Lime Marmalade


Lemon Marmalade

I was trying to think of a good house warming gift for a client who has everything and more. And I had been wanting to make my Lemon Lime Marmalade again. So I said, “I must make my marmalade!” But as used to happen with a lot of my experimental cooking, I would never note it down and next time around, still need to search. Now I have this blog.

Search I did but no recipe came close to what I had tried the last time (there were no blogs then!). So I did what I always do: look at a number of recipes, make up my mind about the substitutions and eliminations, and then go ahead.



I remembered using sliced lemons limes last time. But all the recipes I found this time (there weren’t too many, I’m afraid–bloggers don’t make Lime jams it seems) wanted me to follow tedious pulp removals or squeeze the juice. I checked the fruit to sugar ratio (and promptly reduced it!) and went from there…

One thing I did different this time was using pips for the additional pectin. It is the sort of thing that you read every time under preserves, especially with low-pectin fruits such as the limes and lemons, but (I) never let come in the way of (my) jam making.

I still had this half a Chakotra (Citrus maxima) bought on the same old Valley of Flowers trip, sitting in the fridge. It is a large bitter-sour citrus fruit, usually the colour of a beautiful grapefruit, with the thickest pith ever (about 1 inch!), that is sold on the Delhi-Dehradoon highway to unsuspecting travellers for a ridiculous sum of Rs30 each! The sucker that I am, I buy it every time we travel this way thinking where else am I going to find it!

I decided that I and the husband should finish the fruit since no one else was showing any inclination. This particular one, neither tart nor bitter, just indifferent, also had an inordinately high number of large seeds. Suddenly the pip-tip came to mind. And, at long last, it was time to try the pip-trick, since I was planning to make the marmalade that afternoon. The half Chakotra yielded a little over a half-cup of pips that I put to good use!

And now, I’m a believer! It was amazing to watch the water that I was boiling the pips in thicken. I kept saying “OMG” to myself (and then recounted it to the husband and family so many times that they started nodding vigorously, “Yes. yes. Very fascinating. Thank you”). And it made all the difference to my marmalade. The setting was perfect and achieved in a very short cooking time despite a slightly lower sugar to fruit ratio. I can turn the marmalade upside down and it stays put!

I used the seedless lemons limes that my mother grows. This marmalade is a little bitter-sweet but I like it. If you keep it for some time the bitterness will be gone. The marmalade, like all lemon preserves, will darken as it ages. I also added roasted and crushed chilli pepper flakes before pouring into jars for an additional twist: bitter, sweet, sour and hot!

Lemon/Lime Marmalade

2C thin-sliced lemons/limes (if yourΒ lemons/limes are large, cut slices into half-rounds)
1/2t soda-bi-carb (optional)
4C sugar
3+1C water
1/2C pips (any citrus fruit)
2 hot dry red chilli peppers, dry roasted and crushed (optional)

Wash and thinly slice the lemons (or limes). Bring 3 cups of water to the boil and add the soda. Drop in the sliced lemons and simmer till the peels have cooked. While the lemons are cooking, boil the pips in 1 cup of water for about half hour (and wonder as the liquid thickens!). Strain this pectin-rich syrup and reserve.

To the cooked lemons add the sugar, a little at a time, so that the liquid is always boiling. Once all the sugar has been added bring to a rolling boil, add the pip-syrup, and boil for 10 min. Reduce heat and boil till setting stage. You can test by spooning some preserve on to a cool plate and keeping in the freezer for a minute or so. If setting point has been reached, a skin will form over the surface which should wrinkle when pushed. For the quantity above, when using the pip-syrup, it took just 15 minutes of boiling after all the sugar was dissolved.

Dry roast and crush the chilli peppers, if using, and mix in before pouring the hot marmalade into sterilized jars. Screw on the lids and store.

A jar of the Lime Marmalade and another of home-made Baharat, the North African spice blend (and a recipe for meatballs using the Baharat) is what went into the house-warming gift basket.

Lemon Marmalade

21 thoughts on “Lime Marmalade

  1. Anita, I have only always marvelled at jam making and never had the guts to try it out. I’ve been wanting to try a kiwi jam recipe but I’ve always chickened out at the last minute. But this could be a wonderful winter project because I will still get limes in winter. (I think!)

    What purpose does the baking soda serve?

    This was the first time I used soda in the marmalade as I saw some recipes calling for it. I would guess it helps keep the green colour. But I did not think it made much (any?) difference to the colour and therefore, made it optional. Maybe it works better on limes than on lemons…

    1. Sodium bicarbonate is used to increase the ph of the limes to help in setting the marmalade.

      Thanks for the info!

  2. That’s beautiful Anita…The best gift to give someone who has everything is that something homemade – i totally agree with you!
    I bought this book on preserves , it has everythign from the ordinary to the exotic, but I havent found pectin anywhere and now you say that pips can be boiled to get pectin?? Im going to be collecting pips from the citrus fruits and try out a preserve. Probably, until we meet and I give you the coffee, I can also give you a jar of homemade exotic preserve (until then I would have practised till perfection haha)

    Nice pics and hilarious intro too πŸ™‚

    Well, I have known about the pip-deal for a long time but never felt inclined. More like, I didn’t really believe it could be true! And I have been able to get by since most fruits perform okay without any additional help. But citrus marmalades need to be cooked a lot longer, or need a lot more sugar. I could not believe when my marmalade set so fast this time! Therefore, the repeat recounting to the family πŸ™‚ !

    If you’ve never heard of this before, then you can be sure your eyes will pop out as the miracle unfolds! (And you’ll want to tell everyone!)

    Maybe you can put a twist in your preserve and add the coffee…now that is an idea for your WBB!! And for sharing with me later.

  3. hey,
    jsut came across your could I resist someone who uses an alice in wonderland name for the blog. Its a fun read, though i am not much of the cooking type πŸ˜›

  4. My mouth is watering as I read this – it sounds amazing. I have some relatives in south Texas with an abundance of citrus trees, I wonder if I can get them to send me some lemons in the coming season so I can try this…

  5. Hi Aziza, You are a true pioneer! Seeing everyday things that others see yet thinking differently and producing something unique. Well done!
    I have about 20 green lemons, each about the size of a tangerine (40mm / 1 3/4″ dia.)Salvaged from an unexpected lemon tree pruning. Can I use them in your recipe?

    20 tangerine-size lemons will make a lot of marmalade! Your friends and family are really going to be very happy!! πŸ™‚ Go ahead with the green ones if they have turned juicy. I sometimes pluck these green and then store till they turn yellow and juicy. When they are still green, they do not yield much juice (the ones my mother grows).

  6. I’m pretty sure that the baking soda reduces the acidity of the lemon. Try a pinch in a small glass of any acidic mixture–orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar and water–and you will see what I mean.

  7. Plz. Sir Mujhe Batayen Ek Chakotra Main Tod Laya Hoon Usko Khaoon Kaise. Plz Batayen Sir.

    Cheelo aur khao! Santare ki tareh.

  8. Thank you so much for your post and recipe. I am in New Jersey and it is very cold here- -14C. It is a sunny New Year’s Day and I have 2 bags of lemons and limes. Probably 6 pounds, each. I want to start the New Year with some beautiful marmalades. I have a couple of “cocktail” grapefruit that are nothing but seeds in the refrigerator. I am going to use their pits to gel my efforts. Your pictures were wonderful. Thank you for the time and work of putting the post together.

    That is cold! We are now at 9C, and falling…
    That’s a lot of limes and lemons you have there! You could also try making lemonade/limeade!

  9. What chilli can i use? Kashmiri chilli?

    Pick your chilli depending upon how hot (or not) you would like your marmalade to be.

  10. Hi Anita, I’ve been following your blog with interest especially since it concerns one my most favourite fruits in the whole world, the other being Grapefruit!
    I can think of nothing more heavenly than marmalade made with either, or even both of these, and the suggestion to add roast chilli flakes sounds magical.
    I could almost taste it from the picture!

    Regarding your recipe, I presume the “C” stand for cups and the “t” for teaspoons?
    As cups is rather a subjective form of measurement, can I somehow convert this to ounces or grammes? πŸ™‚

    Since I am addicted to Grapefruit marmalade, I am used to making it in batches that yield between 7 and 8 one pound pots, that gives me my daily “fix” for about three months!
    How many pots am I likely to fill using your recipe quantities?

    Your assumptions for “C” and “t” are correct!
    The given recipe will yield a little under 1lbs, I think. You may want to use any of the conversion sites on the Web to convert quantities from cups to ounces; I just fond volume conversions handy since I do not have a kitchen weighing scale.
    Grapefruit and limes will together make a great marmalade! Enjoy your marmalade!

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