Gilly’s Pantry low sugar Orange and Grapefruit Marmalade

Grapefruit Marmalade sealed

I have a dream.

And it really is that – a dream.

Because this will never be a reality.

I would love to give up sugar.


So with that in mind I have spent a lot of time over the past couple of years trying to cut down my sugar intake, and that of my family. The family don’t have a choice, obviously.

One thing we go through huge amounts of is jam and marmalade. Jars and jars and jars of the sweet delicious candy coloured stuff of toast filled dreams. But the problem is, anything you buy from the supermarket is full of sugar. Really some of them barely contain any fruit at all.

At the supermarket the lowest sugar content I could find in any jam or marmalade was 45%. Still huge right? I knew I could improve on that. So in line with my sugar free dream (that will never happen because I am a realist and have accepted that less sugar is a perfectly acceptable alternative to no sugar), I have spent much time working out the perfect recipe for low sugar jam over the past couple of summers, and marmalade over the past couple of winters.

Very exciting stuff. The taste testing family have been great at providing feedback and we have all agreed I got there in the end, it’s a low sugar taste sensation. And now I am very pleased to share with you, my own Gilly’s Pantry Orange and Grapefruit Marmalade recipe, with only 30% sugar.

Grapefruit Marmalade setup

This recipe can be made larger if you want to. The ingredients below make almost 2 kg of marmalade, which I find is the most I can make in my large pot, but if you have a giant jam pot you may be able to make more… and also lucky you, I would love a jam pot. But the tiny kitchen does not allow for such luxuries.

Grapefruit Marmalade filling jars

Ingredients for Gilly’s Pantry low sugar orange and grapefruit marmalade

Gilly’s Pantry low sugar Orange and Grapefruit Marmalade

This recipe can be made larger if you want to. The ingredients below make almost 2 kg of marmalade, which I find is the most I can make in my large pot, but if you have a giant jam pot you may be able to make more… and also lucky you, I would love a jam pot. But the tiny kitchen does not allow for such luxuries.

Keyword jam, snack
Author Gilly Nash


  • 1.2 KG fresh juicy oranges
  • 600 g Raw Sugar
  • 200 ml good quality pure grapefruit juice


  1. So first things first. Wash your oranges in hot water. No one likes dirty fruit. Dry them off and prepare yourself a workspace with the following. A large chopping board, a box grater, a sharp knife, a blender and a big pot.
    Grapefruit Marmalade setup
  2. Add 600g raw sugar and 200ml pure grapefruit juice to your pot.

    Grapefruit Marmalade pulp
  3. Grate the rind off all the oranges. Nice thick bits of rind are just the best ever in marmalade. Then add the rind into the pot too.

  4. Step 3 – Use a sharp knife to remove the pith, or the whites, of the oranges. Don’t be pedantic here, just roughly remove what you can. Dispose of the pith.
  5. Step 4 – Roughly chop your oranges and then blend them until they are like a thick orange smoothie.
  6. Step 5 – Add the orange smoothie to the pot and turn on the heat to almost full.
  7. Step 6 – STIR STIR STIR. You don’t want the sugar to burn before it melts, so keep stirring for a good ten minutes until it’s a big pot of bubbling liquid orange.
    Grapefruit Marmalade rines
  8. Step 7 – Turn the heat down until the pot is simmering and leave it to simmer for a good hour.
  9. Step 8 – As the marmalade simmers a white frothy scum will appear on the top, remove this with a slotted spoon.
    Grapefruit Marmalade froth
  10. Step 9 – Wash about 6 – 8 jars in hot soapy water, rinse in clean cold water and place them in an oven dish. Put them in the oven and then heat until 150 degrees, leave them in there for 30 minutes. By which time your marmalade should be ready.
    Grapefruit Marmalade jars
  11. Step 10 – Remove your jars from the oven, take care they are ultra-hot. And fill them with your boiling jam. This can be tricky. I find the easiest way is to use a small jug to transfer the marmalade from the pot to the jars. Fill the jars to about 1-2 cm from the top.
    Grapefruit Marmalade filling jars
  12. Step 10 – Cover the jars with a square of baking paper and put the lids on tight. The wee square of paper is important, it stops water condensation on the surface. (Condensed water would dissolve sugar, producing an area of low sugar concentration and allowing mould growth.)
    Grapefruit Marmalade sealed
  13. Step 10 – Allow to cool in the sealed jars.
    Grapefruit Marmalade upside down
  14. Step 11 – Cut yourself a thick slice of fresh bread, spread with butter, and enjoy your own home made, low sugar, absolutely delicious marmalade.

Recipe Notes

Just a couple of last thing to note… as the marmalade is not high in sugar it doesn’t set quite as solidly as ones you buy in the supermarket. Don’t worry! That’s fine. It will be a thick jammy consistency. Yum.

Store in the fridge and it will last a year.

Hope you enjoyed the lasted post from Gilly’s Pantry. As always if you have any questions let me know in the comments box below, or tweet me – @gilly_nash.

Thanks for reading!


Gilly Nash

Gilly Nash is a passionate foodie who calls her kitchen Gilly's Pantry. She loves to develop her own recipes and is always keen to find new ways of getting healthy veggies and good food into her boys. She also believes that we all deserve a treat!

You can contact Gilly on Twitter to find out more about her recipes.

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Categorised: Grown Ups

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