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Easy Seville Orange Marmalade recipe


Photo: Fine cut Seville orange marmalade

Photo: Fine cut Seville orange marmalade

“I want to make a marmalade that looks pretty. Like this.” I pushed our copy of New British Classics by Gary Rhodes across the table.
“It looks stunning but it would take hours to remove the pith and cut the peel that fine.”
“Not if I poach the oranges à la Delia. I could probably scoop out the pith with a spoon.”

I’d been researching making marmalade in depth. Having been brought up in a dark chunky marmalade household I’ve steadfastly continued with the tradition. Assuming that this is the best marmalade. Until last year, that is, when The Chicken Lady presented us with a jar of her own marmalade. Sweet, clear and filled with shreds of peel. This was the jolt that I needed to get of the Oxford marmalade path and onto the main marmalade making highway.

I discovered that it’s the pith that gives Seville orange marmalade most of its bitterness. If I removed the pith, I should end up with a more intensely orange flavoured marmalade. The marmalade angels must have been lurking as this recipe turned out to be better than expected. A tasty base with the shreds giving little bursts of deep orange tanginess. Truly good and well worth the effort.

Delia’s method of poaching the fruit prior to chopping makes marmalade making a doddle. The fruit is soft and easy to cut and handle. I easily removed the pith from the skin using a metal spoon.
Easy Seville Orange Marmalade recipe


2lbs 8ozs/1134g of Seville oranges
10ozs of lemons/284g of lemons
4 pints/2273 litres of water
4lbs 4ozs/1927g of white granulated sugar


Scrub the oranges and lemons to remove any wax. Put the fruit in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and cover with the water. Put the lid on and bring to simmering point. Then turn the heat down very low and slip a piece of aluminium foil under the lid to ensure a good seal. Simmer very gently for 3 hours until the fruit is soft.  Allow to cool overnight in the poaching liquid.

The next day cut the oranges and lemons in half and scoop out the flesh and pips into a separate saucepan. Add about a pint/570 millilitres of the poaching juice and simmer gently for at least half an hour and then pour into a sieve lined with muslin set over a bowl.

Meanwhile discard the lemon peel and cut the halves of oranges in half again and remove the pith by scraping with the edge of a metal spoon. When this is done rinse the peel and cut into fine strips. I set the skins in blocks cutting about 8 skins at a time.

By this stage the pulp liquid will have almost dripped through but it’s worth giving it an extra squeeze. Knot the muslin and pass two wooden spoons (juxtaposed) beneath the knots turn the spoons against each other which will squeeze out any remaining juice with little effort.

Add the pectin rich juice to the poaching liquid and check that you still have 4 pints of juice. Top it up with cold water if necessary.

Bring the peel gently to simmering point in the poaching liquid add the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Taste the mixture – if it’s too tart for your taste add a little more sugar stirring again until it is completely dissolved. Then bring the marmalade to a rolling boil.

After 15 minutes test for a set (see Tips and Tricks below). If the marmalade is not set bring back to a rolling boil and test every five minutes or so. Just before the marmalade reaches setting point it moves from forming thousands if tiny bubbles to a much more gloopy boil.
Using a ladle and a funnel pour into hot sterilised jars and seal immediately. Leave to stand overnight and label the next day.

If your peel wants to rise to the top of the jars keep on turning the jars every ten minutes or so and the peel will settle evenly distributed within the jar.

Tips and tricks:
Marmalade “set” or “setting point”:
Getting the right set can be tricky. I have tried using a jam thermometer but find it easier to use the following method. Before you start to make the marmalade, put a couple of plates in the fridge so that the warm marmalade can be drizzled onto a cold plate (when we make marmalade we often forget to return the plate to the fridge between tests, using two plates means that you have a spare cold plate). Return the plate to the fridge to cool for approx two minutes. It has set when you run your finger through it and leave a crinkly track mark. If after two minutes the cooled jam is too liquid, continue to boil the marmalade, testing it every few minutes until you have the right set. The marmalade is far more delicious if it is slightly runny.
Sterilising the jars:
We collect jars all year round for our jelly, chutney and jam making sessions. I try to soak off labels and store the clean jars and metal plastic coated screw-top lids in an accessible place. The sterilising method that we used is simple. Just before making the jam, I quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160c/140c for fan assisted. When the oven has reached the right temperature I turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while. I only use plastic lined lids for preserves as the all-metal lids can go rusty. I boil these for five minutes in water to sterilise them. If I use Le Parfait jars, I do the same with the rubber rings.

  Leave a reply


  1. I’ve started a batch of this marmalade tonight and tried to scrub the wax off of the fruit but I don’t know how well I did! Why do they put wax on citrus friut anyway? And what effect would ‘alittle’ have on my marmalade?

  2. emjay1940

    It’s a bit hard to get the exact grams of sugar I use 2 kilo’s oranges to 2 Kilo’s of sugar. As for 2273 litres of water.(thats one hell of a lot of water)why not 2.250 litres or 2.3 litres or 2250mls I realise it is a typo error.
    I also use Jam set and here in Oz we have a jam set sugar that works perfectly. one Kilo of jam set sugar to one kilo of oranges works great. Just made 2 kilo’s of Strawberry jam 2 kilo’s of sugar. absolutely perfect.

  3. I want to make marmalade to sell at our Christmas Bazaar, can I make some without sevilles? I only have one left in the freezer, thanks, Jane.

  4. Maureen

    Made my first batch of marmalade today using the easy seville orange marmalade recipe. I had to boil it for longer than the recipe states and it has turned into an oxford style colour with the thinner peel. Can’t wait to try it though.

  5. Patricia

    I have tried a few times to make Marmalade unsuccessfully, but as I have once again been handed a large sack of special Spanish oranges grown for marmalade, will have another go using this recipe. All I need to ask is, if you cannot get muslin will a sieve be ok?
    Wish me luck hahaha 🙂

    • Fiona Nevile

      It would be OK to use a tea towel rather than muslin.

      Good luck!

  6. just to let you know that the marmelade I made using the Delia easy seville marmelade recipe was a doddle to use and has made very delicious, clear, strong tasting marmelade. Just need to sort out the floating peel and I’ll be happy!

  7. I am in the process of making seville orange marmalade using 24 oranges and 2 lemons.

    Todate I have:- 1.peeled the oranges USING A POTATO PEELER which is very easy. 2. Halved the oranges. 3. Pressed out the juice over an orange squeezer and sieved it into a jug collecting pips on the way. 4. Scooped the membrane out of the pith cups – the peel already collected. 5. Its all now waiting in the fridge for the next process. Pith cups in compost bin.

    I do wish I didn’t have to use sugar but I will be using some white grape juice made from concentrate instead of water and less sugar (jam sugar that is). I’ll see how it goes. If I don’t report on it you will know that it is rubbish. Wish me luck!

  8. Can you tell me if this would work with sweet large oranges? I have loads of them brought back from Valencia and thought this would be a good way of making use of them. I’ve never made marmalade before, I’m champing at the bit after reading your article!

  9. Hi

    I just want to thank you for sharing your research as Jan 2010 was the first time I made marmelade properly and it left me exhausted (though elated!) and I am relieved to find a recipe that is much easier on my poor carpel tunnel raddled wrists.


  10. Magic Cochin

    After much deliberation and comparing recipes I concluded that this recipe seemed to encompass all the best bits of the others – so I followed your instructions, increasing the amounts as I had 2kg of oranges.

    I was a little worried it hadn’t set, but this morning I’ve tested the small half jar and it’s perfection 🙂 a lovely soft jelly, not too bitter and not too sweet.

    We’ve got 21 (and a bit) jars of beautiful marmalade!


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