Homemade Marmalade

Use lemons, limes or oranges to make the sweet spread with an unmistakable bite.

Marmalade is a sweet spread like jam or jelly, but with an unmistakable bite.

Homemade Marmalade

Marmalade owes its familiar bite to an abundance of citrus peels.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Marmalade owes its familiar bite to an abundance of citrus peels.

Related To:

Like jam or jelly, but with the unique bitterness of citrus peels, marmalade isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For many, though, the British creation is just the thing to spread on a piece of toast at breakfast (especially when accompanied by a cup of tea). If you’ve never had it, it’s worth trying. If you know it and love it, it’s worth making your own.

Using fresh limes, lemons or oranges, delicious homemade marmalade is surprisingly easy to make, although it may draw the scorn of those for whom grape or strawberry jam is the only choice when the fate of an English muffin lies in the balance.

This recipe for a sweet “whole fruit” marmalade with just the right bite can be made using oranges, lemons, limes or a blend of the trio. Here we use Persian limes for a couple of reasons. First, we love the slightly sour edge that limes bring to marmalade. The second reason is purely one of convenience. Because Persian limes are seedless and this is a whole fruit recipe, instead of thinly slicing our citrus by hand and picking out the seeds, the limes can be processed quickly in a food processor with a slicer attachment.

Using the whole fruit doesn’t just take advantage of the silky texture of citrus flesh and the bright flavor of the juice, the bountiful pectin in the pith makes this a two ingredient recipe (no added pectin required). Although the pectin  packed into the pith is welcome, the excessive bitterness is not. Soaking the sliced fruit overnight helps to tame that bite and a lengthy boil further mellows the bitter rind. If you prefer a marmalade with more bite, you may skip the overnight soak, but consider yourself warned. If you are trying to please a crowd, temper the bitter beast.

It’s hard to resist digging in right away, but the flavor your your homemade marmalade will improve with time. If you can stand it, wait 2 to 3 weeks before serving.

Homemade Whole Fruit Marmalade

Yield: About 6 pints

  • 3 pounds unwaxed limes, lemons or oranges
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 cups sugar

Scrub citrus and cut into very thin slices using a sharp knife or food processor (remove seeds, if necessary).


Place citrus slices in a container with water and allow to soak overnight.

Transfer into a large pot over high heat.

Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer for 60 minutes.

Add sugar to pot and return to full boil.

Heat to 218 degrees (about 40 minutes) until thickened.

Transfer into sterilized canning jars.

Cap jars with lids and bands and process in a water bath for 10 minutes to seal.

Marmalade may be eaten after resting overnight, but flavor will improve after 2-3 weeks. Refrigerate after opening.

Next Up

Grow Your Own Lemons

Meyer lemon trees yield plump, fragrant, juicy lemons in pots or your own backyard.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Whip up some homemade strawberry jam with these easy steps.

How to Dry Oranges and Citrus for Holiday Decorating

Use a dehydrator or your oven to turn oranges and other citrus fruits into colorful and oh-so-fragrant holiday decorations (without burning them).

Canning 101: Spiced Apple Pie Filling Recipe

Preserve fall flavors and impress your friends and family with this canned apple pie filling presented as holiday gifts. The recipe gets an extra kick from spiced rum.

Vegan Banana and Blueberry Pancakes

These fruity and fluffy pancakes are bound to become your new go-to breakfast staple. We used blueberries and bananas, but you can get creative and make them with your favorite fresh fruits and toppings. If you're hosting a brunch, save time by making the batter the night before and storing it in the fridge.

Cocktail or Mocktail: Preserve Fresh Fruit as a Sippable Shrub

Got a bumper crop of berries? Lucky you! Learn how to turn fresh fruit into a centuries-old sip: a shrub, or drinking vinegar, that can be enjoyed as either a cocktail or an alcohol-free restorative. And, bonus, because shrubs rely on the juice extracted from fruit, you can use very ripe and even overripe fruit for maximum fruity flavor.

Thanks a Latte! Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Make your own seasonal coffee drinks at home with this simple syrup using real pumpkin

A Honey Cocktail Recipe

This blend of honey and citrus makes for a delicious, garden-centric sip.

A Lemonade Cocktail That Pops!

When life hands you lemons, make this cool drink (with Pop Rocks).

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Enjoy this harmonious blend of silky lemon custard and whipped egg whites with a recipe that delivers up the perfect pie.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.