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Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Recipe

04. December 2018

Our friend and guest blogger Chez LaRae created this vibrant Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade recipe. This citrus marmalade would make a great holiday gift. Use our free printable tags and labels to decorate your jars for gift-giving. You can follow LaRae’s amazing food adventures on InstagramFacebook, and her website. LaRae is a self-taught baker, cooking and baking instructor, recipe developer, and an editor at @thefeedfeed. See LaRae's other recipe guest blog posts.

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Citrus hits its peak of flavor during the colder months therefore making it ideal for a cold-weather canning project. This Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade highlights oranges, grapefruits, and lemons while adding beauty and real flavor with whole vanilla beans.

What exactly is marmalade? Marmalade is a clear, sweetened jelly in which pieces of fruit and fruit rind are suspended. Oftentimes the jelly will be slightly bitter due to the use of fruit peels. Marmalade has been made not only using oranges, but also grapefruits, kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and bergamots. It is such a flexible treat.

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

When buying citrus for this recipe, look for the very best. Poor batches of citrus make for poor batches of marmalade. Look for fruit free of bruises. Buy organic if possible as it will be free of sprays, pesticides, and waxes. Please use vanilla beans for this recipe. The vanilla seeds are gorgeous in the marmalade and the flavor is unbelievable. If you do not want to use vanilla beans you will still get a lovely product. Omit vanilla entirely for a beautiful three-citrus marmalade.

Tips: After allowing your jars to cool overnight you may think that your marmalade has not properly set. If you have followed each step correctly, never fear. Sometimes it takes marmalade up to 48 hours (or a week) to set properly. This is because natural pectin can take a little longer to develop a firm set.

There are a few different ways to test if your jam is set. I prefer using a digital instant read thermometer. It gives an exact read which leads to a high success rate with regards to jams and marmalades. My favorite brand is Thermapen. The other methods (sheeting off of a spoon test and frozen plate test) are good if you do not own a thermometer, however results may vary and these tests take some jamming experience.

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade (Makes about five half-pint jars)

Recipe modified from "The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 200 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes".



  • 4 large oranges
  • 4 large ruby red grapefruit
  • 2 large lemons
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise


Place rack in the bottom of a boiling water canner, then place empty jars on the rack. Add water to the jars and the canner until the jars are about two-thirds full. Cover the canner and bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Place lids in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil. Keep lids hot until ready to use.

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Scrub fruit thoroughly of sprays and waxes, rinse well, and dry. Using micro plane zester or small holes on a box grater, grate zest from oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Try to not get too much of the white, bitter pith in the mix.

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut a 1/4 inch thick slice from each end of oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. Working with one piece of fruit at a time, place flat-end down on cutting board, and remove peel in strips, cutting from top to bottom. Hold peeled fruit over a bowl and collect juices. Slice between membranes and gently remove whole segments. Reserve segments and juice. Discard membranes and seeds.

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Stir together sugar, water, and kosher salt, citrus zests, reserved citrus segments, and reserved juice in a stainless steel pot. Split and scrape seeds from vanilla beans. Add seeds and beans to mixture.

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until instant read thermometer registers 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Note, this will take about one hour; no need to rush this process. Remove mixture from heat. Remove and discard vanilla beans. Skim foam, if necessary.

Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and readjust headspace. Wipe jar rims with a damp cloth. Center lids onto jars.  Apply bands and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place jars in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are in canner. Cover the canner with a lid and bring water to a full rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling hard and continuously, begin counting the processing time of 10 minutes.

Once 10 minutes is complete, turn off heat and let jars sit in canner an additional five minutes. This standing time allows the pressure inside the jars to stabilize and reduces the likelihood of liquid loss that could otherwise occur when the jars are removed.

Remove jars and place on a kitchen towel-lined space. The towel will help reduce the chance of jar breakage. Do not dry the lids or jars at this point. You do not want to disturb the lids while the seals are being formed. Allow jars to cool for 24 hours before removing bands and wiping down jars. Date jars and store in a cool dry place for up to one year.


Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

Add some sunshine to your jars with our FREE Printable citrus marmalade hang tags and canning labels. Your marmalade will be the perfect DIY holiday or winter housewarming gift.


Shop our Citrus Canning Label Collection to label all of your lemon, lime, and orange goodie jars.

Shop for Citrus Labels on


Want to put up some sunshine? Try our Zesty Lime Curd recipe!

Zesty Lime Curd Canning Recipe |


Want more citrus canning recipes? See our Citrus Canning Recipes blog post for jam, jelly, marmalade & more! 

Citrus Canning Recipes |


Follow our Citrus Canning Pinterest Board for even more recipes!

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Three Citrus & Vanilla Bean Marmalade Canning Recipe |

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Comments (4)

Molly on December 09, 2020

How many jars does this usually yield?

CanningCrafts on December 09, 2020

Molly, the recipe Makes about five half-pint jars.

Molly on December 12, 2020

Thank you so much!

Anne Zander on January 10, 2021

For those of you that are preserving foods such as this delicious product you do need to adjust for your elevation if you are above sea level. Those individuals that live at a high elevation just take the 10 minute boiling water bath time of 10 minutes and add 1 minute for every 1000 feet above sea level. ENJOY

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