During a recent holiday on Samos, a quiet and beautiful Greek island, I was surprised by the number of lemon trees in gardens and fields, groaning with large luscious fruit. They were simply too intriguing to resist once I started to think about what I could make with a few kilos.

Lemons, high in pectin and acid, make great marmalade although the true fruit flavour varies in the ones I buy in England. The lemons from Samos were juicy, few pips and had a soft pith. When used to make a traditional fine cut marmalade, the shreds of peel disintegrated when cooked. This meant the appearance of the peel in the marmalade in the jar looked minced and not very attractive, although the flavour was good. Perhaps not one to enter into a competition and one that might mislead a judge into thinking the peel had been prepared in a food processor.

To prevent the peel from falling apart, I made a lemon jelly marmalade. So the recipe I am sharing with you is for a jelly marmalade and takes a bit longer to make than a traditional marmalade, but the end result is an attractive full flavoured marmalade and one I would be proud to put into a competition.

Lemon Marmalade

Makes 2.2kg

1kg lemons
2 litres water
1.4kg granulated cane sugar

1) Plunge the lemons into boiling water for a few minutes. Quarter the fruit and remove the pith with a sharp knife. Finely slice the peel and cook gently in a covered pan in 600ml water, for at least an hour or until the peel is tender.

2) Mince the remaining fruit and place in a large preserving pan. Pour over 1.4litres water, cover the pan and cook gently for two hours.

3) Check the peel is tender and strain any liquid from the pan into the pan of cooked pulp.

4) Strain the pulp through a jelly bag. Pour the juice into a clean pan and warm the sugar in a pre-heated oven, 120C.

5) Dissolve the sugar in the pan and add the cooked peel. Boil to a set, about 7 minutes.

6) Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 8 minutes

7) Stir the marmalade before potting into clean, warm jars. Seal with new twist top lids.

8) Leave the jars upright and undisturbed to set.


The site in this link shows photos of the area where we stayed.

First Preserves recipe books

samos orange tree


lemon marmalade