• Florida's Adventure Coast

Holiday Orange Marmalade

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I love giving gifts of orange marmalade for the holidays. It’s fresh from Florida, homemade and almost everyone loves it. Plus, it’s easy with just four ingredients – oranges, lemons, sugar and water. And talk about staying on budget. Each jar costs pennies to make.

I follow a simple recipe, borrowing from Chef Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa and have made several batches.  I use eight small 8-oz. canning jars or four larger 16-oz. jars for this recipe.

Note: Start this in the evening and finish the next day. I have placed notes next to the recipe as I have found it needs longer to cook than what is recommended. Remember also, the marmalade will “set up” within a week becoming thicker.

Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 12 hr
Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 3 to 4 pints


  • 4 large seedless oranges (I use navel oranges, which don’t have any seeds)

  • 2 lemons

  • 8 cups sugar

  • 8-9 mason jars (small)


  • Cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. (If you have a mandoline this will be quite fast.) Discard any seeds. 
  • Place the sliced fruit and their juices into a stainless-steel pot. Add 8 cups 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.

The next day:

  • Bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. 
  • Turn the heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer. 
  • If you want to be doubly sure it’s ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it’s cool but not cold. If it’s firm — neither runny nor too hard — it’s done. It will be a golden orange color. (If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it and if it’s too hard, add more water.)
  • Note: Sometimes my marmalade appears runny after the 30-minute boil.  I then turn it back down to simmer and cook until it gets thicker (up to an hour if needed, but watch closely to be sure it doesn’t burn)

Pour the marmalade into clean, hot Mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Store in the pantry for up to a year.  Note: I run my Mason jars in the dishwasher without any detergent.


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