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Recipe: Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Sliced Meyer Lemons

I’ve been asked by a couple of you to post this recipe – so here it is! This recipe creates a beautiful, fresh-tasting marmalade. Every jar of our Geyserville marmalade brought back the taste of our old home long after we had moved to Seattle. Truly wonderful. Enjoy!

Safety Notes.


Safety in water-bath canning has to do with acidity (you must have a pH level of 4.6 or lower) and eliminating bacteria, molds and yeasts (these are destroyed at 140-190F).  The infamous botulism thrives on low-acid foods, so that is not an issue here.

I combined two recipes to form my own that is adapted for meyer lemons:  “Orange-Lemon Marmalade” from Ball Blue Book of Preserving, and “Bitter Orange Marmalade” from Joy of Cooking Since the acidity of lemons would be higher than both oranges and bitter oranges, I am very sure this is safe on the acidity front.  We’ve eaten many, many jars of this and we are happy and quite alive!  But I did not test the acidity, so I can’t tell you exactly what that the pH level is.  Please test the pH if you want to vary the ingredients in this recipe.


Bowl of Meyer Lemons


Meyer Lemon Marmalade




  • Large Pot (for making marmalade)
  • Boiling-Water Canning Pot & Lid
  • Rack (to hold jars off bottom of canner)
  • Jar lifter
  • Jar funnel
  • Lid wand
  • Candy thermometer
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Small spatula
  • Clean towels
  • 6-7 1/2 pint Masonry-type jars (eg, Ball) — (or some 1/2 pint, some pint)
  • 6-7 Rings
  • 6-7 New Lids




  • 2.5 lbs. Meyer Lemons
  • 8 C Water
  • 6-6.5 C Sugar




Day 1. 


1. Chill lemons in the fridge for an hour or two (this is optional – it makes it easier to slice the lemons thinner).

2. Halve the lemons crosswise and cut out the centers (see photos below).


Removing the Centers

Centers Removed from Lemons


3. Holding the lemon over a bowl, run your finger down the middle of the lemon to remove all the seeds.  Do this for each lemon.  Retain the juice and seeds and set aside.

4. Slice the lemons into thin slices.  If you like the taste of candied lemons, don’t worry about getting them too thin – maybe 1/4-1/8”.  If you’re not such a fan, cut them as thin as you can.

5. Strain the retained juice and seeds from #3 and add to a large bowl.


Sliced Lemons

Straining the Retained Lemon Juice


6. Combine the juice and the lemons into the large bowl, cover them with the 8 cups of water, and let stand overnight in a cool place (refrigerator, garage, etc).


Day 2.


1.  Wash the jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water.

2.  Sterilize.  Place the jars upright in the canner, cover them with hot water 2” above the top of the jars, and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.  (Add one additional minute for each 1,000 feet you are higher than sea level.)  I generally place my rings and all other utensils in the bath as well – doesn’t hurt.  Just don’t boil the lids as the rubber may melt.  Leave them in the hot water until you’re ready to use them.


Sterilizing the Equipment


3.  Simmer the lemon and water in a large pot until the peels are tender.  A good test is to try to cut them with a wooden or plastic spoon:  if they break apart effortlessly, it’s done.  This takes me about 20-25 minutes.


Simmer the Lemon & Water


4.  Add the sugar (6 cups for a little less sweet, 6.5 for a little more sweet).

5.  Boil rapidlystirring frequently, until the mixture reaches the jelling point. 


Boiling Rapidly

Measuring for Jelling Point


The Jelling Point.


I can tell you that this sounds like a big mystery, but after two times of making this recipe, I understood it very well.  The books talk about a spoon test, quick-chill test, and temperature test.  The first two are judgement calls and if you’re new at this I wouldn’t recommend it.  Just buy a $5 candy thermometer.  When the mixture begins to boil, you’ll want to start tracking the temperature.  Stop when it gets to be 8-10 degrees over the boiling point of water:  between 220F and 222F.  

Other signs that you’ve reached the jelling point:  you’ll feel it becoming more difficult to stir, the boiling will start to sound like it’s spitting at you, the bubbles will become smaller on the outside of the pot and bigger on the inside, the stuff gels on your thermometer….  lots of signs.


What It Looks Like At Jelling Point

Liquid At Jelling Point


6.  Skim off any foam.

7.  Ladle into hot, sterile jars.  Use the funnel so that you avoid getting marmalade on the rim of the jar.  Fill to 1/4” below the top of the jar (ie, 1/4” headspace).


Jar & Funnel Filled Jar


8.  Before putting on the lids, stir slowly and push the liquid down to remove any air pockets.  Then carefully wipe the top of the jars with a clean towel.  (I dip the towel in the boiling water first, as the liquid can be sticky.)

9.  Dunk the lids into the boiling water, or pour boiling water over them in a bowl to soften and sterilize them.  Set the lids on the jars, and screw on the rings firmly, but stop when you feel resistance.

10.  Place each of the jars into the jar rack in the water canner.  Make sure they have at least 2” between one another so that water can circulate between them.


Jars waiting to be lowered into canner


11.  Lower the rack into the canner.  Top the water in the canner so that water is at least 2” above the top jar.  Cover, and boil.  

12.  After it reaches a full boil, set a timer and boil the jars in the water for 10 minutes.  (At 1,000-3,000’ above sea level, add 5 minutes; at 3,001-6,000’ add 10 minutes, and so on.)

13. Immediately remove jars with a jar lifter, and place them on a drying rack or clean towel.  Make sure they are spaced at least 1” apart for air circulation, but don’t put them in front of an open window or in any kind of draft.  Also don’t tighten the metal rings.  Very soon you’ll hear a popping sound as the jars cool.

14.  Cool the jars at room temperature for 12-24 hours.


Jars Cooling On Rack


Day 3.


1.  Test the Seals.  Remove the metal rings and check to see that the lids have curved down slightly in the center.  Then press the center of the lid.  It should not move.

2.  Jars that did not seal properly should be reprocessed (within 24 hours), frozen, or used in the next few days.

3.  With metal rings still removed, wipe the jars clean with a damp cloth.  If you see food caught between the lid and the rim, note this on the jar and use this jar soon.  Replace the metal ring. 

4. Label your jars with the contents and date.  You can do this with a label or mark the top of the lid with a Sharpie.

5.  Store in a cool, dark place between 45F and 60F.  Use within one year.

Marmalade and Homemade Biscuits


Shown here on spread upon Matt’s Flaky Tasty Biscuits.


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36 comments to Recipe: Meyer Lemon Marmalade

  • Rob

    Looks great- I think trader joe’s has meyer’s lemmons- I know crunchy had them- if she didn’t kill the tree! Maybe I will get a lemon tree and grow on the porch!

  • I’ve had such a lemon craving lately! Thank you for all the yummy recipes – though this one looks very intense – not sure if I want to attempt making marmelade just yet – I may buy some tomorrow though. :)

  • Christine Bell

    I’ve been making marmalade and preserves all my life and never sterilized anything — just wash jars and lids in dishwasher, then pour boiling water over them all before using. No need to boil after putting up either. It’s only vegetables and non-sugar stuff that needs all that fuss.

    • Greg Ansley

      It is very dangerous not to sterilize your jars and lids, also very dangerous not to use hot bath processing. You should always follow the FDA canning requirements. You have been very lucky so far.

      • Hi Greg, thanks for your comment. I agree that sterilizing is important. And the second boiling process seals the jars – otherwise, they will spoil rather quickly. I wonder if Christine is preparing small amounts for quick eating?

  • [...] Recipe: Meyer Lemon Marmalade: This recipe creates a beautiful, fresh-tasting marmalade. Every jar of our Geyserville marmalade brought back the taste of our old home long after we had moved to Seattle. Truly wonderful. Enjoy! Recipe found at 1 Green Generation. [...]

  • Cynthia Carter

    Thank you so much for the great recipe! I have a dozen jars cooling on my counter as I write this, and I keep sneaking back to the refrigerator to get a spoonful out of the jar I have in there.

  • Cynthia, your comment brought a smile to my evening. Thanks so much for coming to tell me! Enjoy – it’s a lovely bit of sunshine in the winter, isn’t it? Happy holidays!

  • Karin

    I went to Whole Foods in the North Carolina snow one day before Christmas and there they were: Meyer lemons. I bought 5 pounds of them and searched for a recipe on the ‘net. I found yours. It is fabulous. Made jars and gave to all my friends and neighbors along with Mrs. Hanes’ famous Moravian cookies (the ginger ones.) Yum. This is a great recipe and my friends and neighbors thank you.

    • Jennifer

      I’ve made this recipe several times and LOVE it. But this time, I won’t be able to cut/soak the lemons the day before. Is it better to cut them and soak longer (3-4 days) or to give them an 8-hour soak before cooking later that day?

  • rb

    Hi – I googled and found this recipe and made it yesterday and today with part of my bountiful crop of Meyer lemons. I wanted to let you know it’s my new favorite marmalade recipe.

    I also wanted to tell you that your description of the jelling stage is very good. I have been making fruit jams for a few years now and it’s always confusing.

    Anyway, thanks for posting the recipe! My marmalade is seriously YUM.

  • Baby Bath Thermometer

    Thanks for posting the recipe! My marmalade was just so delish :D

  • kooky hale

    The recipe sounds great. What about using a steamer instead of the hot water bath? Is it safe? If everything is sterilized, the jam is very hot, and I follow the directions on the steamer, I think it should be fine. What is your opinion and experience?

  • Dabe

    Ótima receita! Podem me ajudar, procurei muito o Levantador de Vidro “Jar Lifter” e não achei. Sabe onde posso compra-lo aqui no Brasil? Agradeço o retorno!

  • Dabe

    Ótima receita! porem podem me ajudar, procurei muito o Levantador de Vidro “Jar Lifter” e não achei. Sabe onde posso compra-lo aqui no Brasil? Agradeço o retorno!

  • [...] Marmalades are simple and can be made with anything from Meyer lemons to grapefruits to kumquats. 1 Green Generation has a good [...]

  • Angela Eaton

    Hi there,
    I live in California and am overflowing with lemons! My question is, can I only use Meyer lemons? I believe my lemons are Eureka lemons. The pith is about the same thickness and what you have pictured. I love the idea of not having to separate the zest from the pith! I am anxious to get started. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Hi Angela, yes – you should be fine using Eureka lemons instead. It will be a tarter lemonade, but otherwise should be really tasty. You may want to err on the side of more sugar rather than less.

  • Angela Eaton

    One more question…is it safe to double or triple the recipe?

    • I have doubled the recipe and it worked ok – make sure to stir very frequently, to disperse the heat. Tripling – I haven’t done that. I imagine cooking times would increase quite a bit, and you’d need a pretty large pot. I guess I’d be more inclined to do two batches, particularly the first time, just because tripling would add an unknown factor…

  • [...] my precious finds, I did quite a bit of pre-marmalading research on my favorite canning blogs (One Green Generation and Food in Jars ) and ended up creating my own recipe based off a few I found. Normally with [...]

  • [...] 9. Serve with homemade butter and jam or …. Homemade Lemon Marmalade! [...]

  • [...] Recipe: Meyer Lemon Marmalade | One Green Generation Feb 7, 2009 … I've been asked by a couple of you to post this recipe – so here it is! Our Meyer Lemon Marmalade … [...]

  • vicky

    I made the marmalade using this recipe. I gave some bottles away to friends where I live in south africa. It was an absolute winner. Everyone wants more. Thank you!!

  • Ginger Lowery

    I love this recipe. I am making my third batch and your recipe has proved to be fail proof.
    I have a large tree that produces bushels of lemons and I give away as many as I can but still manage to have more than I can use after pies, cookies and lemon curd. But the best use of this bountiful crop is your marmalade.
    Thank you for a well written and illustrated recipe.

    Ginger in Louisiana

  • margot

    Just wanted you to know this is my go-to recipe for Lemon Marmalade (or variations on the theme). Thanks!

  • Meg

    Oh My Marmalade will not set… I had it an a heavy boil for over 25 minutes, stops at 200 degrees and won’t gel. I’ve made jam before, but never marmalade. I might try save it with some pectin ???

  • [...] (setting either aside if needed), while yielding slender, uniform slices of rind. I learned it from One Green Generation and made a couple of modifications to get the kind of slices I like best — thick enough to [...]

  • [...] pick around 8 ripe lemons which gave me about 5 pounds of fruit.  I googled many recipes but found to be the most helpful.  I followed her instructions minus letting the lemons soak overnight.  [...]

  • Great recipe, to capture that pure lemon flavor. I like that you are reducing the sugar ratio by using the whole fruit. And as far as HEALTH BENEFITS – did you know that modified citrus pectin has been linked to cancer cell reduction, as well as other beneficial cellular modifications? This is a lovely recipe for capturing a true lemon flavor, and I suggest adding some fresh ginger if you like it.

  • also, to Meg, you may be having trouble getting the batch to set up if it is too large. My own Golden Rule of Preserving without commercial pectin is 6 cups. For citrus, 6 cups of sliced fruit cooked in 6 cups of water until tender (about 20 minutes), then add 6 cups of sugar to reach gel stage (about 35 minutes). Going over that is tricky, so I stick with this tried and true proportion, even when it means I have two pots going.

  • Britt

    I’m making this marmalade for the 3rd time. I usually put the seeds in a cheese cloth and include them in the pot when I cook it. I’m debating if I should leave them out this time, but I’m worried that the marmalade will not “set”. Any comments?? I’m ready to cook tomorrow so feedback before that is highly appreciated.


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