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How to Make Marmalade Jam

Learn how to make a delicious Three Citrus Marmalade Jam and how to water bath can it to make it shelf-stable. This makes a tasty homemade gift for Christmas or anytime!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Processing Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Jam, Jellies, and Marmalade
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Marmalade, Marmalade Jam, Three Citrus Marmalade
Servings: 4 12 ounce jars
Author: Mary's Nest


  • 6-Quart heavy bottom non-reactive pot
  • Long handled wooden spoon
  • Candy thermometer, optional but recommended
  • Four 12-ounce canning jelly jars or Six 8-ounce jelly jars
  • Water bath canner, optional
  • Water bath canning supplies, optional


  • 1 whole Grapefruit
  • 2 large whole Oranges Or 3 medium, or 4 small
  • 2 whole Lemons
  • 1/8 tsp Baking soda
  • Water
  • 6 cups Sugar
  • 1 tsp Butter, optional
  • 2 tbsps White vinegar, optional Plus extra to clean the rim of the jars if water bath canning


Marmalade Instructions

  • Use a potato peeler or sharp paring knife to remove the zest from each piece of citrus fruit.
  • Chop all the zest and add to the pot.
  • Next, remove all the pith from each piece of whole fruit using a sharp paring knife. And then cut each section ("supreme") of fruit from between each membrane.
  • Add each section of fruit to the pot with the zest.
  • Take the leftover membrane and squeeze it over the pot to release any remaining juice.
  • Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda into the pot. This will help break down the zest and make it softer during the cooking process and release the pectin.
  • Place the pot on to the stove burner and add 4 cups of water to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer. You will simmer the contents for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, using a wooden spoon remove a piece of the zest from the pot. Allow it to cool, and then press it between your fingers. If it is soft, you are ready to move on to the next step. If it is not soft, allow it to simmer for a few more minutes until soft.
  • If you plan on water bath canning this marmalade, see the "Water Bath Canning Instructions" section below before you proceed.
  • Put a small plate into your freezer.
  • Transfer the contents of your pot into a large heatproof measuring cup. If you have 6 cups of the mixture, you are ready to proceed. If the mixture does not measure 6 cups, add water so that you have a total of 6 cups of mixture. Now you are ready to proceed.
  • Return the mixture to the pot and bring the mixture up to a boil.
  • Slowly add 2 cups of the sugar to the boiling mixture and continue to stir.
  • Once the first 2 cups of sugar have dissolved, add the next 2 cups of sugar and continue to stir. When those 2 cups have dissolved, add the remaining 2 cups of sugar and continue to stir the mixture.
  • Continue to boil the mixture until you can not stir down the boil. (At this point, a candy thermometer should read 220°F or 105°C.) This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
  • If during the boiling time there is the development of a significant amount of foam, add the butter and stir well to incorporate. The foam should subside. If it does not subside or you decide not to use the butter, you will need to skim off the foam.
  • Once you can not stir down the boil, boil the mixture for 1 minute more and then turn off the heat.
  • Remove the small plate from the freezer and place one teaspoon of the marmalade on to the plate. Put the plate back into the freezer for a few minutes.
  • After a few minutes, remove the plate from the freezer. If the mixture has gelled and you can run your finger down the middle of the dollop of marmalade with each side of the marmalade not leaching back into the middle, the marmalade has gelled correctly.
  • If you are not canning this marmalade, transfer it to clean sterilized jars, put the lid on the jars, and refrigerate. Marmalade stored in the refrigerator will last approximately 3 months.

Water Bath Canning Instructions

  • Before making the marmalade, you will want to prepare all your canning equipment.
  • Using a water bath canner or a large pot fitted with a bottom rack, put your canning jars into the canner and cover with water. Bring the water in the canner up to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer.
  • If you have very hard water, you may want to add the vinegar to the water in your canner. This will keep your jars from developing a cloudy appearance.
  • Once the marmalade is finished and removed from the stove, using a jar lifter remove one jar at a time from the canner. And using a funnel, fill the jar with the marmalade leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Debubble the jar and add additional marmalade if the headspace has dropped below the 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Using a clean cloth dipped in vinegar, clean the rim of the jar.
  • Once the rim of the jar is clean, place the canning lid on the jar and then screw on the canning ring (band) to "finger-tight" resistance. (See video.) DO NOT use brute force. The ring is only there to keep the lid in place while also allowing for air to be released from the jar during the canning process.
  • Using a jar lifter, return the filled jar back to the canner. Once all the jars are filled and returned to the canner, bring the water up to a boil.
  • Once the water returns to a boil, start your timer and boil (process) the filled jars for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes of boiling, turn the heat off and allow the filled jars to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, use the jar lifter to remove the filled jars to a flat surface that is covered with two layers of dish towels or other fabric. As the jars cool, you should hear a "ping" sound. This sound indicates that the filled jars have sealed correctly.
  • Once the filled jars have cooled completely, check to see if each jar lid has sealed correctly. The "button" in the middle of the canning lid should be depressed. If the button is depressed, unscrew the ring (band). Your jars are now ready to be stored. If you are using the latest version of Ball canning lids, your marmalade will have an 18-month shelf life. If not, then your marmalade will have a one-year shelf life.
  • Once opened, your jar of marmalade must be refrigerated and has a 3 month refrigerated shelf life.
  • If for any reason, you have a jar lid that did not seal properly, you must refrigerate that jar of marmalade.



Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-marmalade-jam/
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