is it too late to save my marmalade?

I made about 20 jars of marmalade, thinking it would thicken once it cooled, but it's at room temp now and still pretty liquid. Can I pour all the jars back into the cooking pot, boil for longer, and re-jar? (I wasn't using a thermometer but I guess that was a mistake!)

Nathalie Jordi


Shuna L. March 2, 2016
My experience with citrus marmalade is varied, and a little woo, I'll admit, but this is what I have found to be true:

"Setting temperature" is not all about "boiling." I have caramelized many a batch of marmalade thinking like this, sadly. Setting point more to do with pectin content, and how much water that pectin is attempting to set. Between you and I, I like the frozen plate test better than a thermometer, because every virus behaves differently. Lemons have more pectin than tangerines, and so on. Also, depending on how much peel and pips are in your mixture will change natural pectin levels dramatically.

I'm all for loose marmalade though too. If I love the flavor of something, but it's too loose, I might drain it and save the syrup to make sorbet, ice cream, sauce or coulis, and save the "solids" for another purpose. Sometimes I will even put the "solids" in my food processor, and then I have "marmalade spread."

Lastly, from year to year, season to season, and even month to month, the exact same varietal of fruit will have varying levels of pectin. I have even seen quince marmalade stay loose - and quince have more pectin in them than all apples put together!

I say - good on you for making marmalade in the first place! It is a labor of love for certain!
Lisa March 2, 2016
Hi Nathalie, yes you can, in fact I did that just the other day! But then I overdid it a bit and it had a caramelized flavor, but it was still delicious!
jamcook March 1, 2016
If you emptied them now , you would have to buy new lids for all the jars. Let them sit a while,longer. There is lots of natural pectin in all that peel.
tiffanylee February 29, 2016
It can take up to two weeks for marmalade to set. I would wait at least a week to see if it gels before opening them all up to reboil. Marmalade is different from jam or jelly which you can tell how it's set right away.
Rachel February 29, 2016
I agree with tiffanylee, but try not to disturb them as much as possible.
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