Seville orange marmalade

Seville orange marmalade

Hands up who has ever had a Seville orange? Well, I had never bought or seen one before but I decided to get myself some as I had decided to try my hand at making home made marmalade ( as you know I’m very much into jam/chutney making now). I had tasted Candi’s excellent one in the past but never tried making it myself beforehand, despite the fact I LOVE it. So I dutifully ordered a bag of organic Seville oranges from the Riverford people, who supply my weekly organic veggies. In fact it was described as a marmalade kit, as it was complete with recipe. So what could be more convenient than that? Well, when they arrived I must confess I was a bit disappointed….ok, a LOT disappointed. They didn’t look a patch on the beautiful waxed, shiny ones you can buy in my local supermarket. They were smallish and deformed. Definitely ugly looking. Oh well, I assumed they would taste delicious all the same. Sometimes you can’t judge the book by its cover, right?  So on Saturday I decided that the day had come to have a go and gathered all the necessary ingredients. But when I started cutting the oranges in half in order to squeeze them…LO AND BEHOLD….they were full of pips! AND they tasted incredibly bitter. So: ugly AND foul tasting. Had I been robbed?

They were nothing like what I had imagined them to be! For some reasons I thought that Seville oranges were the sweetest, juiciest ones you could get. That’s why they were recommended for marmalade making. Right? WRONG! After the initial shock I decided to google the blasted oranges. I think the question I asked the search engine was on the lines of “Do Seville oranges have a disgusting taste?”. Well my dear people, apparently they are MEANT to be foul tasting! You can’t eat them. Not unless you have a death wish on your palate. You can only make marmalade with them. But apparently , following the addition of an inordinate amount of sugar, it’s gorgeous. So I armed myself with a lot of patience (it’s a right faff to shred those peels, I tell you!) and spent the next few hours making the marmalade you see blogged here.  I can tell you now it was well worth the hassle. It’s great: it has a lovely colour/texture and it tastes divine. I’ve already donated a jar to my lovely colleagues in the office. I’m sure they’ll comment before long. Here is the recipe then :


  • 1.5kg seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2.5 ltrs cold water
  • 2.8 kg granulated sugar
  • a large pan
  • muslin


Cut the oranges and lemons in half. With your hands, squeeze the juice from the fruit , dropping the leftover squeezed fruit (pith, pips and flesh) into the muslin.  Cut the peel in half again and try to remove as much of the white pith as possible using a sharp knife. Place in the muslin too. Tie the muslin with string to keep the fruit in and form a bag. Shred the peel finely.

  • Place the muslin bag in the saucepan with the peel. Add the squeezed fruit juice and 2.5 litres cold water to the pan. DO NOT add sugar at this stage!!! It will taste disgusting but don’t be put off! Heat until boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the peel is tender.
  • Remove the muslin bag and squeeze all the sticky juice from the bag into the pan. Add the sugar. Gently heat for 15 mins, until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 15 mins.
  • Test that the marmalade has reached setting point by putting a teaspoon of the liquid on a cold saucer and gently pushing with the back of the spoon. If the liquid starts to wrinkle, setting point has been reached. If no wrinkling happens, keep boiling and re-test every 10 mins. Turn off the heat as soon as you reach setting point. It took me approx. 40-45 minutes in total.
  • Skim any scum from the surface. Leave the mixture to stand for 15 mins. Stir gently, then carefully spoon into warmed sterilised jars. If using screw top lids, put the lids on while the marmalade is still hot and turn upside down for 5 mins to sterilise the lids (or boil the lids for a few mins and leave to dry before use).
  • P.S. I added a few cardamon pods to a couple of jars, just for something a bit different.

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1 Response to “Seville orange marmalade”

  • Eccomi, pronta all’ appello per un mio commento. La principessa Lucina, qualche giorno fa, mi ha gentilmente omaggiato di un vasetto della sua marmellata. Che posso dire? E’ : S-U-B-L-I-M-E ! Non sto esagerando affatto, io siciliana Doc, cresciuta tra aranceti e limoneti, di agrumi me ne intendo eccome! Sapore, consistenza, colore e odore sono il risultato di un matrimonio ben riuscito e calibrato. La presentazione in stile “country” sugella divinamente il tutto. Bravissima!!!

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