Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet Recipes

Orange Marmalade

This marmalade is also known as King Family’s Marmalade, after the family of William Lyon Mackenzie King in whose recipe collection it was found. It is especially tasty when made with Seville oranges.

Orange Marmalade

Origin: Woodside National Historic Site
Region: Ontario
Period: 19th century
Course: Other

Pump in kitchen at Woodside National Historic Site Pump in kitchen at Woodside National Historic Site
© Parks Canada

This recipe has a strong link to Woodside National Historic Site since it is among the recipes written out and saved by the King family which are now located in the National Archives.

The King family bought their groceries in the community and a local archives contains a grocers account book which records their purchases. They bought both oranges and lemons. The account book shows they bought sugar too. When the King family made this recipe at Woodside, the cold water would come from the indoor hand pump at the kitchen sink. This made it easy to get the necessary 8 pints of water. Since Seville oranges are only available in the winter the pumped water would be icy cold.

We know that Mackenzie King enjoyed marmalade because he mentioned it frequently in his diary when he was prime minister.

This recipe is sometimes demonstrated at Woodside National Historic Site in the historic kitchen and is on display in the pantry.

Orange Marmalade


  • 7 Seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 8 lbs | 3.7 kg loaf sugar
  • 8 pints | 4 litres cold water


  • Cut the fruit into thin strips, removing only the pips. Put the fruit into a large mug or basin, cover with water and leave it until next day. Boil until the fruit is soft enough for the head of a pin to go through easily; add the sugar and boil until jellied – about one hour.


Recipe tested by Chef David Fairbanks, Algonquin College of Hospitality and Tourism

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