Citrus clove marmalade

There's the expression, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  Well, for me, when life gives me a LOT of lemons, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit, I make variations of a citrus marmalade with the ENTIRE fruit.  This citrus clove marmalade is perfect for the winter season and makes wonderful gifts.

Growing up in South Africa, I loved the Rose's thick cut British style marmalade.  It had thick chunks of orange rind with a slightly bitter bite.  We would lather that marmalade onto a piece of toast with a thick layer of butter that would melt into the toast and it tasted heavanly.

Before the girls were born, we bought a house in Pasadena from a rare fruit grower.  He had over 100 different fruit trees on the property.  It was almost like the Garden of Eden except that we had to tend to all the trees!  During the winter time, we had so many citrus fruits.  We gave a lot away, made gallons of juice and I made jars of citrus marmalade.  Most  recipes and commercially commercial marmalade only use the rind and add water sugar and pectin.  My recipe uses the entire fruit.  It's fruitier and smells like citrus.

Our current house has a few citrus trees which are prolific during winter and once a year, I make a citrus all-fruit marmalade.  (Some experiments work and some don't, like my parents' very bitter yuzu lemon!)  I've tried to make this citrus clove marmade as "healthy" as possible by using the entire fruit, no water, no pectin and the least amount of sugar that you can use and still allow the marmalade to gel naturally.

Tips for making citrus clove marmalade

This recipe is so simple.  The fruit to sugar ratio is 1:1.  You can calculate the number of jars needed based on approximately 640 g of marmalade for each pint jar. (Half of the weight is the fruit and half of the weight is the sugar.) The weight of the fruit is measured after boiling the peels which will be less than the weight when you started due to evaporation.

Weigh and record the weight of the heavy bottomed saucepan that you'll be using to boil your marmalade.  You'll be using a little bit of math to calculate the net weight of your fruit.

Citrus fruit.

If you don't grow your own citrus fruit, some purveyors wax the fruit to achieve a longer shelf life.  Make sure you wash and thoroughly scrub your fruit before making the marmalade.  

Whole cloves.

I like using whole cloves that infuses its flavor during the boiling process rather than changing the color of the marmalade when adding ground cloves.  I also like adding the cloves to the canning jars for aesthetic reasons.  However, you do need to remove the whole cloves before eating!

Citrus clove marmalade

Top a cheese toast with citrus clove marmalade. The combination of the saltiness from the cheese, the sweetness from the marmalade and the spiciness of the cloves is AMAZING!

Citrus clove marmalade served with cheese

Citrus clove marmalade served with cheese.

Citrus seeds.

The seeds and pith of the fruit contains a lot of pectin that is needed to gel the marmalade.  I usually juice the fruit to separate the pits from the juice and boil the pits in a bag with the peels to extract the pectin.

Separate juice, pulp with pits and peel

Separate juice, pulp with pits and peel.

Cut citrus into strips.

Cut citrus into strips.

Making citrus marmalade

Having a thermometer is essential to getting your marmalade to set properly.

Digital scale.

A digital scale will be necessary to weight the fruit and sugar.  I recommend this scale.

food scale
Thick bottom saucepan.

A thick bottom saucepan is important when simmering the marmalade as it allows the sugar to cook without burning the bottom.

Candy thermometer or Instant read thermometer.

Using a thermometer takes the guesswork out of making marmalade.  If you have the right proportions of sugar and fruit and boil the sugar to a certain temperature, your marmalade will set.  You don't have to drizzle the hot marmalade down cold plates to see if it sets!

You can either use a candy thermometer or an instant read thermometer.  If you don't own a thermometer,  I would suggest purchasing an instant read thermometer like the one below as it is more versatile and you can use it for BBQ, roasts and even baked goods!

Leave in / Instant read digital meat thermometer
Canning Jars.

Before making your marmalade, sterilize your jars and lids by boiling them in a pot of water for at least 10 minutes and removing them with some tongs to dry.

Boil canning jars

Boil canning jars.

Canning Funnel.

Although not a must-have, it does make canning easier.  I used to just carefully ladle out the marmalade into the jar.  I bought a canning funnel because it only cost a dollar and it has been a real time saver.  No more dealing with sticky jars!

Tea filter bags, tea infuser or cheesecloth.

Put all your citrus pits and pulp from juicing in a tea filter bag, tea infuser or cheesecloth when softening the rinds.  Boiling the pits and pulp during this time extracts the pectin.


I have given marmalade as gifts to friends and families.  They have been used as breakfast preserves on toast, accompaniments for charcuterie boards, made as a tea as well as an accompaniment for Canard a l'orange.  (Roast Duck with orange glaze.)

Have fun making your citrus marmalade and let me know if you come up with any different variations in the comment section.

Citrus clove marmalade


Michelle Sam
Marmalade made with the entire fruit. It consists of just citrus, cloves and sugar. No other additives.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Australian, British


  • instant read thermometer
  • tea filter bags
  • canning jars


  • Citrus fruit
  • Sugar
  • whole cloves 1 tsp for every 1000 g of combined peel and sugar


Prepare canning jars

  • Boil canning jars and lids fully submerged in hot water in a saucepan for 10 minutes to sterilize the jars.
  • Remove jars and lids with tongs to allow to air dry.

Prepare citrus fruit

  • Scrub the skins of the citrus fruit well to remove dirt
  • Using a juicer, juice the fruit, making sure you keep the pits and pulp
  • Place pits and pulp in a tea infuser ball, bag or cheesecloth.
  • Weigh and record the weight of a heavy bottom saucepan.
  • Cut the peels of your citrus into strips depending on your preference.
  • Combine the peels and juice and place it in the saucepan.
  • Add the pack of pits and pulp to the saucepan
  • Bring to a slow boil and cook until the citrus peel appear soft. The time depends on the thickness of your peels.
  • Cool the peels.
  • Remove pack of pits and pulp from the saucepan.
  • Weigh the saucepan with the peels.
  • Calculate the weight of the peels by subtracting the original weight of the saucepan that you recorded.
  • Weigh the same amount of granulated sugar as the weight of the peels. (Net weight without saucepan and pits / peels)
  • Place the saucepan, peels and pack of pits and pulp back onto the stove on medium heat.
  • Add whole cloves
  • Stir constantly until the marmalade reaches 220° fahrenheit (104° celcius).
  • Remove saucepan from heat.
  • Ladle marmalade into the jars.
  • Close the canning jars and allow to cool.


This recipe adds whole cloves.  You can either add it with the peel or place it in the pip and pulp pack to just get the clove essence infused into the marmalade.  Enjoy!
Keyword Citrus, full fruit marmalade, full fruit preserves, grapefruit, lemon, low sugar marmalade, marmalade, orange
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was or if you have any questions or suggestions!
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    1. I am! I was inspired to make a few butters as a result of our Hawaii trip. I made a lilikoi and Bearss lime butter which are absolutely delicious. I had to use lilikoi puree because I have not been able to plant my own vine yet!

      I’m sure that using fresh lilikoi would be even better. The post should be going up shortly. Stay tuned.

  1. Thus sounds delicious!! Do you process the filled jars to preserve the marmalade for a longer time? Or just store in the refrigerator?

    1. I just store in the refrigerator and only keep 1 or 2 jars. I give away most of my jars as gifts! Once you close the marmalade jars when the marmalade is still warm, it does create a seal. Hope that helps!

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