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RECIPE: Marmalade from Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson

Claire Thomson

This recipe will see you through all marmalade-related endeavours.

“One of my favourite kitchen tasks, marmalade making has the advantage of filling your house with the smells of citrus and sunshine,” says chef and food writer, Claire Thomson.

“I find this is especially welcome during the cold, dank months of January and February, when Seville oranges come into season.

In my recipe, you boil the oranges and a few lemons whole, then leave them to cool (overnight is best) in the bright, bitter liquid before scraping out the pith and pips, then cutting the skin to size,” Thomson adds.

“I like my marmalade thick cut, a jagged and chaotic jigsaw of orange skin – a million, trillion miles away from thin and straggly.

Buy a digital thermometer to take the indecision and heartache out of marmalade-making (among other cooking tasks).

Boiled for one minute when the marmalade reaches 105°C/221°F, the marmalade will set with a tender, covetous wobble.”

Marmalade recipe from Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson


(Makes 2.5kg)

900g Seville oranges

3 lemons

2kg granulated sugar


1. Put the oranges and lemons in a large saucepan and pour over two litres (70fl oz) of water. Bring to a boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for two hours. Remove from the heat and leave the fruit to sit in the liquid in the pan for at least six hours, or overnight.

3. Remove the fruits, leaving the liquid in the pan, and split them in half, scooping out the flesh and pips and reserving these in a bowl. Chop the orange and lemon skins however you like – into fat or thin strips.

4. Tie the fruit flesh and pips tightly in cheese cloth or muslin (or use any clean cloth). Add the sugar and the chopped skins to the pan with the liquid, along with the cloth tied with the flesh and pips. Bring the pan to a rapid boil over a high heat – be careful it will boil volcanically, so keep a watchful eye – then boil steadily until the marmalade reaches the magic setting point of 105°C/221°F. When you get to this temperature, boil the marmalade for a further one minute.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the marmalade to stand and settle for at least 30 minutes before spooning into clean, sterilised jars and sealing tight. The marmalade can last for anything up to a year or more.

W Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson, photography by Sam Folan, is published by Quadrille, priced £30. Available now.

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