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Satsuma Marmalade Recipe

This holiday season has been a particularly good one for me.  It’s the first time in probably forever that I’m working from home and able to spend more time on making things for Christmas instead of just buying things for people. My greatest accomplishment on that front has been this satsuma marmalade recipe.  I ended up making 24 half pint jars and gained a lot of jam making experience in the process. Plus it’s rather tasty, which is always a good thing.

Satsuma Marmalade

In theory, making jam/marmalade is fairly easy.  Clean fruit, combine with sugar, heat, can, process, done.  And it’s not that it’s NOT that easy, it’s just that is a bit challenging. The prep work is easy enough, but the cooking is where the challenges lie.  For instance, my stove does not produce a flame that’s hot enough to reach 223 ºF, which is needed for this recipe to set without pectin.  So I used pectin, and boy did it set.  Let’s take a step back and talk through this whole recipe and see what’s what.

Satsumas are the main fruit base for this marmalade. In Southern Louisiana, we have an abundance of citrus, especially satsumas.  Satsumas are very similar to clementine oranges – they are both types of mandarin oranges.  They’re easy to peel and generally very sweet.  They do typically contain a couple of seeds per fruit. If you live in an area where satsumas aren’t available, you can substitute clementines in this recipe.


I also had Meyer lemons on hand so I used those in place of regular lemons in this recipe.  Meyer lemons are very special lemons – they are actually a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin or an orange.  This means it was made to be included in satsuma marmalade! Meyer lemons also have a much thinner skin than normal lemons and tend to be sweeter. They’re perfect for desserts.

Meyer Lemons

While we’re only using the juice of the Meyer lemon, we actually will be using most of the satsuma.  When peeling the satsumas, keep the rinds.  Once you’ve got them peeled, thinly slice the rind and measure out two cups of it.  Discard remaining rind.  The only thing you’re removing from the satsumas otherwise are the seeds and any stringy connective fruit tissue.

Deconstructed Satsuma

Below is my bowl of satsuma segments before and after a few pulses in the food processor.  We do use all of the pith and skin surrounding each segment.  All of that cooks down in the jam making process and is really what thickens the jam, the natural pectin providers.  So do not be frightened of putting all that skin into your marmalade, you’ll need it.

Satsuma Composite

The rest of the recipe is mainly water, sugar and some spices.  Don’t be afraid of the sheer volume of sugar here.  It’s marmalade, which means it’s going to be sweet.  I’ve added ground ginger, cardamom and vanilla extract to give the marmalade extra flavor dimensions.

First though, the citrus and water are combined and simmered for 40 minutes – before the sugar and spices.  This helps the tough casings on the fruit cook down and helps prepare the marmalade base for the next step, which is actually turning this into jam. The mixture is brought back up to a boil, THEN you can add the sugar and spices.  That needs to cook for another 20-30 minutes at a rolling boil, until the temperature reaches 223 ºF.

Making Marmalade

So, why 223 ºF? That is the magic number dictated by the recipe I adapted, and it’s definitely a temperature you’ll need to hit for the jam to set. That’s right before you get into the candy-making range on the thermometer and just where the sugar and pectin need to get to set up properly. If your stove just won’t get up to 223 ºF, you can always whisk in pectin to help your marmalade set up.  That will certainly do the trick if nature isn’t able to help out.

Satsuma Marmalade

Finally let’s talk a little about canning.  If you’re making this recipe, it’s going to make quite a bit of marmalade so I’ll assume you’re going to be canning this.  You can use a water bath to can since it’s a high acidity food item. If you’re not familiar with canning, please educate yourself beforehand and make sure you have all the proper equipment.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation has great tips and ideas on their website.  Definitely check it out.

Satsuma Marmalade

Alrighty, now that you wanna make some marmalade, let’s get to the recipe!

Yield: Between 6 and 9 half pint jars

Satsuma Marmalade Recipe

This satsuma marmalade recipe feature juicy satsumas, Meyer lemons, cardamom, ginger and vanilla. Perfect for toast, scones or thumbprint cookies.


  • 2 pounds satsumas
  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 pounds, 12 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 package pectin


  1. Peel the satsumas and keep the rinds. Once all the satsumas are peeled, julienne the rinds until you have 2 cups of thinly sliced rind. Set aside for now.
  2. Take the peeled satsumas and cut each carefully section of fruit in half to make removing seeds easier. When removing the seeds, be sure to do it over a mixing bowl or you will lose a lot of the juice.
  3. Once the seeds are removed, add the pulp to a food processor and pulse 5 times to break up the pith.
  4. In a large pot over medium high heat, add the water, lemon juice, julienned peeling and processed satsuma pulp. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 40 minutes until fruit is broken down and mixture is thickened.
  5. After about 40 minutes, bring the mixture back up to a boil then add the sugar, ginger, cardamom and vanilla extract. Stir very often until mixture reaches about 223 ºF. This may take up to another 30 minutes. If your mixture can't quite reach 223 ºF, then use half a package of pectin to thicken.
  6. While the marmalade is cooking, sterilize jars in a water bath. This means submerging the jars in simmering water in a large pot lined with a jar rack. Keep in water for 5 minutes then carefully pull out with tongs and set on a clean work space.
  7. Once the marmalade is done, carefully scoop the marmalade into the sterilized jars leaving 1/2" of head space, seal with lids and return to water bath. Allow to simmer 10 more minutes then remove from water bath.
  8. Place them on a dishtowel or counter upside down and allow to cool for several hours up to overnight. If any lids don't "pop" and seal, place those jars in the fridge. The others can be stored at room temperature for up to six months.

Unfortunately, yield varies by a wide amount. Not 100% sure why either.

Prep:30 min

Cook:1 hour 45 min

Total:2 hours 15 min

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  • Evon vest

    I just finished making this jam. Oooh it is so delicious. Normally i use 4lbs sugar but the 3 lb is just perfect. I don’t really like very rich and sweet foods. However, it did not yield 9 half pints. I measured everything. I left it to cook for over 40 looked like the liquid decreased. I love the spices in it. Anyhow, it is really good.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Evon. I am glad that you liked the marmalade overall. Sorry to hear that it did not yield the 9 pints. Would you mind letting me know how much it did yield? I can adjust the recipe to show a range for the yield. I really appreciate you letting me know about the variance. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  • Howard Tiller

    I found a recipe for Satsuma Jelly that is easy and tasty. To make marmalade I add the (precooked for 15 min in satsuma juice and sugar, then drained) rinds when I add the sugar to the jelly juice.
    Recipe: 4 C satsuma juice, 1 T lemon juice, 1 pkg low sugar sure jell, 5 C sugar. Combine juices and sure jell. Bring to rolling boil stirring continuously. Boil 1 min. stirring continuously. Add sugar. Bring back to rolling boil and boil 1 min. stirring continously. Put in jars and process 15 min in boiling water bath.
    To make marmalade I precook 2 C thin sliced rinds in enough satsuma juice to cover plus 1/2 C sugar. Drain. Add this to the jelly recipe when the sugar is added.
    Smear on toast or biscuit——ENJOY!.

    • Thanks for the additional recipe, Howard. Amazing how many different recipes varieties there are 🙂 I’m glad you found one that works best for you. Cheers!

  • Evon vest

    Miss Addie, we had to travel to virginia right after christmas so i placed the rest of my fruits in the refrigator. When i came back , i made another batch of marmalade. Followed the recipe, it yielded 6 pint jars. I can’t seem to reach the desired degree so i added 3 Tbsp of pectin. Anyway, it is the best marmalade i’ve made. I guess it b/c i love spices. Thank you. Now, i went overboard and bought 4 bags of blood orange. I’m going to try to make blood orange marmalade using the same method with your marmalade but will add vanilla bean and cinnamon. I’ll keep you posted. ☺️

    • Thanks for getting back to me, Evon. I really appreciate it. I have found it difficult to reach the desired degree as well (I think I only was able to do it once) so I use pectin often, too. I’d love to hear about how your blood orange marmalade turns out – those flavors sound awesome. Finally, thanks for letting me know the yield on the batch. I’ll definitely make note of that. 🙂

  • Beth

    Hi — I made this last night. I’m afraid it didn’t set, as it still seems somewhat runny. I did use some pectin, probably only 3 TBS. I read somewhere that marmalade can take a while to set — do you find that to be true with this? Thank you,.

    • Hi Beth, the batches I made set fairly quickly from what I can remember. Did you do the plate test before removing it from the heat? This is when you put some of the marmalade on a plate and see if it thickens as it cools. If it doesn’t thicken, it will need more time on the stove. It may be that your satsumas were low in pectin. The more ripe they are, the less pectin they have. You may just need to try a combination of a little more boiling and a little more pectin. Use the plate test before removing from the stove to make sure that when you do remove it, it will set.

      Jam making can be frustrating. I figured this out with this recipe. It’s not an exact science because the pectin levels in fruit varies so much. I hope this works out for you. Please let me know what happens. If nothing else, you can use the “syrup” on pancakes, french toast or ice cream.

  • Beth

    Thanks Addie — I forgot to do the plate test. Also, I think my pectin was a little old. I will definitely try the recipe again, because I had so many satsumas from my tree this year, and even after giving a ton of them away I sill have about 20 lbs in my fridge — I hate to waste them. I’m going to try your muffin recipe next. Using the marmalade as syrup for french toast sounds delicious.

    Thanks! Beth

    • Yeah, I think the plate test overrides any stated cooking times. I hope the next batch works out better. 🙂 And I’m glad you like the way the muffins look, too!


    • hi Carol, when I say “cup” I mean 8 fluid ounces. The liquids in this recipe should be measured by volume, not weight. I hope this is helpful. Thank you for your comment.

  • ilaria

    I made this marmalade yesterday, I had to translate the cups and pounds in grams so maybe I did something wrong, I used 350 gr of sugar for almost 500 gr of fruits, but, from a little sample that floated in my mouth, I can say that I was impressed, it tasted so good! Unfortunately my larger pot couldn’t contain the jars, they were too high and the water was at the same height of the lids, as a result one jar is completely sealed but not the other one.
    That’s ok though, ’cause I eat marmalade for yeyyy..ready to eat!!
    I am sooo happy, I thought it was much more difficult, it was my first attempt and I love the flavours that you added!!

    • Hi Ilaria, Thanks for the comment and feedback. I’m so glad you liked the marmalade! It’s okay that the jars didn’t seal but be sure to store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator. You can also try to reprocess them in the water bath if you want to attempt that again.

      I’m also glad that you found it to be easier than you thought. That’s always great when it works out like that! 🙂

  • Neka Mire

    I have been making jams, jellies, and marmalades for a year now. I used this recipe to make a batch of marmalade yesterday, and for the first time, the contents of my jars leaked out! I measured to make sure I had proper headspace. All of the lids popped down. Can you give me some reasons as to why this has happened and tell me if I should re-process the jars? If so, how do I re-process? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Neka, Thanks for your comment. In regards to your leakage on the jars, I wish I could help, but I myself am not sure what happened to cause that. If you followed the recipe, which it sounds very much like you did, the leaking shouldn’t have happened so I’m just as perplexed as you are. I’ve made this recipe twice and didn’t have it happen either time, but water bath canning can be finicky. If your jars are sealed then you don’t need to reprocess. If they’re not sealed, you can run them through the water bath processing portion of the recipe again or you can store the unsealed jars in the refrigerator. I hope this helps! Thanks for the feedback.

      • Neka Mire

        I made another batch yesterday &the same thing happened. Only a very small amount comes out. Just enough to make the rim sticky. I really love the taste of this recipe and how simple it is to make, so I will try leaving a little more head space next time I make this marmalade. Thank you so much for your prompt response & your help!

        • Of course, Neka! Thank you for the feedback. It’s truly appreciated. Jam making can be so finicky – it’s good to hear other people’s experiences with it as well. Best to you! 🙂

  • Cortney

    I just made this! It is a great recipe! I did however use about 2.5 lbs of satsumas to start with and kept everything else the same it was still perfectly sweet, spiced, and zesty! I actually got 10 half pints and a little more to snack on tonight out of this recipe! It really is great, time consuming but great!

    • Thanks, Cortney! I’m so glad to hear that you liked it. I hear ya about it being time consuming but the end product is so fantastic! I mean that for all jam-making efforts! 😉

  • Cortney

    I would also love to know where you got your cute tags and labels? I would like to gift some!

    • Hi Cortney, I bought those at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store back in December of 2012. I’m not sure they carry them any longer but it’s worth trying it out! They’d be in stores right now if they were going to be carrying them. 🙂

  • Becky

    I’m planning to try your recipe this weekend and would like to know if the 2 lbs is peeled or unpeeled fruit. Also, does this double well, or should I make separate batches? Thanks for your help, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • Thanks for your questions, Becky. Two pounds is the weight of the citrus with the peelings on. I have not doubled the recipe because I don’t have a pot that big so if you do so, let me know how that turns out. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be able to be doubled, but having never tried it, I can’t speak to any success I’ve had with it. Either way, please let me know how this turns out! 🙂 Happy Holidays!