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RECIPE | Rex Union orange and whisky marmalade

Store-bought marmalade doesn't come close to this jam, which is made from a local citrus fruit that's a cross between an orange and a pomelo

15 July 2018 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Orange marmalade.
Orange marmalade.
Image: 123RF / Annapustynnikova

Listed by Slow Food Italy as an Ark of Taste product, the Rex Union orange is a cross between an orange and pomelo. It's a South African varietal similar to the Seville orange and is perfect for marmalade because of the thick pith and bitter flavour. It is grown only on Lemoenfontein farm near Rustenburg, North West.

Cant get your hands on Rex Union oranges? You can replace them with other oranges in this recipe, but it's recommended that you then reduce the sugar to half a cup (125ml) per cup of pulp.

Makes: 6 x 400g jars


6 Rex Union oranges*



90ml whisky, optional


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the fruit including the rind and pith into quarters. Then slice into thin slices, saving the pips to place in a square of Superwipe cloth tied with string.
  2. To every one cup of sliced orange add two cups (500ml) of water and leave to soak overnight with the bag of pips submerged in the water.
  3. The next day, boil the fruit and water until the skin is very tender.
  4. Remove the bag of pips, squeezing all the liquid into the pan.
  5. Add one cup (200g) of sugar to every one cup of pulp.
  6. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then allow to cook, without stirring, until it has reached setting point.
  7. Add the whisky if using.
  8. Pour into sterilised jars, filling right to the top. Seal immediately.



Before boiling the fruit with the sugar place three saucers in the fridge. To check for setting point, drop a spoonful onto a cold saucer and leave for a five minutes. If it holds its shape and is sticky, then it's ready. If not, continue boiling and retest.


To sterilise jars, wash in hot soapy water and rinse well. Preheat the oven to 120°C and place the jars in the oven for 30 minutes. Place the lids in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a rolling boil.


A tip is to warm the sugar beforehand for easy dissolving. Place the sugar on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven of 120°C for 15 minutes.