Seville orange recipes – Pomander gin, curd, vodka and marmalade

Seville orange tree
Seville orange tree

Seville Orange Recipes

The best thing about January in the UK is the arrival of the Seville Orange from Spain, the second best thing is Yorkshire forced rhubarb. Seville oranges are the ugly orange of the family and are very sour, you do not want to eat them but they have a great strong taste for cooking. Every year I make Seville orange marmalade, you can even enter the The world’s original marmalade awards! but what else can you do with Seville Oranges? Here are some great seville orange recipes.

Pomander Gin – Seville Orange and Clove Gin Recipe

Seville orange recipes pomander gin

Seville Orange Pomander Gin

Pomander is the name for those oranges studded with cloves that you hang up at Christmas to make the house smell nice. I found a great seville orange recipe in a book my mum picked up in a second hand bookshop. It sounds so old fashioned, Pomander gin, using Seville oranges and cloves but the result is delicious. I love making fruit liqueurs including sloe gin, blackberry gin and raspberry vodka. They make great Christmas presents and create beautiful cocktails. I am always looking for new inspiration. This is simple but requires patience

  • 1 bottle of gin (75cl)
  • Seville orange
  • 12 cloves
  • 4 oz caster sugar

Decant the gin into a wide mouthed kilner jar. Pierce the orange with the 12 cloves, to create your pomander. Put your pomander in the gin with the sugar. Seal and give it a good shake. Leave in a dark cupboard for 3 months! after which time the gin will have taken on the delicious perfume of the orange and cloves tasting like christmas, strain and decant into sterilised bottles. I enjoy this over ice but also delicious as a Gin and Tonic.

Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe

Seville Orange recipes marmalade

This is a touchy one as everyone likes their marmalade slightly different. I like a tangy, fresh, thin slice in a deep gold jelly. From inexperience, laziness and bad luck I have made chunky, heavy set, dark set and unset marmalade but have now settled on my preferred method. I always feel that maybe I could add other flavours like ginger,cardamom or whisky but I am too precious about my marmalade to change. I would never buy a Whisky Marmalade or a Ginger Marmalade so why would I make it?!

I have tried the quick method where you put soft boiled Seville oranges in the food processor and chop to a paste but i thought the resulting Marmalade missed that jewel like quality of Seville orange shreds set within a quivering jelly, instead it was one opaque colour. I have tried Delia’s method of boiling the Seville oranges then shredding but i found it too messy, but each to their own.

Top tips –  I have learnt along the way

  • Don’t add your sugar till the peel has softened as sugar halts this process.
  • Make sure you have reduced the liquid to a third of the original amount before adding sugar as this speeds up the setting process.
  • If you want a tawny or Oxford style Marmalade then replace half the sugar with demerrara and only reduce the liquid by half.
  • Don’t squeeze the pith and pip bag too hard as this is what makes your jelly cloudy.
  • Take your time this is a labour of love
  • Twice as much sugar as oranges and twice the amount of liquid as oranges before you add the sugar

So here is my recipe

  • 1 kg Seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2kg granulated sugar

Cut the oranges and lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl. with your fingers scrape out the remaining flesh and pips and put in a muslin bag and add to the juice take the left over skins and slice thinly (no thicker than a matchstick) and add to the juice. Pour in 2 litres of water to the juice and leave overnight for the skins to soften and the pectin to be released helping the marmalade set.

Next day tip everything into a large pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 2hrs until the peel is translucent. Remove the bag of pips and pulp and measure the level of liquid left there should be about 1 litre if less add more water if more boil for longer. Add the sugar and wait for it to dissolve before stirring, then turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Boil hard for 15 minutes or until the temperature reaches 105c / 220f.

Allow to cool slightly and then ladle into sterilised jars

Seville Orange Curd (in a pressure cooker) Recipe

Seville Orange recipes Curd

I have a new pressure cooker (present for Christmas used to have a very old Prestige domed Aluminium one which I bought from a charity shop for a fiver, but I was never sure about when it was at full pressure, any way I digress). In one of my cookbooks I had a recipe for making lemon curd in the pressure cooker. I have made lemon curd before and although not difficult it is slow and takes a lot of stirring and attention so making it in 10 minutes in the pressure cooker appealed. If you don’t have a pressure cooker the method is the same but just place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir for 30 minutes until it has thickened (don’t worry if it takes 40 minutes this is a slow thing to make). I have changed this to make a great seville orange recipe for curd

  • 4 eggs free range large
  • 450g caster sugar
  • grated zest of 2 Seville oranges
  • 100ml Seville orange juice
  • 50ml Lemon juice
  • 75g butter

Seville orange recipe curd ingredients

Beat the eggs together in a pyrex bowl, add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Add the other ingredients and stir. Cover the bowl with greaseproof paper and balance it on the trivet inside the pressure cooker, make a foil handle for easy removal. pour water into the pressure cooker making sure it doesn’t reach the bowl (1.5cm should be fine). Close the lid and bring to high pressure. cook for 10 minutes and release naturally (i.e wait till the pressure has naturally dropped before opening)

you may find a layer of butter has formed on top – stir vigorously and if you want push through a sieve . Decant into sterilised jars and store in the fridge.

Delicious spread on toast or used to fill a cake (see previous post for lemon curd cake)

Seville Orange Vodka Recipe

  • Seville Orange
  • Bottle vodka
  • 4 oz caster sugar

Using a potato peeler remove the peel from the Seville orange making sure you don’t remove the pith only the zest. Now you can either remove some vodka or pour the vodka into a larger container (i prefer to do this) add the peel and the sugar and give it a good shake. Every week give it another good shake or I know some people who keep it in the boot of their car so it gets jiggled around . After 3 months the Vodka will be ready to drink mmmm

If you have any Seville orange recipes let me know I would love to try them


  • Wiz says:

    OK i also thought seville oranges were a uniquely spanish thing available only in January..(.I live in France now) and was quite surprised when my architect turned up last easter (April 2015) with a bag of sevilles picked from the garden of an old convent where her sister lives in Grasse. This year i was invited to go down for the weekend to pick my own… I have just come back( you can tell how early the season is compared to last year) Sadly the gardners had just done there spring prune and there wasnt an orange left to be seen in the convent garden. However they grow every where and most of them rot on the ground, so we set of to try and scrump some. Fortunately the cemetry in Bar du Loup has a fine tree, and though I wasnt the first to scrump there my arms were longer and perhaps I was more determined, we managed perhaps 3kgs. we went afterwards to Cannet down on the coast where there is a whole street full of bitter orange trees going to waste again. All the easily accessible ones had already gone, but I had got the bug by then so I climbed a few of the trees and we had quite a lot after that. (Incidentally there is a very fine pepper tree just around the corner!)
    In the south the main use is for VIN D’ORANGE everyone will have a 10 litre jar macerating at this time of year, some make it more bitter than others using ingredients such as quinine and chicory powder, I use that recipe, but sometimes struggle to get the more esoteric ingredients. here though is a much simpler recipe not so dark given to me by a friend locally, but who is of Spanish origin, it s traditionally drunk chilled as an aperatif.
    5 bitter oranges+1 sweet orange+3 mandarines/clementine+1/2 lemon, all cut into small pieces.3/4 litre of strong alcohol eau de vie type or if all else fails vodka 40%.1 glass of grand marnier,750 gms sugar 4 litres of white wine.
    leave to macerate in a dark place for 45 days, filter and add 3/4 of white port. Taste (not too much!) adjust to your taste if necessary, bottle and store.

  • Teresa Watson says:

    We only get Sevilles here in England in January. I use all mine to make marmalade, Seville orange vodka and Seville orangecello! I want to make your pomander gin, do you think ordinary oranges will suffice? Enjoyed reading your blog. Teresa

    • Happenupon says:

      Hi Teresa, yes you can use any oranges, it is really the citrus oil that is adding the flavouring so try to find an unwaxed, organic orange if possible. I have used large oranges before to make this for Christmas.

  • Jane woodham says:

    I can source Seville oranges from a grower here in New Zealand. I always make marmalade using Delia Smith’s recipe but this year as larder is still full from last year’s batch i am going to try your pomander recipe. What fun. Thanks.

  • Bandol girl says:

    I came across your site looking for orangecello recipes to use the bitter oranges on our tree in the south of France. My parents in law make vin d’orange and I make marmalade. I prick the oranges with a knife point and soak them overnight in cold water. This removes some bitterness and enables reducing the sugar quantities by half. I boil the oranges whole first. Makes delicious marmalade.

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