Marmalade: just follow the damn recipe

The Seville Oranges arrived in Toronto this week, which means it’s marmalade time.

Except it also meant an urgent reminder in math, metric (and imperial) measurements, and the usefulness of actually following a recipe.

The marmalade recipe, which I’ve made several times before, calls for 7 Seville oranges, 2 regular oranges and one lemon, along with water and something over 3 pounds of sugar.

I bought 12 oranges, so I decided to use those, along with a couple of lemons, and thought I would up the sugar accordingly.

And that’s where it got complicated.

First I decided, correctly, that I had 1.5 times the number of pieces of fruit, so I needed 1.5 times the sugar: something over 4 pounds,  about 2 kilos, or one bag of sugar.

Then I decided, incorrectly, that I must have got that wrong, and I needed 1 kilo of sugar, so 2.2 pounds, so half a bag of sugar. My jam seemed very tart, and it really didn’t seem to want to set, while my marmalade memories have the set point coming before you can even think, which is when the penny slowly dropped. I’d got it wrong.

Let’s just say that adding sugar, very very slowly, to a jam that had already started its boil seemed to work without turning the whole venture to crystal, although I did take things off the boil as I trickled in about another pound of sugar.

I’d also note that the marmalade remains very, very tart and it’s a little runnier than I would have liked, although I suspect it will firm up over the coming days and weeks.

Not my proudest moment.

No pictures either. They would be too similar to these pictures to bother about.

Anyone else done anything quite that stupid?



  1. …like leaving out the lemon juice in a low-acid recipe? Not only does the jelly not set, but it’s vulnerable to botulism growth!

  2. Oops.

    How much space in the fridge?

  3. Jen said

    Where did you find your Seville oranges? I’m looking for a source in Toronto!

    • Cea said

      They are at St Lawrence Market — $1.99 a pound upstairs on the left hand side as you go in, and $2.99 a pound downstairs. (They looked like the same oranges.) I suspect the $1.99 price was a mistake and it will have changed by now. Harvest Wagon on Yonge Street may have them too, but I’ve not looked there.

      • Jen said

        Thank you!

  4. GOR said

    Seville oranges are available at North Yonge Fruit Market on Bathurst south of Lawrence.

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