Oh glorious lemon tree…

You just pumped out 8 pounds of lemons, and you are full of not quite ripe ones too…and more flowers. Gosh, you’re amazing.

And, um, I better start making lemon things. I need to do that hard working tree some serious justice.

First off, Sunshine Marmalade. And I think you’ll like it, or even love it, even if you are a Marmalade hater. The nice thing about this preserve is that it’s not too tart – it doesn’t have that overpowering bite that a lot of marmalades have. And you can make the fruit pieces as big or as little as you like. It’s all up to you. Get in there.

Oh, and even though it uses lemons, it turns into this gorgeous orange stained glass color and texture.

Oh so pretty.

Eat it on a bagel, some toast, spread it on your crust before you add your pie fillings…or just eat it straight off the spoon. No need to be ashamed. I’m not.

Sunshine Marmalade


  • about 2.5 pounds of unwaxed lemons plus their juice
  • an extra 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 10 cups sugar
  • 11 cups water
  • preserving pan or very big pot


  1. Scrub your lemons and remove the bellybuttons.
  2. Chop the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice - add the juice to your preserving pan, straining any seeds out of the mixture. Pulp is fine.
  3. Slice your lemon rinds into shreds with a sharp knife (fine and delicate or thick and chunky - it's up to you). Put those pretty pieces in the pan, and cover with the 11 cups of water and then leave to soak overnight.
  4. The next day bring the pan up to the boil then simmer gently, covered, for about 2 hours - by which point the peel will be tender and the mixture will have reduce by about a third.
  5. While it's boiling stick a saucer in the freezer for later and prep your jars (I use the dishwasher method of cleaning and heating). Time it so your jars will be hot and dry when your mixture is ready to jar.
  6. Next turn up the heat and add in the lemon juice and sugar, stirring all the time until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring the mixture to a rapid rolling boil for about 20-25 minutes until the setting point is reached.
  7. To test for a set put a small amount of marmalade on your frozen saucer, leave to cool for a minute then push gently with your finger. If it wrinkles then it's done, if not then boil for another couple of minutes. Alternatively if you have a sugar thermometer it will be done when it reaches 104.5C.
  8. Once it's done, take the marmalade off the heat and cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring into your sterilised jars and sealing immediately.