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Nov 16

Recipe: 'Merry' Malt Marmalade

Posted on 16th November 2015 by Sammy-Jo

Merry Malt Marmalade

This whisky inspired marmalade will make the perfect gift this Christmas (if you can bear to part with it). It’s easy to make and you could even get your kids involved. Just make one large batch and share it out between jars. The jars could be decorated with a homemade label, festive ribbon, cinnamon stick, dried orange and berries etc. If your kids aren’t interested in cooking maybe you could get them involved an art project, decorating the labels and lids. This would make a great, cost efficient homemade gift for family, friends, neighbours and teachers this Christmas!


  • 1 small grapefruit
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 sweet or Seville orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1.75/3 pints water
  • 1.4kg/3lb 1oz granulated sugar
  • 75ml/5 tbsp. whisky *
  • Edible gold glitter
  • Additional Items:
  • Muslin bag or piece of muslin
  • Short piece of string
  • Jam jars
  • Labels
  • Decorations: glue, scissors, dried fruit, ribbon etc.

* We would recommend a rounded, sweet Speyside Scotch like Glenrothes whisky and we loved the sound of Ginger Spice 1988 by Wemyss Malts although it could be a little pricey for cooking!


Wash and juice the fruit, then pour into a large lidded pan and add the water.

Using a small sharp knife, scrape out the fruits pips and inner membranes. Put the membranes in a food processor and chop finely. Then, move the pips and chopped membranes into a piece of muslin and tie with string – add this to the pan.

Tear the citrus fruit peel (thick or thin) and add to the pan.

Place the fresh cranberries in a microwaveable bowl and warm in the microwave until soft. Add both the cranberries and the cinnamon stick to the pan and set aside to soak for a few hours, or overnight if possible.

When you return, put the pan on a med-high heat and ensure the lid is covering the pan. Once the pan has begun to boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for two hours until the peel is very tender.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 140°C/120 fan oven. Pour the sugar into a baking dish and place in the oven until warm. Carefully remove the muslin bag from the pan, squeeze all liquid from the bag through a sieve to add flavor to the pan. Discard the muslin bag.

Spoon out the cinnamon stick and cranberries, then squeeze the softened cranberries into the pan and add small shredded pieces of cranberry skin.

Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then add the warmed sugar to the pan and mix in until dissolved. Bring the pan to boil. After five minutes, scoop out a large spoonful of marmalade, allow the mixture to cool a little and slowly pour back into the pan. This will test the setting point of the mixture. If the drops run together to form a hanging flake, it is at setting point. This process can take up to 30 minutes so keep testing.

Once at setting point, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes. A skin should form on the surface so remove any scum present after 10minutes.

Add the whisky and a sprinkle of edible glitter to the pan and gently stir the marmalade to ensure even distribution of the alcohol and fruit peel.

Then pour the mixture into the clean decorated jars and seal, leaving upright and undisturbed to set.

Not only will this taste great on toast or crumpets, but you could also use this marmalade in lots of recipes such as marmalade bread and butter pudding, goat’s cheese and marmalade stuffed chicken breast, grilled marmalade marinated steak etc.

You could even put together a small booklet or leaflet with these recipe ideas to accompany your Merry Malt Marmalade Christmas gift!