​It's marmalade season!

​It's marmalade season!

Posted by Valerie Byles on 9th Jan 2024

It's marmalade season again, and the time of year when we go crazy for our favourite toast topping! We always stock up on marmalade glass jars in preparation for this time of year as we know that our customers are huge fans too. So, with this in mind, let's dive into marmalade and look at some tips, tricks and recipes to make the most of citrus season.

What to know about marmalade

Did you know that the name 'marmalade' comes from the Portuguese 'marmelada'? This fruity preserve is made by boiling the juice, pith and peel of citrus oranges with water and sugar. Usually, Seville oranges are used for their bitter, sharp flavour, although limes, lemons, sweet oranges, mandarins, bergamots and grapefruits can also be used, either alone or in combination. Marmalade dates back to the ancient Greeks, who used to slowly cook quinces with honey to create a set spread.

How to make marmalade

Seville oranges are the best choice for making marmalade as they are strong and sour in flavour, which gives the final recipe a wonderful taste. They're also in season from the middle of January to the middle of February, so now is the perfect time to grab a glass jar or two and get busy! You'll need around 8 standard-size glass jars with lids to store the recipe and a muslin bag or fine sieve for straining the mix. Marmalade is fun to make, an easy enough project for beginners, and it doesn't require too much equipment or skill either; just patience and close attention as the preserve boils on the hob top.

Did you know?

Marmalade recipes use far more water than jam because the citrus fruits have a higher degree of pectin, which helps it to set. Grab your Seville oranges and sterilised glass jars and give this recipe a try!

Tips and tricks for making great marmalade

If you've ever experienced a bad batch of marmalade, here are some tips and tricks to guarantee better results:

1. Always use Seville oranges. They're generally too bitter to eat, but they'll give you the best results thanks to their high pectin content.

2. Cut the peel carefully, bearing in mind that it will retain its shape and texture in your preserve. Small, regular chunks tend to be best, and it's usually worth doing this stage by hand.

3. Not got time to make marmalade the traditional way? Try making it in the pressure cooker! Here's a recipe to try:

4. If you're making marmalade in a pan, choose a good quality, heavy-bottomed pan with plenty of space for the jam and sugar to reach a rolling boil.

5. Make smaller batches of marmalade than you would jam, and mix up your recipes. For example, you could add a little whisky to one batch. Just remember to label your whisky jar for marmalade carefully so the kids don't get a surprise at breakfast!

6. Avoid overcooking the peel by checking it with a spoon against a plate. Check it once the cooking liquid has reduced by around a third. Also, avoid overcooking the marmalade as a whole, because the flavour will boil away. Keep a timer to check the time and maintain the pan at a slow simmer so that that the pectin slowly releases from the pith and pips.

7. Don't use jam sugar when you make marmalade with Seville oranges because they already have plenty of pectin.

Perhaps the best advice for making great marmalade is to follow the recipe carefully!

Trying something different

As you get more adept at making marmalade, you might also want to try some different recipes with new flavours. For example, you might try orange and cranberry marmalade, rhubarb and orange conserve, courgette, carrot and ginger marmalade and four citrus jam. There are even low-sugar varieties if you're following a diabetic or low-sugar diet. Find examples of alternative marmalade recipes here:

Storing marmalade in jars

When it's stored correctly in a sterilised jam jar for marmalade, your preserves can last for well over a year, helping you to stock up that pantry with beautiful golden orange preserves. Just make sure you sterilise your jam jars carefully using your preferred method. For many people, this means using a dishwasher, but you can also sterilise glass jars in the oven at a low temperature.

Looking for some marmalade jam jars? Check out our updated range here:

Enjoy the difference at Wares

When you're looking for glass jam jars, you'll find options of all sizes at Wares. We offer a huge product range, low prices, fast delivery and superb service. Even better, you can buy in bulk to save even more on your unit costs; perfect if you're creating a kitchen table business or catering for an event. Sign up for our newsletter for all of the latest news, product releases, inspiration and offers and remember to tag us into any photos of your projects on social media so we can share them with the Wares community.