Marmalade made of Valencia oranges. (JG Photo/Petty Elliott)

A Breakfast Treat of English Marmalade

JANUARY 18, 2015

new Paddington Bear movie recently hit cinema screens across the world, including those in Jakarta. Based on a popular series of children’s books about a walking, talking Peruvian bear with a love of marmalade, the enchanting movie has been a raving success, especially in its native country of England. 

The film has even helped boost sales of the sweet, gold colored spread across Britain, according to various reports from UK media, as schoolchildren are demanding to have marmalade sandwiches for lunch.

Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can actually be made from any citrus, including from Indonesia’s own jeruk purut, kaffir lime (or lemon cui) and calamansi. 

But true British marmalade is produced with the Spanish Seville orange, which is valued for its high pectin content. Also called bitter orange, the fruit contains a higher level of acidity than most of its counterparts. The skin or peel has a slightly bitter taste, hence its moniker. 

Unlike jam, marmalade is made with only the peel and pulp of the fruit. Also, its sparkling, golden hue sets the traditional English breakfast treat apart.

This week, I have prepared a recipe for marmalade with Valencia oranges. Sunkist or navel oranges are good substitutes as they are easier to buy in supermarkets. 


Homemade marmalade

There are many different ways to make marmalade. I find this method is easy but it may take more time.

To have make a delicious marmalade is important to have enough pectin. And although fresh lime juice is an option, I prefer to use it. 

Marmalade is not only a tasty spread for your toast at breakfast, it is also a great ingredient for deserts, including cake, muffin or cupcakes.

For this particular recipe, you will need eight 300-mililiter sterile jam jars with lids. 


• 1kg Valencia oranges

• 100ml of lime juice

• Approximately 1.8kg of sugar

• 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar to give the mixture that amber hue (optional)


• Wash the oranges and place them in a large glass-mixing bowl and cover with water overnight.

• The next day, discard the water and place the oranges in a large pan. Add fresh water to cover the oranges.

• Place the pan on a stove and bring the water to a boil. Turn the flames down to low heat and simmer for up to one and a half hours or until the fruit is soft. Remove the orange from the hot water to cool.

• In the mean time, sterilize the jars. Simply wash the jars well in warm soapy water and rinse. Soak the jars in very hot water for 30 minutes. Dry and set them aside.

• When the oranges have cooled, cut them in half crosswise. The oranges should be very soft now. Remember to remove any seeds. As you slice, the fruit will produce plenty of juice — always collect the liquids and put the aside in a bowl.

• Place the sliced oranges along with the juice in the same pan and weigh them.

• Add double the sugar to the weight of the oranges slices and liquid. Add the required amount of brown sugar.

• Place the pan over a low heat and stir slowly until the sugar is dissolved.

• Bring the marmalade to a boil for 15-20 minutes. Skim off any orange scum that rises to the surface. Test the consistency by dropping a small amount of the mixture onto a chilled tablespoon; leave for a moment. Touch the mixture; if it wrinkles, it is ready.

• Remove the pan and carefully ladle its content into the sterilized jars, leaving around 1cm of space at the top. The marmalade will continue to thicken as it cools.