three-citrus ginger marmalade recipe

I have to admit straight off the bat. I'm usually not a huge fan of marmalade. Sure, I make at least one batch every year, but I normally make it simply because I love making it, not so much because I love to eat it. I will sometimes keep the smallest jar for us, giving the rest away to family and friends, while always reserving a few jars in the pantry for a quick and easy present or thank you gesture should I need one. This recipe however has changed my views on marmalade completely. I'm sorry friends and family, you'll be lucky if you see any of this lot!

Making a batch of marmalade has been on my agenda for over 2 months now. With our grapefruit tree reminding me of this job every time I look out the kitchen window I am feeling a major sense of achievement having finally ticked it off! The method I used for this recipe is from Kim Boyce's beautiful cookbook Good to the Grain-Baking with Whole-Grain Flours. It's super simple and way faster to make than most, having eliminated the usual soaking overnight step, Kim has developed a recipe that can be made from start to finish in about 1 1/2-2 hours. Perfect.

The end result is something really really amazing. (Remembering that I am not usually a big marmalade fan). Using only some of the rind and no pith produces a beautifully clear, almost jelly like marmalade that's nowhere near as bitter as others I have made or tasted. It's flecked with large lumps of fruit, as well as the julienned zest which turns into lovely candied goodness.
The combination of grapefruit, lemons and oranges gives it not only a lovely flavour, but also a beautiful golden hue.

Kim's original recipe calls for oranges, blood oranges and meyer lemons. But by using her formula of equal parts fruit, to water and half as much sugar, you can use whichever citrus you have available. The other reason I went with this recipe over all the other million or so marmalade recipes out there, is the small amount of sugar used. The recipe I have been using for many years now, uses twice as much sugar as the citrus pulp. That's a whole lot of sugar! This only uses 3 cups of sugar to 6 cups of fruit. Love, love, love. Spread thickly on toasted gluten-free bread and you have a lovely wee breaky treat there. Enjoy!

Recipe heavily adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

three-citrus ginger marmalade recipe

This recipe makes 3-5 medium jars. Sorry my jars were all different sizes, so amounts are a wee bit vague! Stored in a cool, dark place this should keep for up to 1 year if jars are properly sterilised (see below).

  • 5 grapefruit, washed well
  • 3 oranges, washed well
  • 3 lemons, washed well
  • 50-60 g (2 inch piece) fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups filtered water (1500ml) 
  • 3 cups (600g) raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) crystallised ginger, roughly chopped

Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zest off 2 of the lemons, 2 of the oranges and 1 grapefruit. Thinly slice these strips into long, thin strips, (julienne). Put these into a small pot, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and blanch for 30 seconds before refreshing under cold running water. Strain and set aside.
Cut the ends off all the citrus. Using a sharp knife, peel all the skin and pith off the fruit. Try to peel all the pith off, as this is what will create a lovely clear not too bitter marmalade. Discard skin and pith, compost if you can 🙂 Cut the fruit into rough dice about 2-3cm pieces, removing any pips.

Measure the fruit, you need 6 cups of it, so peel and cut up more fruit if you need to. Place the 6 cups of fruit into a large, thick bottom pot with any juice that has seeped onto your chopping board. Tie the sliced fresh ginger up in a small square of muslin and add to the pot, along with the water and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about 1 hour, until reduced by half. Skim off any white foam that forms and stir occasionally. Remove ginger muslin bag with tongs, squeezing as much juice as you can from it before discarding. Stir in the blanched zest, sugar and crystallised ginger. Boil over high heat for around 20-30 minutes stirring often towards the end, until setting point is reached.

To test, dip a wooden spoon into the marmalade and allow the mixture to drip.When two drips merge on the end of the spoon instead of running off the spoon, the mixture will set on cooling. Alternatively drop a spoonful onto a chilled plate, run your finger through it and if your trail remains there, it's reached setting point. Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes: this helps to evenly distribute the peel. Then carefully spoon into sterilised jars using a spoon that has been sterilised in boiling water for 5 minutes. Screw on lids and set aside to cool. Wipe down the outside of jars with a wet cloth if you have dribbled marmalade down the sides, label and store in a cool, dark place.
To sterilise jars.
Wash jars in hot, soapy water. Place into the oven at 120 C/248 F for 30 minutes.

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  • Reply
    October 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    This recipe looks lovely and easy to make! Thanks for having visited my blog 🙂

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi
    October 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

    I haven't made marmalade yet, but expect to try it this year. LOVE your photos!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Thank you Melanie 🙂 Good luck with your first batch of marmalade, let me know how it goes.

  • Reply
    October 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Sounds delicious. Our marmalade this year was oranges, lemons & grapefruit. The gingers sounds a yummy addition. As always Emm. Thanks for the inspiration. Gillian

  • Reply
    October 21, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Gillian, Thank you soooooo much for the lovely Macadamia treat yesterday!!! Ada was in heaven. Thank Wayne again for me too, I know how hard they are to shell! Xxx

  • Reply
    December 10, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Hi, I made this marmalade last week and I am so delighted with it I have bought more of the ingredients and I will be making it for some lucky people for Christmas. I also looked up the book that you got the recipe from and I bought that too. I really liked your way of writing on your blog it is nice and easy to read and interesting too. Thanks.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Hey, that's great to hear you made this recipe…you won't be dissapointed with Good to the Grain either, great, great book. Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  • Reply
    the good soup
    July 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Another recipe from Good to the Grain I'm going to have to make. Thank you Emm.

  • Reply
    Sugar and Spice
    December 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I did it! I did it!! Made 3 jars of citrus marmalade. I couldn't get grapefruit, so made mine with navel oranges, tangelos and lemons. The colour of the marmalade looks like yours, although I think my consistency is a tad bit runnier. Ah well, can't win them all! Taste test this morning confirms edibility. Thanks for posting this recipe!! :-))

  • Reply
    December 15, 2011 at 5:49 am

    Awesome! Well done, you are becoming quite the little preserver 🙂

  • Reply
    July 17, 2012 at 3:46 am

    This looks awesome. I live grapefruit, oranges, lemon and ginger. Can't wait to try. What type of bread is in your picture. This looks yummy too!

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