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Sunny Navel Orange Marmalade Recipe

I do so love Orange Marmalade and I have found this to be the best navel orange marmalade recipe for canning.

It is a lovely quirk of nature that the sunniest fruit is at its sweetest and juiciest in winter. And that my friends, is a very good thing.

When all the world seems cold and gray, along comes a juicy and sweet navel orange and one bite reminds you that it a few short months we’ll be smack in the middle of spring.

So, I think we do need to pause and thank Mother Nature for gifting us with these edible rays of sunshine about now. …. (pause)….(‘thank-you Mother Nature’)…(pause)… O.K….now that we’ve appropriately given thanks for these gifts, let’s talk Orange Marmalade.

I have been canning preserves, jams, and jellies for many years, but I just never got around to making and canning marmalade so I was looking for a fairly easy recipe. No real reason…just never thought about it.

But I have some girlfriends who want me to teach them to make preserves and I like to preserve seasonally. So…since we’ll be doing our preserving February and not much else but citrus is in season, marmalade it is!

Our ‘marmalade night’ is still a couple of weeks away, but since I have never made orange marmalade before, I did want to run through the process at least once before the big night.

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I used Marisa McClellan’s recipe for Three Citrus Marmalade from her Food In Jars book, altering it only slightly as I only used Navel Oranges and Lemons.

Navel Orange Marmalade recipe: shredded orange peel

There is no sugarcoating it, there is a bit of prep work involved in making marmalade. It’s not hard and you will have the immense benefit of a home that smells delightfully citrusy, but do plan on spending some time first zesting your fruit and then slicing your zest very thinly. A serrated peeler is key! I use this one. I tried using my non-serrated peeler and that tool pulled off more of the bitter pith than the serrated one did.

Orange Marmalade recipe: close up of navel oranges with zested peels

Put on some good music and be one with the citrus.

The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. If you are new to canning, it should be your very first purchase. My cookbook library inventory recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes! check out. 

These are the jars I used, but mine have the black lids. Not sure they sell the black lids anymore.

This Orange Marmalade tastes like sunshine in a jar! And need a quick appetizer? How about a dollop of marmalade on top of goat cheese? An easy recipe with canning suggestions.

Orange Marmalade Recipe

Marisa McClellan
A sunny Orange Marmalade recipe as well as suggestions on water bath canning the marmalade. Ideas for serving the marmalade are also included.
4.36 from 37 votes
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Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Canning Time 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Course Canning, Preserving, Jam + Jellies
Cuisine American
Servings 8 half-pint jars
Calories 77 kcal


  • 4 pounds of assorted citrus fruit I used organic, especially since we'll be using the rind
  • 6 cups sugar


  • Prepare canner, jars, and lids. See The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for instruction and additional reference.
  • Place a saucer with 3 spoons on it in your freezer
  • Wash your fruit well.
  • Using a serrated-edge vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the fruit. (A regular vegetable peeler doesn't work quite as well, it seems to get more of the bitter white pith)
  • Chop the zest into fine strips.
  • Fill a pot with 2 quarts of water and add the zest.
  • Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the zest strips are tender
  • While the zest cooks, cut the fruit away from the remaining pith and membranes. This is most easily done by cutting off the top and bottom of the fruit and skimming down the sides with a sharp knife, just between the fruit and the pith.
  • Once the pith is gone, cut the fruit out from each membrane, saving the pits and the membrane in one bowl and collecting the fruit and juices in another bowl.
  • These seeds/membranes will provide the pectin to this marmalade.
  • Tie up the membranes and seeds into a piece of cheesecloth, secured tightly so no seeds escape.
  • Drain the zest in a fine mesh sieve, reserving the cooking liquid.
  • In a large pot, combine the drained zest, segmented fruit and juice, 4 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, 6 cups of sugar, and the bundle of seeds/membranes.
  • Bring to a vigorous boil and cook until the mixture reaches 220'F (between 30-40 minutes), stirring regularly.
  • When the marmalade reaches 220' and stays at that temperature for 1 minute even after being stirred, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Put a dollop on the frozen plate and return it to the freezer for 1-2 minutes. If at the end of the 1-2 minutes the marmalade 'wrinkles' when pushed, then you are ready to proceed with canning. If not, then return the pot to the heat and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Once you believe the marmalade has set, remove it from the heat and pull out the cheesecloth bundle, forcing as much of the goodness out of it as you can by pushing it against the side of the pot.
  • Spoon your jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles and wipe the rim.
  • Center lid on the jar
  • Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
  • Place jars in a canner, making sure they are completely covered with water
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil
  • Boil for 10 minutes
  • Turn the heat off, remove the lid and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Carefully remove jars with a jar lifter and place them on a rack where they can be undisturbed for 24 hours.
  • Refrigerate any jars if their lids don't pop down.
  • Notes
  • This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. Please see the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.


Adapted from Food In Jars


Serving: 1ounceCalories: 77kcalCarbohydrates: 20gSugar: 19g
Keyword canning, marmalade, orange, preserving, recipe
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Sunny and Delicious Navel Orange Marmalade

This Navel Orange Marmalade recipe for canning tastes like sunshine in a jar! And need a quick appetizer? How about a dollop of marmalade on top of goat cheese? An easy recipe with canning suggestions.
Canned Jars of Navel Orange Marmalade Recipe

Once you make your orange marmalade, what will you do with the citrus-y deliciousness?

This Navel Orange Marmalade recipe tastes like sunshine in a jar! And need a quick appetizer? How about a dollop of marmalade on top of goat cheese? An easy recipe with canning suggestions.

But let me tell you my favorite way to eat this Orange Marmalade. Of course, it involves goat cheese. So think about this…thin-sliced rosemary, fig, and nut bread, with a dollop of goat cheese and then another dollop of Orange Marmalade. Are you kidding me? This is so incredibly tasty!

The tangy goat cheese really balances the sweetness of marmalade and is the perfect example of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Some serious culinary alchemy happens with this combination…trust me.

And if you think those tags are as cute as I do, pop over here to see how I made them with my new Cricut.

Navel Orange Marmalade Recipe: spread with goat cheese on toast

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this Orange Marmalade Recipe in the future. reference.

Orange Marmalade on crackers

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Until next time…



Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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    1. Hey Claire, I needed to look up jaffa cake…and now I want to make it! Sounds delicious! Is the recipe you use on-line? If so, would you share the link?

      1. It’s not a recipe on-line but I’m sure you’d be able to find one. Basically it’s a flat sponge topped with an orange marmalade jelly and he dark chocolate. They can be individual biscuit size or you can make a giant one as a cake. There is debate in the UK weather a Jaffa cake should be classed as a biscuit or a cake all to do with tax! (By the way English biscuits aren’t the same as American ones which might be confusing)

  1. This looks delicious, Lynn! I make a grilled pork loin with orange marmalade sauce. I bet using this recipe for homemade orange marmalade will make it outstanding. I will try this soon!

    1. Hey Sherry…wow, that pork loin sounds ah…may…zing! Need to find a similar recipe.

      Thanks for swinging by my friend.

      Have a great weekend.


  2. I have nver canned a thing in my life, and maybe I never will, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love things that wonderful people like you can! My grandma used to make things just like this, and I loved when she would send me some! This looks so delicious, my mouth is watering, and you are making me wish I was better in the kitchen for sure! Lovely!

  3. I haven’t canned in years, Lynn; but there is nothing better than canning your own fruits! Yours looks pretty enough to give out as gifts. I think I’ll take one…Thank You! PS. Winter naval oranges are the best, especially down in Florida.

  4. Lynn, you are so eloquent about oranges. Years ago we had a major freeze at the farm and all our oranges and lemons nearly died. So my husband bought sour oranges which were cheaper and wanted to graft on the lemons. Well to this day I cringe when I go near them. But there are 3 or 4 trees that have perfect oranges and those are the treasures! Now I just have to remember where they are.

  5. So simple and so delicious. I made a batch and surprised my neighbors with jars…everyone loved it! Thank you for the great recipe.

    1. Oh I am so happy! I bet it is beautiful! I’d love to see a picture if you don’t mind taking a quick picture and sending it. I love the color of blood oranges.

      Thanks, Lynn

4.36 from 37 votes (37 ratings without comment)

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