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Satsuma and Bourbon Marmalade

PhotoAIt’s chilly, windy and gray at Cowlick Cottage Farm, so I am making Satsuma and Bourbon Marmalade this morning.  Homemade jams, jellies and marmalades make thoughtful gifts for friends and family.  Satsumas are a sweet, juicy citrus fruit similar to tangerines, but they don’t have any seeds, which makes them really easy to work with.

Marmalade and other jams and jellies are simple to make, as long as you follow the basic rules of preserving…your kitchen must be super-clean. Mason or Ball jars must be sterilized. And finally, recipes for preserving should be followed exactly.

Preserving is a little science and a little art. You must make sure that preserves are acidic enough to kill any bacteria, which is why it is so important to follow the recipe. Initially, preserving sounds a little complicated and scary, but it’s really an extremely enjoyable and very relaxing activity.  If you are interested in making your own preserves, I recommend that you get a good book that goes over the basics. I am really enjoying a book that my daughter gave me, Preserve It, by Linda Brown. This recipe is adapted from that book. Be brave!  Take a risk!  Learn something new.

Most preserving recipes have just a few ingredients and are made to highlight the season’s fruits or vegetables. So when purchasing or picking fruit, make sure you look for the freshest and most perfect fruits you can find.  When you ar preparing the fruit for this marmalade, trim off the stem end of the clementines, as well as any brown spots.

Satsuma and Bourbon Marmalade


2 lb. Satsumas, scrubbed, rinsed and halved
Juice of 2 large lemons
4 ½ cups sugar
1-2 tbsp. bourbon or brandy




Put the Satsumas in a food processor and chop using the pulse button until they are shredded, but not mushy.  Put the Satsumas in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Pour in 3 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 30 minutes or longer, until the rind has softened.  Add the lemon juice and sugar, and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil, then keep at a rolling boil for 20-30 minutes or until the setting point is reached.   Start testing for setting when a candy thermometer reaches about 220 degrees.  Stir the bourbon into the marmalade.  The bourbon really makes the flavor of the Satsumas explode.  Ladle the beautiful marmalade into warm, sterilized Mason jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, then seal. Store in a cool, dark place, and refrigerate after opening.


I hope that you give preserving a try. Satsuma and Bourbon Marmalade is one of our favorites and is not only good on toast, it also makes a great glaze for roast chicken or pork.   And it has the added benefit of making your house smell like sunshine!

martha harmon
12/6/2012 1:23:37 PM

Your recipes says to process in water bath, then seal? How can you water bath without placing the seals and rings on. Surely that was an error. I would sincerely appreciate a response because I really want to try this recipe. Sounds wonderful.

carolyn binder
12/14/2010 7:53:23 PM

Hi Nebraska Dave: Satsumas are a type of clementine or tangerine that are locally grown here. From what I understand, they are growing in popularity, and I had trouble buying a Satsuma tree to plant in my garden this year, because they are being bought up in bulk by large growers. They are more resilient in cold weather than most citrus fruits. I cannot wait until my little tree is old enough to produce fruit! If you want to make the marmalade, which is really delicious, you can safely replace the Satsumas with tangerines or clementines. Just make sure you get a type that is mostly seedless. Merry Christmas, Dave! Carolyn

nebraska dave
12/14/2010 7:24:16 PM

@Carolyn, I do like marmalade better than straight up jelly. Your recipe for Satsuma and Bourbon Marmalade sounds delicious. I’ve not heard of a Satsuma fruit. I will be looking to see if they are available in the Midwest. I keep thinking that I should really try something in the kitchen during the cold winter days to productively keep the house warm. Have a great marmalade day.