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Easy Homemade Orange Marmalade Recipe (No Pectin)

Orange marmalade is a classic preserve that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is made from fresh oranges, sugar, and water, and has a tangy, bittersweet flavor that is perfect for adding to toast, scones, and other baked goods. Making your own orange marmalade is a great way to enjoy this delicious spread at home, and it's surprisingly easy to do.

What kind of oranges are good for marmalade? 

To make orange marmalade, you'll need to start by selecting the right type of oranges. Seville oranges are the traditional choice for marmalade, as they have a high pectin content that helps the preserve set properly.

However, if you can't find Seville oranges, you can also use other types of oranges, such as Valencia or blood oranges. If needed, you can use navel oranges. 

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Close-up looking at a jar of orange marmalade.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Looking for a sweet and tangy spread to add to your morning toast or afternoon tea? Look no further than this delicious orange marmalade recipe! Here are just a few reasons why you'll love making and enjoying this recipe:

  • Simple ingredients: With just a few simple ingredients like oranges, sugar, and water, you can create a flavorful and satisfying marmalade that's perfect for any occasion.
  • Customizable sweetness: Adjust the amount of sugar you use to make your marmalade as sweet or tangy as you like. You can even experiment with different types of oranges to create unique flavor combinations.
  • Versatile uses: This orange marmalade is great for more than just toast! Use it as a glaze for meats or vegetables, stir it into yogurt or oatmeal, or even drizzle it over ice cream for a sweet and tangy treat.
  • Long-lasting freshness: Properly canned and stored, your homemade orange marmalade can last for up to a year, so you can enjoy its delicious flavor long after you've made it.

So why not try making this orange marmalade recipe today? It's easy, delicious, and sure to become a staple in your kitchen!

A jar of homemade orange marmalade.

Ingredients Needed:

Get more info on all of these ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. 

  • medium or large oranges
  • lemon - for zest and juice 
  • water
  • granulated white sugar
  • vanilla extract
Ingredients needed for homemade orange marmalade.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How To Make Orange Marmalade

Orange marmalade is a delicious spread that is perfect for toast, scones, and other baked goods. Making your own marmalade is easy, and it allows you to customize the flavor to your liking. Here is a simple recipe for making orange marmalade at home.

  1. Wash the citrus fruits well under cold water in a large bowl. Cut the ends of the oranges off and then cut into 8 orange slices. Once in half, then cut the half into fourths and repeat. Remove and toss away any seeds.
  2. Add the oranges to a food processor or place in a blender and blend or process until combined and the orange peel rind has become small pieces.
  3. Pour this mixture into a large saucepan or a large pot.
  4. Zest a lemon into the pot and then squeeze all of its juice into the pot as well. Remove any seeds that may have come from the lemons while zesting and squeezing the juice.
  5. Add the sugar and water into the pot. Stir it all together.
  6. Over medium heat bring the pot to a full rolling boil. Once boiling, stir and turn the heat down to low.
  7. Let mixture simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot, but try to leave the pot covered with a lid so the mixture doesn't splatter everywhere while simmering.
  8. After the homemade marmalade has thickened and reduced, you will see that the mixture will slide off the spoon in thick layers instead of drops as you go to stir it.
  9. Once it's nice and thick, you can then remove the marmalade from the stove and add in the vanilla extract. Stir together. 
  10. Pour the marmalade into a mason jar to store. 

That's it! With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can make your own delicious orange marmalade at home. 

A collage of images showing the steps on how to make orange marmalade.

Storage

Orange marmalade can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

If you wish to keep your marmalade longer, you can freeze it for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.

Can you store orange marmalade at room temperature? 

The answer to the question is yes, you can store unopened marmalade at room temperature. As long as the jar is airtight and has been sterilized (boiled), it should keep in a cool, dark place for up to two months. Make sure to check regularly on the seal of the jar and discard if any signs of spoilage appear.

A mason jar full of freshly made orange marmalade.

What size jars should I use? 

This depends on how you want to store it really. This recipe makes 24 ounces. 

​So, you could use 3 half-pint jars or a different variation of jars. 

Recipe Variations

There are many variations of orange marmalade recipe that you can try to make it more interesting and unique. Here are a few ideas to try after your first time:

  • Spiced Orange Marmalade: Add some spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to your orange marmalade recipe to give it a warm, cozy flavor. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little kick.
  • Ginger Orange Marmalade: Add some grated ginger to your orange marmalade recipe to give it a fresh, zesty flavor. This variation is perfect for those who love a little spice in their food.
  • Whiskey Orange Marmalade: Add a splash of whiskey to your orange marmalade recipe to give it a rich, smoky flavor. This variation is perfect for those who love a little boozy kick in their food.
  • Blood Orange Marmalade: Use blood oranges instead of regular oranges to make your marmalade. Blood oranges have a deeper, more complex flavor than regular oranges, which makes for a unique and interesting marmalade.
  • Orange and Vanilla Marmalade: Add a splash of vanilla extract to your orange marmalade recipe to give it a sweet, creamy flavor. This variation is perfect for those who love a little sweetness in their food.

Try these variations and see which one you like the best. You can also experiment with your own variations by adding different fruits, spices, or flavors to your marmalade recipe. Have fun and enjoy the delicious taste of homemade orange marmalade!

A spoon holding a serving of orange marmalade.

Tips & Tricks

Making orange marmalade can be a little tricky, but with these tips and tricks, you'll be able to make a perfect batch every time.

  • Choose the right oranges: Seville oranges are the best choice for making marmalade. They have a high pectin content, which is essential for setting the marmalade. If you can't find Seville oranges, you can use regular oranges, but you may need to add pectin to help it set. Also, use oranges when in citrus season for the best flavor.
  • Use a candy thermometer: A candy thermometer is essential for making marmalade. It will help you monitor the temperature of the mixture and ensure that it reaches the correct temperature for setting. The ideal temperature for marmalade is 220°F (104°C).
  • Prepare your jars in advance: Before you start making the marmalade, make sure you have clean, sterilized jars ready to go. You can sterilize them by boiling them in water for 10 minutes or running them through the dishwasher on the hottest cycle.
  • Cut the peel into thin strips: To get the perfect texture for your marmalade, it's important to cut the peel into thin, even strips. You can use a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer to do this.
  • Don't rush the process: Making marmalade takes time and patience. Don't try to rush the process by turning up the heat or skipping steps or not letting it get to a full boil. Follow the recipe carefully and be prepared to spend some time making the marmalade.
  • Test the set: To test if the marmalade has set, place a small amount on a plate and let it cool for a few minutes. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it's ready. If it's still runny, keep cooking and testing until it's ready.
  • Be careful. When processing half-pint canning jars (or other sized canning jars), be sure to use a jar lifter when removing the hot jars from the hot water bath so you don't have any injuries. 

By following these tips and tricks, you'll be able to make a delicious batch of this easy recipe that's perfect for spreading on toast or using in your favorite recipes.

A slice of toast with orange marmalade and a bite taken out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients for orange marmalade?

Orange marmalade typically requires oranges, sugar, and water. Some recipes may also include lemon juice or vanilla (like ours does!).

How do you make traditional orange marmalade?

To make traditional orange marmalade, you will need to peel and slice oranges, boil them with water, and add sugar. The mixture is then simmered until it reaches a gel-like consistency.

Can you use fresh oranges for orange marmalade?

Yes, fresh oranges can be used for orange marmalade. In fact, using fresh oranges can result in a brighter flavor and a more vibrant color. We don't recommend using frozen oranges. 

If possible, you can certainly use fresh, organic oranges. 

What is the difference between orange jam and marmalade?

Orange jam is made by cooking oranges with sugar until they break down and form a thick, spreadable consistency.

Marmalade, on the other hand, is made by cooking oranges with sugar and water until the mixture forms a gel-like consistency with pieces of peel throughout.

How do you reduce bitterness in marmalade?

To reduce bitterness in marmalade, you can soak the sliced oranges in water overnight before cooking. You can also adjust the sugar to orange ratio to balance out the bitterness.

What is the recommended sugar to orange ratio for marmalade?

The recommended sugar to orange ratio for marmalade is typically 1:1. However, this can be adjusted based on personal preference and the sweetness of the oranges being used.

How do you preserve homemade orange marmalade? 

The best way to preserve delicious marmalade is super easy. You will need to sterilize the jars you are using and heat the marmalade that you made with this easy orange marmalade recipe until it reaches boiling point.

Once it has reached boiling point, you should ladle the marmalade into sterile jars and seal them tightly with lids. The filled jars should then be processed in a boiling water bath for 10 to 15 minutes. After processing, allow the jars to cool before storing in a cool, dry place for up to one year.

Why don't you need pectin for marmalade? 

Pectin is not necessary for making marmalade as the natural pectin found in oranges provides enough stability and texture to the finished product. However, if you are looking to make a thicker or set marmalade then adding a commercial pectin can be helpful.

When using commercial pectin, usually it is recommended to add the pectin to the boiling mixture and boil for a few minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. Be sure to follow the directions on the package for best results! 

Want more homemade jams? 

Try our rhubarb jam, strawberry jam, blueberry ja, agar agar jam, Amish blackberry jam, and more! Keep checking back for more jam recipes.  

A jar of fresh made orange marmalade.

Easy Homemade Orange Marmalade Recipe (No Pectin)

Make your own Orange Marmalade without pectin in no time with this simple recipe.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Orange Marmalade
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Author: Mason Jar Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 medium/large oranges
  • ½ lemon - zest and juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Wash the citrus fruits well under cold water in a large bowl. Cut the ends of the oranges off and then cut into 8 orange slices. Once in half, then cut the half into fourths and repeat. Remove and toss away any seeds.
  • Add the oranges to a food processor or place in a blender and blend or process until combined and the orange peel rind has become small pieces.
  • Pour this mixture into a large saucepan or a large pot.
  • Zest a lemon into the pot and then squeeze all of its juice into the pot as well. Remove any seeds that may have come from the lemons while zesting and squeezing the juice.
  • Add the sugar and water into the pot. Stir it all together.
  • Over medium heat bring the pot to a full rolling boil. Once boiling, stir and turn the heat down to low.
  • Let mixture simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot, but try to leave the pot covered with a lid so the mixture doesn't splatter everywhere while simmering.
  • After the homemade marmalade has thickened and reduced, you will see that the mixture will slide off the spoon in thick layers instead of drops as you go to stir it.
  • Once it's nice and thick, you can then remove the marmalade from the stove and add in the vanilla extract. Stir together.
  • Pour the marmalade into a mason jar to store.

Nutritional Disclaimer

These Nutritional Facts are ESTIMATED. Your actual nutritional info with this recipe may vary depending on the brands you choose. “Mason Jar Recipe” is not a registered dietician or nutritionist. The provided nutritional info above is based on a generic calculator, if you want more accurate info, use your nutritional calculator of choice where you can choose brands and get more info that way.

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A jar of delicious homemade Orange Marmalade.

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