Lime Marmalade

“Borrowed” from Dan Lepard’s recipe. Makes 3-4 1lb jars of chunky lime marmalade

Next thought – these Lime and Almond Tarts (Lime Bakewells) sound good!


  • 900g/2lb limes
  • 900g/2lb white sugar
  • [Dan suggests adding ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda to help achieve a good set; I haven’t needed it]


  • Cut the limes in half and squeeze out the juice; keep this to one side to add later.
  • Cover the limes with 2 litres of water, and boil gently for an hour. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Scrape out the pith and gubbins with a teaspoon into a square of muslin or similar.
  • Slice the peels thinly, and also add to the pan. [Add the lime ends to your muslin square.]
    • [This is where you choose the consistency of your marmalade. The thinner you scrape the peels, and the finer you cut the peel, the more delicate the marmalade looks. I cut off the thicker ends of the fruit and add to the gubbins in the muslin/cloth square.]
  • Tie the gubbins in the cloth into a bag with a piece of string (this needs to be long enough to let you hang the bag later and drain the juice). Pop into the boiling pan.
  • Top up with water until well covered, and boil for about an hour. The peel should be so tender that you can break a piece in two by pressing it with your fingers.
  • Scoop the peels out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
  • Add the lime juice to the boiling pan, and boil the liquid and pith bag over a high heat until it reduces to about 1 litre of liquid. Remove from the heat.
    • [Hang the pith bag over the pan overnight to catch every last drop of liquid.]
  • [Next day?] Put 4 clean 1lb jam jars into the oven to sterilise (at 120°C/250°F, Gas Mark ½ for 10 minutes or more). Pop a clean saucer into the freezer.
  • Place the peel and liquid in a deep saucepan. Add the sugar [and bicarb, if using; I didn’t, and it worked]. Bring slowly to the boil until the sugar is fully dissolved; then get it to a good rolling boil. Boil, without stirring “until it reaches setting point”.
    • If you have a jam thermometer, boil until the marmalade reaches 104C.
    • No thermometer? Boil for 10-12 minutes on the highest heat possible, without stirring. After 10 minutes (on my cooker), the roiling bubbles noticeably change texture – they become bigger and “glue-ier”. Pop a wee drop of the marmalade on to the saucer from the freezer, and leave in the fridge for a minute or two. Push the drop with your finger tip. If it wrinkles, firm and jelly-like, then your marmalade is ready.
    • Notes
      • Do not boil for more than a couple of minutes extra; better to pot the marmalade in the hope that it does set. If it doesn’t, Dan Lepard’s cure is to grate a Bramley apple into the marmalade, and reboil. Useful to know.]
      • To get a good set, it is safer on my cooker to boil half the marmalade to setting point and pot; then repeat with the second half. Fiddly, but more reliable.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and allow to settle for 5-10 minutes. Ladle the marmalade into the hot jars, seal, and allow to cool.

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