Orange Marmalade

Total Time:
25 hr 45 min
45 min
24 hr
1 hr

10 (8-ounce) jars

  • 1 3/4 pounds oranges, 4 to 5 medium
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 pounds plus 12 ounces sugar
  • Special Equipment: 10 (8-ounce) canning jars with rings and lids, funnel, tongs, ladle, and 12-quart pot

Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly. Cut the oranges into 1/8-inch slices using a mandoline, removing the seeds as you go. Stack the orange slices and cut them into quarters. Place the oranges into an 8-quart stainless steel pot. Add the lemon zest and juice and the water to the pot, set over high heat and bring to a boil, approximately 10 minutes. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.

While the fruit is cooking, fill a large pot (at least 12-quart) 3/4 full with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Place 10 (8-ounce) jars and rings, canning funnel, ladle, and tongs into the boiling water and make sure the water covers the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lids and leave everything in the pot until the marmalade is ready.

Meanwhile, place a small plate in the freezer. Increase the heat under the orange mixture to return to full boil. Add the sugar and stir the mixture continually, until it reaches 222 to 223 degrees F on a deep-fry or candy thermometer, and darkens in color, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. You may need to adjust the heat in order to prevent boil over. Test the readiness of the marmalade by placing a teaspoon of the mixture onto the chilled plate and allowing it to sit for 30 seconds. Tilt the plate. The mixture should be a soft gel that moves slightly. If mixture is thin and runs easily, it is not ready.

Remove jars from the water and drain on a clean towel. Place a canning funnel onto the top of 1 of the jars and ladle in the marmalade just to below the bottom of the threads of the jar. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. The amount of marmalade may vary by 1 to 2 jars. Wipe the rims and threads of the jars with a moist paper towel and top each with a lid. Place a ring on each jar and tighten.

Return the jars to the pot with boiling water, being certain that they don't touch the bottom of the pot or each other. (If you don't have a jar rack, try a round cake rack, or metal mesh basket. Even a folded kitchen towel on the pot bottom will do in a pinch.) Add additional water if necessary to cover the jars by at least an inch. Boil for 10 minutes. Using canning tongs, carefully remove the jars from the water, place in a cool dry place and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours before opening. Once open, store in the refrigerator. Unopened marmalade will last for up to 6 months.

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    67 Reviews
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    Great marmalade. We followed the directions to a T, but ours didn't set upeither. We unjarred it all and re-cooked, adding a packet of sure jell. Turned out perfectly after that and everyone who we have given some to loves it. Only 5 more batches to go....
    So, when exaclty do you put the sugar in. Call me stupid but I read the instruction through 4 times and never did I see where the sugar goes into the mix. Being someone who has never made even simple jelly or jam on my own Ive no clue..
    Meanwhile, place a small plate in the freezer. Increase the heat under the orange mixture to return to full boil. Add the sugar and stir the mixture continually, until it reaches 222 to 223 degrees F on a deep-fry or candy thermometer, and darkens in color, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
    I have made this recipe twice. I have been told by several people that it is the best marmalade they ever had. Fantastic recipe Thanks Alton!
    Made this for teacher's gifts this year. Recipe is easy and extremely tasty. Everyone raves about how good it is.
    It is super sweet, I will probably cut back on the sugar the next time. But spot on the # of Jars. I doubled the recipe and was able to fill 20 8oz jars. These will be Christmas presents.
    I used 2 1/2 cups of sugar and it finished with just the right amount of bitter/sweet. Canned jams, jellies and preserves (and many other canned products) should last a year on the pantry shelf, if unopened.
    For taste, I give it 5 stars.  
    The recipe needs slight clarification. 
    Could you please state the sugar in cups. I converted it, using wiki. Which suggested about 7 cups. That seemed an awful lot to me, so I used 3.5 cups. My marmalade is lovely. 
    Do you cover the pot when cooking the fruit? I did cover it during the first cooking sequence, and left it semi covered after adding the sugar. 
    Also, I do not own a candy/deep fry thermometer, so I just boiled the mixture at my stove's highest possible setting (gas. I had no problem getting the marmalade to 'gel'. 
    I used four 16 ounce ball jars, filling them just under the thread line, which on the ball jars there is a little lip in the glass there. This would be about 14 ounces.
    I have been experimenting with lemon marmalade (with prefect results with my meyer lemon tree lemons, and my friend asked me to help her make that as well as an orange marmalade. I have not made this recipe yet, but I'll tell you from my lemon experience that the seeds are necessary to get the pectin into the final product so it sets! And a 24 hr soak is helpful to reduce bitterness and soften the peel. So I'm confused about the total time being over 24 hrs without the soak being mentioned because it looks like that's what that was for. Anyway, take the advice of Chef #864049 below, and you'll not need to add pectin. I buy little spice cheesecloth bags for the seeds. Don't neglect to squeeze the pectin out of the bag as you remove it from the mixture (before adding the sugar. And I'll use a thermometer to get the final product to 220.
    i just made this as written not actually knowing if i actually like orange marmalade i just got to say that now i know i like it, it set up beautifully and i had no problems what so ever
    This marmalade is delicious and is easier to prepare than most marmalade recipes. The first time I made this, it wouldn't set and I had to add pectin. I made another batch today, and it set just fine without additional pectin, but I made this major alteration:  
    After juicing the lemon, I cut it up and put it and it's seeds in cheesecloth and boiled it with the fruit. When the fruit was very soft, I turned off the stove, and let the fruit sit overnight. I resumed my jam-making in the morning. I brought the mixture back to a boil and added the sugar. Once it reached a boil, it was ready in about 30 min. This time, however, I let it boil a bit too much. I would have liked it to be a bit looser. I think the tree has enough fruit on it for one more batch. Third time's the charm!  
    By the way, I used Moro oranges.
    This is my second year to make Alton Brown's Orange Marmalade and my friends are always eager to receive a jar. I actually use Blood Oranges and La. Hamlin Sweet Oranges. The first batch of Blood orange is light in color, but when the oranges start to turn red inside the marmalade ends up a beautiful rust color. I too found you have to cook it about 25-30 minutes to be perfect. I have made 9 batches of 1/2 pint and also 12 oz jars and it disappears fast. Thanks Alton Brown!
    My friends beg me for this. It only makes about 9 cups (sometimes only 8. It is beautiful and makes me proud to give away. I love it, too. The trick is to not rush it. Do just as recipe says. I do slice my oranges with my Cuisinart. Saves a lot of time. Take out and the cut in the required quarter slices.
    This mixture would not get above 218 degrees, even after a hard boil for almost an hour. I used a Wolf stove, a professional Magnalite pot, a Taylor digital thermometer and a Taylor candy dial thermometer. I have never had an Alton Brown recipe not work (he's in my top 2 favs so am sorry to leave a bad review, but what happened? Perhaps if Mr. Brown could leave a "fix" for when the mixture will not increase in temperature? It never did set.
    This was a perfect way to process extra oranges! I did have a problem with gelling though. probably not enough pectin in the lemons. I had to resort to powered pectin.  
    1/4C water, 1/4C sugar, 2 Tbs. lemon juice, 4 tsp. powered pectin per quart of marmalade. Mix and boil then add to marmalade mixture. Reboil for 1 minute. All fixed! This was super easy and the first time I have made marmalade.
    This was wonderful! I plan on making this again for christmas gifts this year. Thank you Alton!
    I tried Alton's recipe as is on a whim after catching the episode. My first batch was an non-setting failure, but delicious as an ice cream topping. 
    I attempted a second batch today by combining this recipe with Ina Garten's recipe and had great success. Here's what I did: 
    ~I used all ingredients as listed in Alton's recipe 
    ~After slicing, I cut the oranges into thinner sections 
    ~I simmered just the water, lemon zest/juice and leftover uncut rind, and oranges for the 40 recommended min 
    ~I removed the lemon rind, added the sugar until it dissolved, then turned off the heat, covered the pan and let it sit on the stove overnight  
    ~In the morning I brought the pan back to a slow simmer for about 1 hr 
    ~I turned it up to boil and reach 225 degrees, then followed Alton's tip on checking for doneness 
    ~I only needed to turn the heat up to medium to get it boiling hot enough and it took about 20 minutes until it was ready to jar 
    Easier than the recipe from the Kerr canning book, and much sweeter. Needed to cook twice as long, as other reviewers stated.
     The grated lemon rind did not work out. It floated on top of the jam, and stuck to the side of the pot while cooking. It took 2-3 days to firm up sufficiently after processing. My other recipe says to let the fruit and water set overnight before cooking. This method turned out firmer, and more bitter, than AB's recipe. I think I'll try this recipe again, and set the fruit and water for a couple of hours, to try to get more pectin and a little bitterness.
    First time making marmalade and it tasted amazingly good. Was a little too sweet and also took almost an hour to "set" - I heated it a couple of degrees above 223 and was worried. Other than that, the instructions were easy to follow and everything went as expected.
    1 Alton needs to adjust his recipe. Have made this twice and each time it took at least 2X the suggested cooking time.  
    2 Made with the food processor on the "mandolin" setting. So easy! 
    3 Pulled the seeds out and put them in a mesh bag to cook with the oranges. Seeds add pectin.  
    4 Didn't "quarter" the oranges slices and the marmalade turned out great. Can't even tell they weren't quartered.  
    5 When you use a food processor, you can get big chunks of orange skin that may have to be run through again or cut manually.  
    6 Do not use over-mature fruit or it won't set. I threw in a cut up lemon to cook with the oranges to add extra pectin.  
    7 Great tasting - made with blood oranges and it was delicious!
    Great! I felt it was a little too sweet (for me personally so I added some extra lemon & orange zest, as well as a pinch of salt. And yes, it did take a little longer then the recommended 20 minutes to "set up". I also used 4 cups of water instead of the 6 that the recipe calls for... overall though it was great! Cannot wait to give it as gifts!!
    The taste is out of this world. Bursting with orange flavor and very sweet. I followed the recipe exactly (I weighed the ingredients and used a candy thermometer but it turned out too runny. It's a shame because it makes 10-11 jars worth. I had to dump the 11 jars of runny marmalade down the drain. I'm doing to try it again but just use 4 cups of water instead of 6 (another reviewer suggested it.
    I had never tasted marmalade before, but was looking for an "ooh!" homemade Christmas gift, and several of the people on my list pay like $10 a jar for marmalade and fancy jams, so I thought I'd give it a shot. 
    I'm not wild about the flavor, but marmalade fanciers like it. It seemed just a touch too sweet. I added a little sack of cloves and some cinnamon sticks during the first stage and fished them out prior to added the sugar.  
    It set beautifully. A little too well, I think, but I cooked it without benefit of a candy thermometer. The plate trick is very useful if you don't have a thermometer, just make sure your plate is cold enough! 
    You'll need at least an additional 20 minutes cook time, more if you have a lousy old electric stove like I did.
    I have a feeling this would have come out much better if I had used 2 cups less water, as one other reader suggested. Never set after hours of boiling, then adding more sugar, adding a whole package of pectin... don't know how that could possibly fail. Also made a huge mess as it boiled over the pot and onto the stovetop. I did double the recipe and add a package of fresh cranberries though. Should have read the reviews saying not to do that first...
    What a yummy way to use up citrus. I used a combination of oranges and tangerines (2/3 to 1/3 and also doubled the recipe. It seemed to take forever to reach the correct temperature but I am so glad I did not give up. It jelled perfectly. Next time I think I will experiment by adding a few bright green limes.
    Stupendous! Followed the recipe exactly and it still took about 20 minutes longer to reach the correct temp but the ending consistency is perfect and the flavor can't be beat. Will never buy marmalade again!
    Excellent! Made recipe exactly as Alton wrote it, but just as mentioned in the Albuquerque reviewer, it took about 20 minutes longer to reach soft ball stage, due to the altitude. I'm making a 2nd batch tomorrow. From start to finish, it took me 2 hrs.
    Alton does it again; this was very easy to make. We added two cinnamom sticks, four allspice beads and four whole cloves, it added another dimension to it. We also added a shot of cointreau at the end per recommendation of another reviewer; a lovely, elegant touch. Delicious!
    oooooo yum! It was great! I added some PC cinnamon plus to it - nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, orange peel. In Albuquerque we're over a mile in altitude so it always takes me longer to get a good temp reading, but it only took about 45 minutes. Heaven on a chocolate chip scone. Love Alton! Will make it for holiday presents this year. I'll start in the summer when all the farmers markets get those blood oranges.
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