Christmas-Spiced Marmalade

MarmaladeBefore reading any further, you should know that making marmalade yourself is ¬†huge undertaking. There’s nothing particularly difficult about it but it takes a lot of time. That being said, I have been told that there is a world of difference between marmalade made at home and the shop bought stuff. If yo are up for it I wold suggest that you make LOADS. Once the jars are preserved the right way it will last indefinitely on the shelf and a jar of anything homememakes a great Christmas gift, especially if you go with the seasonal Christmas spices. I used a little dark sugar in this recipe too because I felt it’s colour and treacley sweetness would match the wintery spices. If you would prefer your marmalade to be more summery, just replace the brown sugar with extra caster sugar and leave out the spices altogether. Or you could try to infuse it with herbs. Rosemary or mint could be good. Then I would add a good amount to the water with the pith, exactly where you would add the whole spices.

These went particularly well with my easy cranberry and almond scones for an extra hit of Christmas flavour.

Christmas-Spiced Marmalade


  • 2 Kg citrus fruit (4 large oranges, 2 pink grapefruit, 2 lemons)
  • 30 cm cinnamon
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 10 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2.5 L water
  • 2,250 g caster sugar
  • 250 g brown sugar


  1. Peel the zest off the fruit with a vegetable peeler, leaving as much of the white pith as you can.
  2. Pile up the strips of zest and snip them into tiny matchsticks with a scissors and set them aside.
  3. Juice all the dezested fruit, setting the juice aside.
  4. Roughly cut the dezested, juiced fruit pieces and add them to a large pot along with the pulp and seeds from the juicer. Add the whole spices and the water. Bring the pot to the boil, clamp the lid on, turn the heat down to medium low and allow to simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Take 3 small plates and put them in the freezer.
  6. After 2 hours of simmering, pass the water through a fine mesh sieve, making sure you squeeze all the water from the pith. Discard and collected pith, pulp and spices.
  7. In a very large pot, add the water from the pith, the fruit juice and the snipped up zest. Stir and bring to the boil.
  8. Add the sugar. Stir it to help the sugar dissolve and bring to a rolling boil.
  9. If you have a candy thermometer, you will need to let this reach 105 degrees celsius so it will set. If you do not have a candy thermometer, then just let it boil for about 40 minutes.
  10. To test if it is done, take a not cold plate from the freezer and pour about a tablespoon of marmalade onto it and leave it for 5 minutes. Then slowly drag your finger across it. If the surface of the marmalade forms a crinkly surface and your finger leaves the plate clean behind it then it is done and will set. If that doesn't happen, let it boil for another 10 minutes and check again with the second plate from the freezer.
  11. Allow the marmalade to cool a bit before pouring it into sterilised jars. To sterilise jars, you can boil them in water or run them through the hottest cycle of the dishwasher, just don't touch the inside of the jars once sterilised. I sterilise the lids by boiling them in a small pot of water.
  12. Once the jars are filled, put on the lids not so tightly and submerge all the jars in a very large pot of water or a number of smaller pots and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for half an hour before you remove them from the water and tighten the lids.
  13. Allow them to cool overnight during which time you should hear each lid pop.
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1 Comment

  • Elaine B. says:

    I made this on the 15th of December. This was an easy recipe to follow. I omitted the cardamom and used allspice instead. Overall, it definitely tastes like Christmas. It is a bit too sweet for my taste, and the peel is still a bit too bitter, but it would be great with a chocolate cake.

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