Dark Muscovado & Whisky Marmalade Recipe

As many of you know, I have happily been playing house in our amazing new abode and totally neglecting my blog, work and other aspects of life that (if I’m brutally honest!) just aren’t as exciting as home decorating and getting acquainted with our new space! Here’s a quick post about my first attempt at making marmalade with oranges and lemons freshly picked from trees on our property! Totes need to get my green fingers on so that said trees will make it through to the next season, yikes!

Also, any vegetable gardening tips welcome – desperate to grow my own ‘something’?!

Back to the the marmalade – let me start of by saying that I have never really been a fan of the stuff but regardless wanted to try my hand making our beautiful oranges into something useful other than juicing them or eating them straight up. I consulted with my Dad, ultimate critic and borderline foodie, and he sent me a couple of recipes and helped me with a few tips along the way…

marm2 marm1Ingredients

  • 1.3kg Seville oranges
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 2¼kg granulated or preserving sugar
  • 450g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150ml whisky


  1. Place the whole oranges and lemon juice in a large preserving pan and cover with 2 litres/ 4 pints water. If this is not enough to cover the fruit, put it in a smaller pan. If necessary, weight the oranges with a heat-proof plate to keep them under the water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for about 2 hours, or until the peel can be pierced easily with a fork.
  2. Warm half of the white and dark sugar in a very low oven. Pour off the cooking water from the oranges into a jug and tip the oranges into a bowl. Return the cooking liquid to the pan. Leave the oranges to cool until they are easy to handle, then cut them in half. Scoop out all the pips and pith and add these to reserved orange liquid in the pan. Bring to the boil for 6 minutes then strain this liquid through a sieve into a bowl, pressing the pulp through with a wooden spoon; the result is high in pectin, which helps to ensure the marmalade has a good set.
  3. Pour half this liquid into a preserving pan. Cut the peel into chunky shreds, using a sharp knife. Add half the peel to the liquid in the preserving pan with the warm white and dark muscovado sugars. Stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and bubble rapidly for 15-25 minutes until setting point is reached. Stir in half the whisky.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and skim any scum from the surface. (To dissolve any excess scum, drop a small knob of butter on the surface, and gently stir.) Leave the marmalade to stand in the pan for 20 minutes to cool a little and to allow the peel to settle, then pot in sterilised jars, seal and label. Repeat for the remaining batch
  5. Make it your own: replace whisky with Grand Marnier, Drambuie or Cointreau. Instead of muscovado sugar, use 2.6kg/6lb granulated or preserving sugar and add 2 tbsp black treacle (adding 1 tbsp per batch). This will darken the marmalade.

TIP 1: To sterilise jars lids, place them on a baking tray in a cold oven. Set the oven to 110 degrees and once the light has gone off and the oven has reached that temp, switch off and leave jars inside until you are ready for them…

TIP 2: Test for setting point by dropping a little of the mixture onto a chilled saucer, leave for a moment, then push your finger into the marmalade. If it wrinkles it is ready.

TIP 3: Do not be an asshole and try to double the mixture on your first attempt like I did. Marmalade EVERYWHERE. Kitchen is still sticky! You need to leave space in the pot for the marmalade to boil and bubble as it will rise quite dramatically when it does (mine spilled over onto the gas stove top and was popping and spitting all over the show, NOT fun to clean up!)

Even though I don’t really love marmalade, I had to give it a go on a slice of toast and I must say, Im pretty pleased with how it turned out. My farjha reckons it the taste is definitely there but that my version could be a bit thicker (because I’d doubled it, wasn’t sure about how long to boil it for etc and admittedly took it off the heat before it was ready) – not bad for a first attempt though and definitely keen to make more at some stage, watch this space :) Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my AMAZING and super easy lemon curd recipe which I also attempted the same day and for the first time ever! marm3{ link for marmalade original recipe }



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