Seville orange, lemon and lime marmalade

Seville orange, lemon and lime marmalade
  • Serves icon Makes about 6 regular jars
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, plus overnight soaking, simmering time 1 hour 45 min to 2 hours 20 min

Cherie Denham pimps her seville orange marmalade with lemongrass and lime leaves which bring a fragrancy and zinginess well worth trying.

“Marmalade brings an especially golden glow as seville oranges lighten our darkest days with Spanish sunshine. The seville orange season is short – they’re only in the shops from late December until the end of February – but doesn’t that make them even more special?”

Nutrition: per serving

7.6g (7.6g sugars)
7.6g (7.6g sugars)


  • 1kg seville oranges
  • 3 lemons
  • 5 lemongrass stalks, bashed and roughly chopped
  • 10 lime leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2kg granulated sugar

Specialist kit

  • Muslin cloth
  • Kitchen string
  • Sugar or jam thermometer
  • Preserving pan or deep heavy-based saucepan


  1. Halve the citrus fruit and squeeze out the juice. Pour the juice into the pan and put all the pips in a bowl lined with a piece of muslin. Add the lemongrass and lime leaves.
  2. Using a teaspoon or a knife, scrape the membrane/pith out of the fruit shells, roughly chop in a food processor or by hand, then add to the pips. Tie the muslin with kitchen string to make a bag, then add to the pan.
  3. Slice the orange skins into thin, medium or thick shreds, depending on what you prefer in your marmalade, then add to the pan (use a food processor if you like). Discard the lemon skins.
  4. Pour 2.5 litres cold water into the preserving pan and push the muslin bag down into the peel and liquid. Cover and leave to soak overnight to help soften the orange shreds.
  5. The next day, slowly bring the pan to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 1⁄2-2 hours until the liquid has reduced and the peel is very soft. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer or if you want to be doubly sure of a set, put a couple of small plates in the freezer (see tips).
  6. Lift the muslin bag from the pan and leave to cool in a bowl for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  7. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until completely dissolved. Squeeze the muslin bag well, so every last bit of pectin drips back into the pan. Discard the muslin and its contents.
  8. Bring the liquid to a rapid boil for 15-20 minutes or until setting point is reached – skim off the scum and froth as you go (see tips). It should read 105°C on a sugar or jam thermometer. To test for a set, put a teaspoon of the marmalade on one of the cold plates from the freezer (see Tips). Return it to the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool, then push it with your finger – if it wrinkles, it’s ready. If the marmalade hasn’t set, boil it for another 10 minutes or so, then test again.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and give the marmalade one last skim. Leave it to stand for 15 minutes – this ensures the peel is evenly distributed throughout the preserve (see tips).
  10. Ladle the marmalade into warm sterilised jars, then cover with a wax disc and seal with a lid while still warm. Label and store.

delicious. tips

  1. If you don’t have time to make marmalade while seville oranges are in season you can freeze them. But when you defrost them to make the marmalade, add another lemon to the recipe as freezing reduces the pectin levels (pectin makes the marmalade set).

    Sterilising jars is important to stop your marmalade going mouldy. I put mine through a dishwasher cycle or wash them in warm, soapy water, rinse well and put in a 120°C fan/gas 1 oven until ready to fill.

    Although I have a jam thermometer, I like to be doubly sure of a set, so I do the wrinkle test too. I put 2 small plates into the freezer at the start so I can test for the setting point as soon as I need to.

    Make sure the peel is tender before adding the sugar or you may have tough shreds.

    Boil the marmalade rapidly only once the sugar has dissolved and not before. Boiling it for too long spoils the colour and flavour.

    It’s important to skim the scum off the marmalade to avoid it turning cloudy, but do it towards the end of the cooking time as continual skimming can be wasteful.

    Leave the marmalade to stand, off the heat, for 15 minutes after setting point is reached to ensure the shreds are evenly distributed.

    Fill your jars while they’re still warm (not hot) because hot marmalade will crack cold glass – but if the jars are too hot the shreds tend to rise to the top.

    If the jars have drips on them, wipe with a clean damp cloth, then label when the marmalade is completely cold.

    Store your marmalade in a cool, dry place– and remember to make enough to keep you going throughout the year…

Recipe By

Cherie Denham


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