Pressure Cooker Lemon Marmalade

making jams and marmalades in the pressure cooker
A pressure cooker and mandolin work together to make a delicious marmalade in under an hour. If you find yourself with abundant fruit and not a lot of time – this fantastic sweet, tart and zesty recipe is for you!

Once you make the marmalade in your pressure cooker, you can stop there, and put it in your refrigerator in a pretty little jars that will last a few months. Or, if you have canning jars, you can “process” it – hermetically sealing the jars by boiling them for a short amount of time so that they can go in your pantry and last indefinitely.

How super-fast? This technique does not require you to soak, peel, de-pith, finely shred or filter the pulp. All you need to do is quickly slice the lemons using mandolin, remove the seeds as you find them, cut a stack of slices into 4 pieces, pressure cook to soften with a tad of water, and then add sugar and simmer for a few minutes.

Done!

I made this marmalade with lemons, but you could use any citrus (see the bottom of the recipes for variations).  Adjust the sugar accordingly depending on the acidity of the fruit.  Super-sweet oranges and mandarins will only need 1x the sugar while grapefruit, lemons and Seville oranges (known for their bitterness) will require twice.  If you can’t decide or want to make a low-sugar version, just sneak a taste after the sugar is melted and simmered and see if you like the results.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
5 L or larger  none 10 min. High (2) Natural

5.0 from 4 reviews
Super-Fast Pressure Cooker Lemon Marmalade
 
Author: 
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe can be adjusted for the amount of lemons you have, since the sugar is decided on the weight of the lemon rinds and pulp. I have even made this recipe with just two lemons in my small 2.5L pressure pan cooker!
INGREDIENTS
For Marmalade:
  • 2lbs. (1K)f Organic Lemons, well-washed with a scrubby sponge
  • About 4lbs (2K) sugar (see instructions)
  • Mandolin
  • Digital Scale
  • Thermometer (optional)
To Process:
  • Rack or Steamer Basket
  • 3 Clean Kitchen Towels
  • 6 8oz (250) ml Jars, sterilized in boiling water or hot out of the dishwasher
  • 6 New lids, quickly boiled or hot out of the dishwasher
  • Strong Tongs, or Jar Lifter
  • Canning Funnel, and/or Ladle
  • 1 Tbsp. Vinegar (if you have hard water)
INSTRUCTIONS
To make the Marmalade:
  1. Slice lemons using the "thin" setting on mandolin, discard ends or slices that are all pith.
  2. Stack slices, removing seeds as you go (save them for later) and cut into four.
  3. Put your pressure cooker on scale, hit "tar" or zero and then add thinly sliced lemon wedges and any juice that may have squirted out in the process. Write down the weight of the fruit (for me is was 786 grams).
  4. Add the minimum amount of liquid your pressure cooker needs to reach pressure, about 1-2 cups, and close and lock the lid. NEVER FILL THE COOKER MORE THAN HALF-WAY with fruit and liquid (this includes the sugar).
  5. Turn the heat up to high and when the pressure cooker reaches pressure, turn it down and begin counting 10 minutes cooking time at HIGH pressure.
  6. When time is up, open the pressure cooker using the Natural Release method - move the cooker to a cold burner and don't do anything and wait for the pressure to come down naturally. For electric pressure cookers, up be sure to turn off the "keep warm" mode, if it automatically engages in your model.
  7. Calculate how much sugar to add - typically an extra-bitter marmalade needs twice the sugar. That looks like ALOT of sugar if you've never made fruit preserves! So if you are concerned, try the same weight in sugar first, then taste a cooled sample on a teaspoon and see if you like it. For my marmalade I doubled the weight of the tirmmed lemons with the sugar (1500 grams).
  8. Put all of the lemon seeds in a tea ball or gauze packet.
  9. When you open the pressure cooker the fruit pulp will already be warm, so pour all of the sugar in and stir. It should all melt within a minute or two. Then, add the tea ball containing the seeds. Now, turn the heat up and bring everything to a rolling boil for 5 minutes or, if you have a thermometer, you will want the mixture to reach 212F or 100C.
  10. Now, using a ladle or canning funnel, distribute the contents evenly in your freshly dish-washed or sterilized jars.
To Process:
  1. Carefully wipe the edges of the jars and screw on the lids until they are lightly closed (do not tighten). Quickly wash out the base of the pressure cooker, and add the rack or steamer basket (without trivet).
  2. Place the jars so that they don't touch each other or the sides of the pressure cooker (I could only fit four, so I had to do two batches). Next, arrange the kitchen towels so that the jars do not move and clink around while boiling (I put them in an S around two jars in opposing directions).
  3. Now, fill the pressure cooker with enough water to cover by an 1" or so. If you have hard mineral water that usually leaves spots on your glassware, add a tablespoon of vinegar in the water to keep your jars shiny and beautiful.
  4. Set your pressure cooker to "no pressure" or "exhaust" position. If you have neither of those, like mine, just remove the valve, or weight, completely from the housing - as you would when cleaning it.
  5. Close and lock the lid and put on high heat until you start seeing an even stream of vapor coming out of the valve - you can even open the lid to check and make sure it's boiling. At that point, you can turn the heat down to medium (this should still maintain the boil) and count 5 minutes "processing" time without pressure.
  6. When time is up, turn off the heat, and carefully remove the lid. Lift out the jars and put them on a clean kitchen towel to dry and cool. You may hear a metal "popping" sound as soon as you pull out the jars or as late as two hours - they may all pop at different times. This indicates that the jar is sealed correctly and can be stored un-refreigerated -the middle will be dipped down like the safety seal on the jars you buy from the store. I always have one or two that once completely cool, have not "popped" yet. In that case I open them, clean the lid and lip of the jar again and "process" again, this time starting with cold water since the contents will have cooled - or just store in the refrigerator and consume first!
    Yields about six 8oz or 250ml jars.
Notes
As with any pressure cooker fruit recipe - never fill the pressure cooker more than half-way with fruit (this includes liquid and sugar).

kuhn rikon duromatic pressure cooker

Variations:

  • Kumquat Marmalade – They are so small is not safe to use the mandolin to slice them. It is quite tedious but totally worth it to slice them using a knife- don’t throw the ends away (the pith is not bitter) set them aside and either use them whole or slice into thing strips. I only used a ratio of 1:1 sugar to fruit.
  • Citron Marmalade – This fruit is all peel and pith – but do not be discouraged the pith is not bitter and actually prized!! So use the whole fruit. Once sliced on the mandolin, cut the slices into 6 (not 4 like in the recipe for lemons) – you don’t want the peels in the marmalade to be unmanageably long. Citrons have very little natural “pulp” and liquid. Add the juice and pulp of 1 lemon for each pound of fruit before pressure cooking.

 

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61 Comments

  1. This post is perfect timing for me! I just started learning about canning because I had too many serrano peppers on hand, and needed to preserve them. In the books I’m reading, making jams and jellies seems like too much of an intimidating mess to bother with, but I think I can do your recipe!

    In a few weeks, my small Mexican lime tree is going to give me a surplus of limes. I would love to try this recipe with them, so I plan to do it when my little crop comes in. I trust their tough peels won’t present a problem.

    BTW, I LOVE your site, Laura. It’s inspired me to get back into pressure cooking and try new things.

    –JulieSA

    1. Julie, I can’t wait to hear how this recipe goes with limes! If for some reason the peels are not tender enough… just pressure cook a few more minutes! I have found that after 10 minutes for the lemons and kumquats the peel was almost too tender and I had to be very delicate with it when stirring in the sugar.

      However, when you spread the jam on toast you’ll appreciate not finding any chewy bits!!

      Ciao and welcome back to pressure cooking!

      L

    2. Your method does indeed work well. One benefit of using a mandoline to prepare marmalade is that most of the seeds gather on top of the mandoline from where they can be slid into a spice ball. This is much more effective than trying to pick up slippery seeds individually from a cutting board. I placed the mandoline into a large bowl and in that way captured all the juice from the oranges.

      1. Glad you liked the mandoline method. I try to reduce the prep work as much as possible in all my recipes. I find that’s usually what keeps people from doing things like this and pressure cooking more vegetables!

        Ciao,

        L

  2. Yesterday, I made this marmalade with 3lbs of Kumquats! Took a little longer because they are too small to use on the mandolin. Also, I only needed 1x the sugar. I have three citrons sitting on the counter waiting to be “jammed”. I’m addicted – no citrus is safe, now!

    Ciao,

    L

  3. how super cool! i have 5 pressure cookers,.. i think i need to use them for something apart from beans!:)

    1. Welcome Richa! Leave me a note at the bottom of the recipes and techniques you try!!

      Ciao,

      L

  4. I made these tonight with the Honeybell oranges my parents sent me from Florida. I got a pressure cooker for a wedding gift but just used it for the first time today – I tried your eggs first (wound up overcooking going for softboil). Then I made hummus (pressure cooking the chick peas). And finished with the marmalade. Phew! I think I’ve got the basics figured out finally. I expect to use your blog a ton to help me learn to use my gadget to its fullest potential – thank you!

    1. Oh, wow Jen! What a great way to inaugurate your pressure cooker. You started out with two very advanced recipes (the egg and marmalade). It takes time to figure out how low the heat can be adjusted to maintain pressure – but I’m sooo glad it got you to open up that box and start using your pressure cooker!!! I’m looking forward to reading what you’ll pressure cook, next. Check out the Beginner Basics Recipe Series, too!

      Ciao and welcome,

      L

  5. I just made this with Meyer Lemons – I LOVE it! I added some shredded ginger, 15 gm of ginger to 410gm of lemon; next time I’ll double the ginger.

    I posted about it here and hope that others will try it also. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cooking/msg031856583692.html

    Thank you for another great and easy recipe.

    1. Lee, great additions to the recipe and photos and thanks for mentioning the source of the recipe- I also linked to it from Facebook.

      Ciao,

      L

  6. Could you put an old sock around each jar to protect them from clinking around? Not sure that’d be easier…

  7. Hi Laura,

    I like to make pannetone, the rich Italian sweet bread, with candied orange bits. But what a chore.

    Can this recipe be adapted to make a thicker slice of citrus so you’ll end up with something you can chop and put in a batter?

    Two other questions:

    Just made pea soup. Peas on bottom burned. How do I control this?

    And…Is there any way to can tomatoes in a dinky 6-quart cooker?

    Thanks! You are so creative.

    1. Here’s the secret of this technique: Any step that is usually done by do boiling – like softening citrus peels to candy or marmalade them – you can pressure cook! I think the only problem you may have is getting the peels TOO soft TOO fast! So, do everything you would to make candied peels, but just pressure cook a few sacrificial pieces for 10 minutes with natural release to see if you like the consistency.

      I’m not familiar with your pea soup recipe. But remember that dried peas are legumes and should be treated as such (less than 1/2 capacity, oil, ect). Also, I recommend bringing the contents to a boil before locking on the lid- that should limit the time the pressure cooker is at high heat.

      For canning tomatoes. If you can fit it in your pressure cooker, you can can it. Use smaller jars or only can 1 jar at a time – sorry I don’t have a better answer!

      Ciao,

      L

    2. I started pressure canning in my pressure cooker first but was frustrated when I could only do 3 pint jars at a time and moved up to a much larger pressure canner. The pressure cooker was a good way to get the technique down though. I’m just now learning to cook in the pressure cooker and did chicken last night. Yum!

      You do not need to do tomatoes under pressure. You can do a hot water bath method because of their acid content. Only low acid foods like green veggies and meats have to be pressure canned for safety. Just an FYI.

      1. Yes, YOU DO NEED TO PRESSURE-CAN TOMATOES, unless you add acid!!

        The pH of tomatoes can vary from below 4.6 (the absolute minimum) to 4.8, which is too high for safety. USDA recommends adding acid even if you DO can under pressure. http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE03_HomeCan_rev0715.pdf

  8. Has anyone tried to make this sugar free? It’s sounds so good, however, I need to watch my sugar intake. Any information on how to adjust this recipe would be appreciated.

    1. Here are some resources on making sugar-free preserves:
      http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/cooking/a/sugarfreejam.htm

      I have not done it myself. BUT I have found that many preserving recipes require anywhere from the same weight of sugar as the fruit or THREE times the volume! Using pectin, and storing the jam in the refrigerator I was able to make jam with as little as 1/3 of the sugar. But that is the limit of my personal experience. However, the link above an any experienced “jammers” who comment should be able to get you on the way to sugar-free jam making.

      Ciao,

      L

  9. Thanks , I will try this…..Is there a similar recipe for orange marmelade? I am also interested in candied fruit recipes. Cant wait to try this . Thanks so much for posting, and comments… all!

    1. Yes, you can do the same thing with oranges. But the sugar should only be 1:1 (same weight as the fruti).

      Ciao,

      L

  10. What’s the purpose behind keeping the seeds and boiling them with the marmalade?
    Also, you don’t need to sterilize jars before you fill if you’re planning on processing them, as that takes care of the sterilization.

    1. The lemon seeds contain pectin – the gelling agent in jams and marmalade. Pectin can be damaged by being boiled for too long. So you want to add them in when the lemon skins are soft after pressure cooking.

      Ciao,

      L

  11. I’ve never made marmalade, but there’s a first time for everything! Trying it this weekend.

  12. Love this site – so glad to have stumbled upon it!
    Could one safely stack the bottles in a deep pressure cooker? obviously with a layer of tea towel between. and if so where would the water level in the cooker be up to?
    I have this rather large [10 litre] cooker left over from the days before the kids flew the roost so would be great to do more bottles all at once :)

    PS have I missed something about being able to save the recipes, or print them out?

    1. Suzy, stacking may not really work since the jars will have air in them and they will WANT to float. I recommend either doing two batches or getting some other pots and pans involved in the no-pressure “canning” of this conserves.

      Ciao,

      L

  13. thanks Laura,
    Should have thought of that myself.
    Blonde moment….
    Rgds
    Suzanne

  14. I just tried this with limes and wanted to report the results. I used standard limes that are found in American grocery stores. It turns out that the pith of the lime is far more bitter than other citrus so the batch is no good. I noticed it when I was adding the sugar and tasting for sweetness. I hoped that either the sugar or time (letting it cool for 24 hours) would mellow out the bitter but it didn’t.

    However, aside from the distinct bitter bite I could tell that it would have been very tasty. Also, the limes tend to not have any seeds but the marmalade thickened enough regardless. I will attempt this again but I will completely zest each lime and cut out the pulp and juice so I can discard the pith. I’m hoping that the pith did not add too much pectin and that it will still thicken. If I can just get rid of the bitterness then I should be left with a wonderfully bright lime marmalade. I have some pound cake that it would go great on. :)

    1. Josh, thanks for coming back to tell us about your Limemalade. Since the limes do not have seeds you can use the seeds from oranges or lemons instead – that’s where the bulk of the pectin is found. Worst-case, you can also use some sugar-free pectin powder. No need to measure just sprinkle a teaspoon at a time and simmer until the marmalade reaches the thickness you are looking for.

      Ciao,

      L

  15. I’m new at pressure cooking and wondering if this can also be done with an electric pressure cooker? I do not have one that goes on the stove. Thanks.

    1. You can absolutely make this in an electric pressure cooker – the instructions only differ in opening method and the specifics are written in step 6.

      Ciao,

      L

  16. Made wonderful marmalade and it couldn’t have been easier! I found using the 1 mm slicing disk with my Cuisinart was faster and easier than using a mandoline though. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Danielle, thanks for sharing your marmalade – and your even faster shortcut!

      Ciao,

      L

  17. I made some great Orange Marmalade with some oranges that were left over. I’ve made a lot of preserves but never thought about making marmalade and that’s my favorite. How fast and good, that i’m not used to. Once I set the time I’ve got to learn to walk away from the cooker instead of standing there like there is something to do!

    This was done 1/1 with sugar and following all directions from the recipe. Thx.

    1. It looks gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the photos of your marmalade.

      Hahaha…on the standing around… I think we all do that when we get started. ; )

      Ciao,

      L

  18. Hello Laura,

    Thanks for a great website! I just got an instant pot and would like to try this using it. Is there anything different to know when using it vs other pressure cookers?

    I see you mention electric pressure cookers in step 6.

    Thanks,
    Michelle

  19. Nope. Just follow the directions – it’s really THAT easy!

    Ciao,

    L

  20. LOVE this and can’t wait to try it. Who makes those adorable jars?
    Thanks
    Heather

    1. Heather, the jars are made by Bormioli they’re from their “Four Seasons” collection. They’re made in Italy but I’ve seen them for sale in the U.S., too.
      They sell them on amazon, too! http://amzn.to/1Qkdn9U

      Ciao,

      L

  21. I made a batch with 2 pounds of sliced Meyer Lemons and 4 pounds of sugar using my Instant Pot. Checked the temperature was at least 212°F before pouring into the jars. However, my marmalade turned out as a very soft set, not firm like my other recipe. Is this supposed to be a soft set marmalade?
    Thanks,
    Rieko

    1. Did you add the gauze packet containing the seeds into the pressure cooker and boil that with the sugar before jarring? That is where the the “gel” for the marmalade will come from. This is a somewhat soft-set marmalade, to make it set more just boil uncovered for more time before jarring. This will further reduce the liquid and allow the seeds more time to release their natural pectin.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Thank you for confirming this is a softer set marmalade, Laura. I did add the gauze packet with the seeds after dissolving the sugar. Brought the whole mixture up to a rolling boil and stopped when the temperature was 212°.
        Next time I make a batch, I’ll use your suggestion about boiling the mixture longer to get a thicker marmalade. :-)
        Rieko

        1. You need to cook to at least 220° to get a good jell, not 212°.

          Also, the pith contains a large part of the pectin needed for jelling, not just the seeds.

  22. Ever since a friend brought me a jar of lemon marmalade from England, I have been wanting to try making some. I finally found your recipe and tried it with Meyer Lemons the other night. I did take the extra time to peel the lemons and separate the pith, because that bitter pith is what I don’t like about most marmalade. I used pounds of meyer lemons and 3 pounds of sugar, and I used about half water and half extra lemon juice for the liquid. It turned out amazing!

    And then tonight I tried using that marmalade in some jam thumbprint cookies. Oh my word – they are the best jam thumbprint cookies ever!

    1. Lisa, I’m so glad you stopped by to share how you made your marmalade under pressure. I’m so glad you liked it – and also thank you for sharing the recipe on your Facebook page!

      Ciao,

      L

  23. Just finished making this, what a mess! I wound up with 9 pounds of grapefruit from my tree so I decided to make marmalade. It was way too much for my pressure cooker to handle even thought it was at the max full line. Next time I will try to keep it under the max line. Had to work in batches, but I am impressed with the results. I used to make whole fruit marmalade which involved boiling the whole fruit for a long time, then cutting, and then boiling. This was much faster.

    1. For next time, you’re never supposed to fill your pressure cooker more than half-way for fruit. As you found out, fruit foams, so it has to follow the same rules as beans and grains. I have updated the recipe to remind future cooks of this.

      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-capacity-faq-if-it-fits-cook-it/

      Glad to hear everything turned out well. In the meantime, make sure to take your pressure cooker valve apart and clean it well along with the lid.

      Ciao,

      L

  24. Hi Laura,

    Is there a reason for adding the sugar after cooking the citrus?

    I have made orange marmalade several times now and just noticed that I was suppose to add the sugar after cooking. oops …. and that would demonstrate why I should re-read a recipe rather than doing it from memory.

    My mix does not thicken like a commercial marmalade but I use it as a sauce for things like teriyaki orange chicken so is perfect for my uses.

    I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t doing something horrible that could result in some sort of weird chemical reaction by cooking the oranges and sugar together under pressure.

    Thanks!

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