Orange and rum marmalade

Whenever I make marmalade what I love more than anything else is the gorgeous orange aromas that fill the flat. The smell of those orange peels as they cook is what happiness is made of. Adding rum in this orange and rum marmalade makes an aroma that will have you weak at the knees. They say that the smell of freshly baked bread is amazing for selling your house, but if I walked in to this smell I would be smitten.

Marmalade is the best preserve (in my not-so-humble opinion). Yes, a wonderfully vibrant raspberry jam is a delight in the middle of a Victoria sponge, but is there anything better than a thick layer of marmalade spread over a slice of toast? Honestly, I don’t think so. But let me know in the comments or on Instagram.

orange and rum marmalade

There’s something about the fact that it’s not quite as sweet as other preserves makes marmalade’s citrusy goodness quite irresistable. Previous versions here on The Usual Saucepans have featured grapefruit and gin, but this year’s marmalade making is going a little off-piste with the addition of rum.

Thinking it’s not the most obvious flavour for marmalade? Well, you’re certainly not wrong, but let me convince you. We’re talking a dark or black spiced rum here (keep those bottles of clear-as-water Bacardi away!). It’s not as sweet and the spices that make up its gorgeous flavours give you layers of deliciousness that make the end marmalade devine.

The perfect sized peel

orange and rum marmalade

This time round I’ve also learnt a new trick for sorting out the hardest part of marmalade making – getting those slices of peel just right. The key is a Julienne peeler (I got this one from Amazon). If you’re not familiar with one, it’s essentially a normal peeler, but with an additional row of little teeth that cut your peeling into ribbons as you go. Not only does this give you the perfect size of cut, but it also means you can easily avoid getting most of that bitter white pith into your marmalade. It also gives you ample opportunity for cutting your fingers to ribbons, so please be more careful that I was!

orange and rum marmalade
orange and rum marmalade

Orange and rum marmalade

  • Author: Craig
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 5 jars 1x


If you’re a marmalade fan then this is the recipe for you – it’s got sweetness, citrus goodness and a wonderful layer of spice.



  • 1kg Seville oranges
  • 1.1kg granulated sugar
  • 75 ml rum (I used Kraken)
  • 2 litres water


Wash the oranges – in very hot water if they are waxed. Dry them off with kitchen paper or a clean dishtowel. Get your Julienne peeler and peel the oranges, transferring the thin slices of peel to a pan that contains about 2 litres of water.

Bring the pot to a simmer and let the peels cook for 15-20 minutes until soft. Whilst they’re cooking, peel the pith off your ranges and put the pieces into a bowl.

Whilst the fruit is softening, wash your jars in hot water and then dry, upside down, in the oven (about 100ºC), along with the lids. Put a saucer in the fridge to cool – it’ll be used for determining if the marmalade is set.

Once the oranges are cooked, keep about 1.5 litres of the cooking liquid and dispose of the rest.

Put the cooking liquid back into a large pan on a medium heat and add in about a third of the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Repeat this twice more until all the sugar has dissolved.

Add the peels into the pot. Take the bowl of orange pieces and either put them into a muslin bag or a very clean sieve. Please the bag or sieve into the pot.

Boil for 15 minutes, removing any layer of foam and scum that floats to the surface (this will take out impurities and make the flavour less bitter).

Add the rum and stir through.

To test the setting point, drop a little of the marmalade on to the cold saucer (that you put in the fridge earlier). Leave it to cool for a few moments, then run your finger through it. If it wrinkles around your finger, or up ahead of it, then it’s ready. If it doesn’t, continue to boil. Test it every 3-5 minutes. It can take up to half an hour to set, depending on how quickly the liquid boils off.

When the marmalade is ready, remove it from the heat and ladle it into the sterilised jars, leaving a little gap at the top. Put circles of grease-proof paper into the top of the jars and leave to cool. Don’t put the lids on until the jars are fully cooled.

  • Category: Preserves
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: orange and rum marmalade

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orange and rum marmalade