Mmm Mmm Lady Marmalade


Our friend Kirsty is the one and only Lady Marmalade, no matter who Patti Labelle was really singing her catchy tune about.  She brought us the marmalade you see before you, and we fell madly in love.  With the marmalade, that is, although Kirsty’s very nice too.  It’s made from Seville oranges, caramelized to an incredible richness, and to prevent us from raiding her pantry and holding her hostage she gave me the recipe.

It takes a full two days to make, but I loved every minute of it.  I’ve never had my hands on a Seville orange before, and they’re a treat.  Sour as a lemon, but orangey as an orange.


They make their way from Spain into the rest of Europe, although I’ve read that the largest part of the crop goes directly to England, home of Lord, Lady, and other assorted Marmalade Royalty folks.  The season is short, and so is life, so as soon as I got my hands on some I set out to make the delectable délice.   Sorry, I can’t resist bilingual redundancy any more than I can resist the marmalade itself.   And I’m proud to report that my confiture d’oranges amères succeeded brilliantly.


We had a lot of terra cotta yogurt pots that I can never bring myself to throw away when the yogurt’s gone, and now they’re all filled with what I imagine will soon make me Lady Marmalade la Deuxième to a number of people upon whom I plan to bestow this marvel.


Honestly, the stuff is edible art.  I’m planning to make another big batch this week, so we can wallow in its glory.


In the meantime, we’re keeping our precious store under guard night and day.  Although unless you’re coming to visit I’m afraid that I won’t be able to offer you any of mine, if you have 3 pounds of Seville oranges and two free days, with the cute yogurt pots being optional, let me know and I’ll tell you how its made. 

And if you start hearing “voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir” on an endless loop inside your head, don’t blame me.  Honest, it’s all about the marmalade.

p.s. You do know the song, right?  My musician husband said “Huh?” and swore he’d missed the entire sensation.

Explore posts in the same categories: At Home In France


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16 Comments on “Mmm Mmm Lady Marmalade”

  1. Nancy Says:

    I had no idea Seville oranges were so red. Is that the normal color of the juice, or a result of the caramelization? And…am I reading this correctly that Seville oranges are sour but not bitter? Another revelation: I’d thought that Seville oranges and bitter oranges were the same fruit. Thank you for the continuing education.

    Beppo is such a sweet-looking cat. He reminds me of my own dear Tab Hunter, passed on nearly a year now after a long and luxuriant life. I still think he looks like the Cheshire cat, back a few days, peering through the chair-back rungs.

    Oh, those yogurt pots: is that the French idea of disposable containers??

  2. Abra Says:

    Seville orange juice is a normal orange color, and indeed the color of the marmalade is due to the caramelization. Orange amère translates to bitter orange, but I don’t taste anything bitter about them. To me they’re sour, in exactly the way a lemon is.

    And it’s shocking but yes, those yogurt pots are considered disposable. On the train, at the hospital cafeteria, you’re likely to get a yogurt in a clay pot. And if you try to put them in the recycling someone will tell you to just toss them. Of course, most yogurts in the store come in paper containers, but quite a few are sold either in glass or pottery. I love to collect them.

  3. LuAnne Says:

    I love your blog Abra and have made sure to get a few friends hooked as well. I would love this recipe! I recently made a fennel orange marmalade. The color of this one looks incredbile!

  4. Price Naryka Says:

    Hi, Abra. Margaret gave me our blog and I really enjoy reading it. I am glad to know Beppo and Shel are adjusting so well to the French life. There was no question about you!

  5. Nancy Says:

    I have to admit, I *still* don’t know the song or understand the reference. However, that’s not why I’m writing again. I have a friend with terra cotta pots and a strong hankering to make the Seville orange marmalade. I suspect that if I get the method for her, she’ll share the results with me. Please?

  6. Klary Says:

    I)m so jealous now! I’ve been reading about Seville oranges for years but I’ve NEVER seen them for sale here in the Netherlands. The marmalade looks lovely, and yes, thank you, I’ve been humming the song for days now 🙂

  7. Sarah Says:

    Hi Abra, I’ve got tons of time on my hands and am itching to give marmalade another go. The recipe I used a couple of weeks ago wasn’t quite what I was going for. So would you mind sharing with me? Sadly, it’ll have to go in plain old canning jars, as I’ve no pretty pots like you. Thanks.

  8. Hi Abra,
    It is orange season here in Israel and I have been looking for a good caramelized marmalade recipe. Can you please send me the recipe? I am going to make it with grapefruit, orange, lemon and another citrus that I don’t know the name of in English.



  9. […] what I mean.  Remember when I made that Seville orange marmalade?  Well, I took a jar of it to the fruit vendor who’d sold me the oranges, just to thank him […]

  10. Edye Says:

    So, where’s the recipe? I’d love to know it…. Please share-
    Thank you!

  11. Abra Says:

    I’ll email you the recipe, and anyone that wants it. It’s several pages long, which is why I didn’t post it here.

  12. Valerie Says:

    Ooh – may I have this recipe as well? I’ve been looking for a good marmalade to make!

  13. Carrie Says:

    Would love the recipe for my Mom. She was looking for the “best” marmalade recipe and once I started reading this I had to ask. Thanks, Carrie

  14. amy melchior Says:

    hi i would love your marmalade recipe too please please and also just wondering if you know why marmalade crystallizes its driving me crazy just the top crystallized this time and the rest was perfect ?????? any help would be much appreciated xx amy

  15. Kelly Says:

    Please email the recipe to me. I make many different jams and would love a good marmalade recipe. Thanks.

  16. denis Feeney Says:

    could you email me the recipe? I have just discovered your blog. So sorry about the loss of your husband. My husband and i are moving to Magalas May 14 from New Hampshire with our cat and our dog. So many of the same thoughts and feelings you have shared are what we are thinking of and dreaming about.

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