this stage as to whether it will set and also worried about making it too set.  There is no answer other than testing it every minute or so because it can turn quickly.

Then I let it cool in the pot for 15 minutes before decanting it into clean warm jars through my trusty jam funnel.  It made about 9 jars.  Because I don't sterilise the jars as such, I keep this in the fridge and it will last a few months.  I also put a wax paper disc on top of each jar which helps keep the air out.

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  1. I just made Orange Marmalade Bread this weekend and I wish had some of your wonderful marmalade to use in the recipe~ Have a great week~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  2. Now this is my kind of Orange Marmalade, simple and whisky :)

  3. That is absolutely lovely! I have never attempted marmalade because all the recipes are so fussy, thanks for de-mystifying it a bit! :)

  4. Not going to lie, it's the promise of whiskey that lured me in! Orange, whiskey, and vanilla sound great together!


  5. I would love for you to share your favorite posts and link up at my TGIF Link Party.
    The party opens Thursday night and closes on Wednesday night at midnight.

    Please, invite your friends to party too! The more the merrier!

    Hugs, Cathy

  6. This sounds interesting! I'll definitely try the recipe {the vanilla did the trick for me!} Thanks for linking this at our All My Bloggy Friends Party, Carole !

    With A Blast

  7. Whiskey - optional? Kerfiffle, I say - I'd call it compulsory :-) I love your no-nonsense approach to making this marmalade, which can otherwise be quite a project!!

    Thanks for linking to Sweet New Zealand - it's lovely to have you join in. Would you be good enough to just edit your post to include a link and reference to Sweet New Zealand and the host -

    Thanks again :-)


Your comments are most welcome. Cheers