sunshine in a jar
Canning, Preserving

Old-Fashioned Orange Marmalade. Sunshine in a Jar!


Sharing is caring!

sunshine in a jar

I guess it’s because it brings back memories of childhood. My daddy loved orange marmalade. To be honest, as a kid I didn’t get it. I preferred grape. Sweet and simple, less complex. It must have been my immature palette.

Now that I’m grown, it’s a whole new game. Whenever we go out for breakfast I dig through the basket of little jam packets, hoping for orange marmalade! In the rare event when I find one, (and it’s usually only in the fancier places that we visit every blue moon or so), I call dibs on it and hide it til our order arrives. Then, I slather it thick on an English muffin and take a big bite! My mouth does a little happy dance and I lick all ten fingers to make sure I get every last bit!

So, Wednesday afternoon about 4:00, I decided to give marmalade-making a try! Why not?

I think there’s an unwritten rule somewhere that says we should never try a new recipe when we’re having company. Play it safe, stick with the tried and true, amiright? Probably should stick to the same rule when blogging. Like, don’t use your first attempt as a blog post. Ha! I recklessly began my first-ever batch of marmalade, snapping pictures as I went along. Here we go!

There’s something deeply soul-satisfying about any kind of canning and a huge sense of accomplisment! It’s fun to line up the jars and count them. In today’s world we rarely have a chance to relish a visual of “the fruits of our labors.” (Every pun intended!)

I started with the beautiful naval oranges.

Important note. Use only the colored part of the peel. Don’t include any of the white “pith” between the fruit and the peel.

Moved on to the lemons

Cut up the fruit

From there, I just followed the directions for cooking and before long, the fruit and sugar had been transformed into marmalade!

Ladled it into jars, screwed on the lids and gave it a 10 minute bath in boiling water…..

Lined up the beautiful jars and admired the results!

sunshine in a jar

Fringe benefits!

When my husband walked in he immediately remarked, “The whole house smells amazing!” And it did! That fresh, clean, citrusey fragrance was everywhere and made it seem as if summer isn’t so far away. I’d captured sunshine in jars!

sunshine in a jar
4.67 from 6 votes

Orange Marmalade

Beautiful and sunny,  sweet and tangy marmalade with bits of citrus peel. Bright and fresh. Great on English muffins or toast! 

This recipe made about 7 half pint (one cup) jars.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 100


  • 4 average size oranges
  • 2 average size lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 1 box powdered pection such as SURE JELL
  • 5 1/2 cups sugar measured and set aside


  1. Before you begin, fill boiling-water canner half full with water and bring to a simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling. I add a tablespoon or so of white vinegar to the water bath. Helps minimize hard water deposits on finished jars.

    Remove only the colored part of peel from oranges and lemons using vegetable peeler. Do NOT use the white "pith" between the peel and the fruit! Cut peel into thin slivers. I did this step in my food processor, pulsing and stopping until the pieces were the right size, it should look like confetti.

    Mix the peels, water and baking soda in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 20 min., stirring occasionally. Add the cut-up fruit with juice. Cover and simmer an additional 10 min. I used a masher to break up the fruit as it cooked.

    Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot.

    Stir pectin into prepared fruit in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. THE MARMALADE WILL BE VERY HOT! I used a LONG wooden spoon to stir it. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

    Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches; add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. 

    Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

To be honest, orange marmalade is a bit more time-consuming than the strawberry-rhubarb jam I make every fall but it was not at all hard to do! Any citrus fruit can be made into marmalade and it makes a great glaze for pork or chicken or ham! Get creative with it! I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know how it goes!

If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you! 

 If you haven’t already, check out my Facebook page where I’ll be posting easy, delicious and family-friendly recipes every week!

Sharing is caring!


  1. Karen Carlson

    Beautiful! Will you share some? 😋

  2. 5 stars
    Beautiful, and it is sooooo delicious!!! Thank you for sharing <3

  3. What size box of pectin do you use?

    • The little 1.75 ounce box. I’ve been warned not to double the size of a batch of jam, at least not in my little home kitchen. I always make one batch at a time!

  4. 5 stars
    Do you have to do the water bath if your going to use it right away? I used a lot of it in a recipe then put the rest in a jar to use in a week or so and put it in the frig.It should be fine for that long I would think right?

  5. 5 stars
    I made it today and yes, I did twice the amount of everything to make a double batch. It hasn’t set up yet. How long does it take?

    • gbskitchen

      Oh dear! It should set up by the time t’s cool. Mom always told me never double a batch of jam, it just doesn’t work. I’m sorry- but I bet it will be great on pancakes!

    • gbskitchen

      Oh dear,it should set up by the time it’s cool. Doubling a batch is a no-no. Not sure why but haven’t ever dared to try it because my mom told me not to! Good pancake topping or use on a poke cake? Sorry!

  6. Bonnie Wickizer

    I had always heard that you had to remove all the white pith & membranes from the fruit or else it would cause the marmalade to be bitter but your recipe doesn’t mention. Is that true?? (I hope not because that’s the main reason I’ve never tried to make marmalade & I’d love to try it!!!!)

    • gbskitchen

      I didn’t use any of the pith but I did not remove the membrane from the sections. I only used part of the orange-y rind. It turned out so so good.

  7. Arnold Abercrombie

    Hi, I am 92 years old grew up when marmalade was not sweet like the store bought now you got more of the peel taste and I found you trying to find my memory. Do you think if I used less sugar than you it would work for me????


    • This marmalade is not very sweet and has the characteristic slight bitterness from the peel that my dad loved so much. He would have been 98 next week so I’ll bet you’ll like this one because it’s old-fashioned! I don’t mess with sugar quantities in jams and marmalade because I want it to set nicely and the sugar ratio is critical to that process!

  8. Add a pinch of cayenne yummy

  9. Betsy Hodgson

    5 stars

  10. Was a bust! Followed directions to the letter and it never sat up! Also, f you are trying this recipe , cut the white pith off the fruit….she says not to, but it is awful….dug mine all out 😩. So bummed with this recipe…I was so looking forward to the marmalade 🤷🏼‍♂️

    • gbskitchen

      What a disappointment! I’m sorry that happened. Jams, jellies and marmalades can be a little fussy, I’ve had my share of failures. Don’t be afraid to try again. I looked back at my directions and pictures. In making citrus marmalades. only the colored part of the peel is used, not the white pith underneath. I will edit my instructions to clearly state DO NOT USE the white part! I wonder if there might be some component of the pith that stopped the marmalade from setting up. I always am so sad when someone has had a bad experience with a recipe. I’ll fix it on my end and hope you’ll give it a whirl again!

      • I have to apologize for my original comment and eat my words….after almost 10 hours, it finally sat up! It was delicious in flavor, but you might tell people to remove at least some of the white pith on the fruit. Sorry for jumping the gun….first timer in the jelly making Dept! 😁

        • gbskitchen

          I am soooo proud of you for tackling such a complex marmalade on your first attempt! You are bound for glory girl! I did amend bot the narrative and the recipe to point out that the white part should not be used. You are such a sweetie to get back to me! Thanks.
          Here’s a good one to try- it’s the one my girls and I started with when we started our “jam sessions!” LOL

          • Made two batches I even boiled a minute longer bot batches have amazing flavor but looks like syrup I researched Marmalade it has to boil at 220 degrees 😔

          • The marmalade definitely reaches a temperature above boiling because of the sugar content. It is crazy hot. I don’t use a thermometer and I do notice it sets up more slowly than my strawberry rhubarb does. Hope to hear from you!

  11. 3 stars
    Made two batches I even boiled a minute longer bot batches have amazing flavor but looks like syrup I researched Marmalade it has to boil at 220 degrees 😔

    • gbskitchen

      I had another reader tell me the same thing and then she wrote to me again later and said. “I have to apologize for my original comment and eat my words….after almost 10 hours, it finally sat up!”

  12. Pingback: Make Peach Jam Any Day Of The Year With This Recipe - GB's Kitchen

  13. 5 stars
    I followed your recipe exactly. The marmalade is perfect. The house smells so wonderful

    • gbskitchen

      Oh, that is just music to my ears! Thank you so much for the lovely comment and I’m delighted the marmalade turned out well. It was my daddy’s favorite.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipe Rating