Citrus Marmalade

One of the great things about this recipe is its adaptability.   Use whatever citrus fruits are available; blood oranges, Valencia oranges, navel oranges or Meyer lemons.  Rangpur limes are the exception as their tartness requires more sugar.  See adapted recipe below. 




  • 5 large oranges (navel, blood or Valencia oranges) Meyer lemons work as well. I use a total of 10 Meyer lemons per recipe and don't add any other type of lemon. 
  • 4 lemons 
  • 8 cups water
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Grand Marnier liqueur


  • Cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half moon slices.  Discard seeds.
  • Place the sliced fruit and their juices into a stainless steel pot. Add 8 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.
  •  Next day, pour the mixture into a copper jam pan, if you have one. (It is safe to use copper pans at this point due to the addition of sugar, which will prevent the citrus fruit from reacting to the copper.) If you don’t have a copper pan, transfer to a large sauté pan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. You want to see a very low boil. Simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. Stir once in a while—maybe every 15 minutes.
  • Turn the heat up to high and boil vigorously for about 30 minutes. When the marmalade is boiling vigorously, begin using a candy thermometer to test the temperature. It will take a bit of time, but check regularly.
  • When the marmalade reaches the gel point for your area, it should be done. (For sea level, the gel point is about 215-218 degrees F.)  I have found it works best to continue to cook the marmalade for an additional 5 minutes after it has reached the gel point. Another way to check is to spoon a bit of the marmalade onto a plate that has been placed in the freezer for a few minutes. The marmalade should be thick but not hard, and not too runny. It will be a golden orange color. If blood oranges are used, a glorious saffron color.

Variation using Rangpur Limes

  • The ratio of sugar to limes is 1:1   Do not use lemons as the Rangpur Limes are sour enough!
  • Save all the pith and seeds and tie into a cheesecloth bundle.
  • For the first cooking process, add the bundle of pith and seeds to the fruit, juices, and water. 
  • For the second cooking on, follow Orange Marmalade Recipe above. 


  • Lily and Steve’s Porch Market
  • Sprouts
  • Farmers markets 
  • And the generous neighbors of Altadena who shared their citrus crops with me.  It never hurts to ask your neighbors if they would like to trade fruit for a lovely jar of marmalade.