Green Tomato Marmalade


02 Oct Green Tomato Marmalade

Green Tomato Marmalade –

Despite the amber hue of the resulting preserves, this is green tomato marmalade. And no, I didn’t use the teeny-tiny yellow tomatoes on the left. They’re just there for show.

Instead, I used small to mid-sized green tomatoes like the ones below. I figured since I could leave the skin on, I’d use tomatoes that would require peeling when ripe. Just because I take the time to make my own marmalade doesn’t mean I can’t be lazy about some things.

Green Tomato Marmalade –

With my dining room window sill loaded with green tomatoes and lot of of blogger buzz about tomato jam, I thought I’d try a batch of green tomato preserves. Besides, I’m too impatient to wait for them to ripen.

During my research, none of the recipes I found called for pectin. But they all required ridiculously long cooking times. One variation would have taken me six hours if I’d followed their advice. (2 hours to cook, 2 hours to cool, 2 more hours of cooking. Are they crazy?)

I settled on two hours — total. I figured this was the amount of time it would take to watch a movie on DVD. I’d just pop in on things occasionally to avoid writing another “Kitchen Disaster” post. In reality, it was the amount of time it took to prep, cook, eat, makes notes about and clean up the Fried Green Tomato Parmesan I was making at the same time.

Despite my improvisation, the marmalade cooked up nicely. Things would have gone even better if someone had mentioned that you should cut the green tomatoes into small chunks. I knew they hold their shape from my Parmesan dish, but even when boiled like a witches brew these little green monsters don’t break down. Of course I didn’t take their freakishly firm structural integrity into account when I quartered the tomatoes. My solution? Pureeing the chunks into submission with an immersion blender.

The resulting marmalade has a citrusy tang but isn’t sickly sweet. To my delight, it holds together much better than my liquid ketchup. While it freed up a good half-foot of window sill, I’m now running out of cupboard space. Guess I’ll have to host a tea party to use up all my butterscotch peach jam and green tomato marmalade. The runny tomato and peach ketchup is reserved for chicken.

What’s your opinion on marmalade? Do you have a favourite flavour?

Green Tomato Marmalade –

Green Tomato Marmalade
Recipe type: Preserves
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 7 8-ounce (250 mL) jars
This marmalade is the perfect way to use up green tomatoes. Lemon, orange and ginger turn green tomatoes into a wonderful marmalade you can enjoy year round.
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 pounds green tomatoes, cut into small pieces (about 9 cups)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup minced crystallized ginger
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the top layer of rind from the oranges and lemon, being careful not to remove any of the bitter, white pith. Sliver the peels. Set aside while you segment the oranges and lemons. Click here for a video on how to do this.
  2. In a small saucepan, boil the slivered peel in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  3. Core the green tomatoes, then cut them into small pieces. Make sure these pieces are the size you want in your jam.
  4. Place the citrus peel, pulp, green tomatoes, sugar, and ginger in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered until the jam sets. The timing will vary greatly depending on how green your tomatoes are and how big you cut them. Mine took 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the preserving jars. See the notes section for a link if you aren't familiar with canning procedures.
  6. When the mixture reaches the setting point, fill the prepared jars with hot marmalade, leaving a ¼ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to manufacturer's directions.
  7. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Click here for a video on how to segment citrus fruit..
Click here for details on how to prepare mason jars for preserving.


Related Post

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 13:01h, 02 October Reply

    I’m so excited about your re-design. It’s absolutely beautiful.
    What do you serve your marmalade with/on? Not toast, right? Meat? Something else savory?

  • Charmian Christie
    Posted at 13:05h, 02 October Reply

    Toast works, Cheryl. Or better yet scones!! It’s very much like a normal marmalade, only with seeds.

    Thanks for your enthusiastic response to my new blog. Still adding features (like a blog roll) and tweaking. Melissa did a great job on the header. Credit goes to her.

  • Terry
    Posted at 14:03h, 02 October Reply

    Wow — I love this new website, too. Great job. I’m excited about the marmalade too (I’m a huge marmalade fan with a bunch of green tomatoes myself).

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:14h, 02 October Reply

      Thanks, Terry! I’m thrilled with the marmalade and the new site.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 14:08h, 02 October Reply

    Wow, congrats on the big move, Charmian! The new site looks gorgeous! Really, its absolutely lovely. :)

    I’ve never had any other marmalade than the usual orange, which I do enjoy if its not too sweet. I’m really digging the ginger here and would probably add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper to mine as well. I tend to favor the spicy/sweet/tart combos.

    As always, beautiful pics, Charmian.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:15h, 02 October Reply

      @The Diva on a Diet, thanks so much for your encouragement.

      Love the idea of adding a bit of heat. If I make a second batch, I’ll try a hot pepper. Great suggestion!

  • Peggasus
    Posted at 14:22h, 02 October Reply

    I agree too, the site looks great! I especially like the calligraphy of the name.

    Years ago, I read a tip somewhere about wrapping green tomatoes (separately) in newspaper and keeping them in a coolish, dark place where they would ripen. It worked, too! I think I actually had a few in January that year!

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 21:39h, 02 October Reply

    Hey Sis,
    The site looks great. Clean and sharp (except for the coffee rings up top – WHICH I LOVE). Very nice job. I’m impressed.
    Happy stirring, baking, braising, boiling, grilling, chopping etc etc and especially eating on this new site.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:16h, 03 October Reply

      Thanks Robin. Your early feed back was spot on. I’m so pleased that you like the coffee rings. That was Melissa’s idea. I said “messier” and she went messier.

      I won’t promise never to forget your birthday again, but I do promise some tasty dishes just because I love youl

    • Krista
      Posted at 08:10h, 27 October Reply

      Small world, I didn’t expect to see my cousin, Robin Smart, commenting to the author when I randomly hit on this site looking for ways to use my abundance of green tomatoes… By any chance, is the Melissa referred to also my cousin?? Crazy fun.
      From a random new fan in Virginia!

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 21:27h, 27 October Reply

        I welcome random fans! I hate to break it to you, but the Robin Smart who commented is not your cousin. I know this because she’s my sister. However, we adopt lots of people as honorary cousins, so join the clan!

        Hope you and my new Virginia cousins like the marmalade. :-)

  • laura
    Posted at 23:26h, 02 October Reply

    Hmmm this seems much different than the recipe I made last year. I wonder if I made mincemeat last year? I think I’ll give it a shot.
    Gorgeous pictures by the way, love your blog.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:12h, 03 October Reply

      Laura, I’ve never made traditional mincemeat because it calls for suet. You could have just used a really sweet recipe. One I read called for equal parts green tomatoes and sugar. Ick. This was plenty sweet enough.

      • sandra
        Posted at 17:42h, 20 October Reply

        Used melted butter in place of suet.

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 18:49h, 23 October Reply

          Good to know! Thanks for sharing your substitution. I might attempt homemade mincemeat now!

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 01:40h, 03 October Reply

    Wow, the site looks great!
    We’ve both obviously got marmalade on the mind! I just posted my inspiration and experiment with tomatoe marmalade.

  • Fiona
    Posted at 17:02h, 08 October Reply

    i tried this recipe last night after receiving a bucket of green tomatoes from a friend. The marmalade is incredible! Very tangy like you say and has a lovely caramelised hue to it. Delicious.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:15h, 09 October Reply

      Thanks for letting me know how things turned out, Fiona. This was my first marmalade and I am thrilled to know you liked it as much as I did.

  • Maggie
    Posted at 19:37h, 09 October Reply

    I’ve tried tomato jam but never tomato marmalade. I love making marmalade and can’t wait for the Seville oranges in the winter. I have also made lime marmalade and grapefruit marmalade. I think my favorite is Delia’s dark and chunky marmalade. Time consuming but delicious.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:50h, 10 October Reply

      Maggie, I’ve never been all that into preserves, but not that I’ve started? I’m hooked. I adore grapefruit and would love to try it. Sames goes for ginger.

      What is Delia’s? Do you have a link? You’ve got me curious.

      • sophie stokes
        Posted at 08:00h, 22 October Reply

        @Charmian Christie,

        Delia is a British Cook -Delia Smith, she’s been around for many years and has done some great recipes.

  • lochy
    Posted at 01:52h, 27 October Reply

    Hi, can you please tell me where you purchased your jars from? Thank you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:35h, 27 October Reply

      Lochy, I’ve had those jars for ages. They’re made by Bernardin ( and I picked them up either at the grocery store or at Canadian Tire Hardware.

      From your email address, I see you’re in Australia, so I’m not sure how helpful this information is to you. Canning jars should be readily available at grocery stores, kitchen shops or the kitchen section of the hardware store at the beginning of canning season. However, they tend to be hard to find at other times. Good luck!

  • bakingbarb
    Posted at 16:51h, 20 September Reply

    I was refreshing my memory for making oven roasted tomatoes when I found this recipe. WHOOO the PNW had a very cool summer which means plenty of green tomatoes. This is going to part of a homemade Christmas for my family and friends. Thank you for a lovely recipe.

  • sophie stokes
    Posted at 07:58h, 22 October Reply

    I’m making this right now! as I type. It smells amazing and was such a relief to find something tasty finding. I had so many green tomatos and its just been too cold for them to ripen now..but after maing 13 jars of chutney I knew I had to find an alternative….if the finished product tastes as good as whats going on in the pot now, I will be making this year after year!
    Love the site xxx

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:31h, 22 October Reply

      @sophie stokes, 13 jars of chutney? You’re a force.

      Hope the recipe tastes as good as it smells. Last year I was desperate to find ways to use my green tomatoes, so I know how you feel.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment. I’d love to hear your results.

      • sophie stokes
        Posted at 11:37h, 22 October Reply

        @Charmian Christie,

        its so delicious, although I must admit mine doesn’t look quite as golden as yours…well, at least the juice is golden but theres a lot of tomato, in it! but my jars dont look as pretty as the ones in your pics! I had some on warm toast as soon it was made and was extremely satisfied!
        As for the chutney -its a family favourite recipe where you grill the tomatoes beforehand, giving it a lovely smokey edge, adapted from someone elses recipe…if this year is anything to go by, we will get through the majority of the jars, so I’m not worried!

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 11:43h, 22 October Reply

          @sophie stokes, thanks for writing back. I’m so glad you like the recipe.

          The grilled tomatoes sound wonderful in your chutney. I love a bit of smokiness in food.

          Happy eating and thanks again for taking the time to comment and give feedback!

  • Linda
    Posted at 15:13h, 27 October Reply

    I tried this green tomato marmalade and it is very bitter. I used this recipe before I found yours. What do you think? I’m including the ingredients without the directions. Cook 25 minutes. It is very bitter, I’m sure from the citrus pith.

    2 lbs. green tomatoes, chopped
    1 orange, thinly sliced
    1 lemon, thinly sliced
    1-1/2 cups sugar
    3-4 tablespoons good wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon each salt, and ground cloves
    pinch cayenne pepper

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:45h, 27 October Reply

      @Linda, interesting question. If you simply sliced the orange and lemon and used all the parts, it would be bitter because you’re including the pith. My recipe calls for peeling off the rind — no pith– and extracting the pulp. Again, no pith.

      The bitterness is also likely more noticeable since the recipe you provide calls for more citrus and less sugar per pound of green tomatoes. Crystallized ginger adds a bit of sugar, too. Mine is a fairly sweet marmalade.

      With fresh ginger, cayenne, wine vinegar and cloves, this sounds like an interesting marmalade with a bit of tang / zing. If you avoid using the pith, it should be good.

      Hope this answers your question. Thanks for providing the recipe so I had a fighting chance at an answer.

  • Karen J. Boston
    Posted at 09:13h, 31 October Reply

    I made the marmalade according to directions and it only took about 2 hours cooking time to thicken….however, mine was very dark, almost black…does anyone have a possible explanation??? It doesn’t look very appetizing…..i did use green cherry tomatoes rather than the larger ones, but would that make a difference??? Perhaps ratio of skin to pulp or something like that???

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:16h, 31 October Reply

      @Karen J. Boston, good question.

      I made mine with medium to large tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes. The only thing I can think that would be different enough to affect the final product is the sugar ratio. Cherry tomatoes are very sweet compared to other tomatoes. When sugar caramelizes it turns dark brown, so the only thing I can think of is that perhaps the higher natural sugar ratio changed the color during the long cooking process.

      I hope you at least like the taste of the marmalade. I hate to think of you spending all that time and effort for ugly preserves you don’t like.

      Thanks for posting your question. If anyone else has an idea, I’d love to hear from you.

  • Jenn
    Posted at 18:58h, 07 November Reply

    I found your recipe, looking for something to replicate what I ate in France, ten years ago. This is right on! It’s a bit bitter, but that’s what I was looking for. I added the pith and seeds, tied up in a cheesecloth, while it cooked, to help it thicken up a bit more. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • rex
    Posted at 13:39h, 15 September Reply

    Your recipe is not explicit enough. I sliced the oranges and lemons and put in the mix pith and all. I tried to remove most of the pith I hope it turns out

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:48h, 15 September Reply

      Sorry the instructions weren’t clear enough. I hope the marmalade isn’t too bitter with the pith included.

      In step one, you remove the zest from the citrus with a vegetable peeler, being careful to leave the pith behind. In step 2 you remove the pulp, again leaving the pith behind. Here’s a link to a post with a video that shows you how to do this.

      I hope this helps.

  • Annie
    Posted at 17:34h, 10 November Reply

    I have a lot of green tomatoes that I saved from the last frost. Now I wish I had saved a lot more. Printing this to try right now…

  • Catherine
    Posted at 08:55h, 14 October Reply

    there seems to be a lot of sguar in this recipe. Has anyone tried reducing the amount? also, when I make aple jelly I sometimes put a fresh hot red pepper in the bottom of the bottle and it really gives the jelly a hot smacking good flavor.

    I recently made Green Tomato jam, it was sweet, so I put a hot pepper in the bottom of the jar before adding the jam. Tasted nice, probably better with meats than as a sweet condiment. I’ll use it in place of or along side of cranberry relish with roast turkey.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:59h, 14 October Reply

      Love the idea of putting a hot pepper at the bottom. It sounds like a great way to make it more compatible with meats.

      I haven’t fiddled with the recipe to reduce the amount of sugar. If anyone else has, I’d love to hear about it.

  • Michelle Mahan
    Posted at 19:49h, 04 January Reply

    This recipe is absolutely amazing! During the summer my tomatoes utterly exploded and they kept producing into the fall. When my husband finally went and pulled the vines he had many bags of green tomatoes that I didn’t know what to do with. I hate fried green tomatoes and always have but I’m the type that can’t stand letting anything go to waste. So I did a Google search for green tomato recipes and thankfully I was brought to your site.

    I ended up making two batches of this marmalade. I did have to reduce the cooking time by about an hour. My first batch when I cooked for the 2 hours ended up being like glue once it got in the jars and set. We can still use it but we actually have to put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it before we can spread it. It still tastes amazing though. My second batch I only cooked for about an hour and it ended up being utterly perfect. The tomatoes I ended up using for the second batch weren’t completely green. They were partially ripe. The marmalade ended up a more reddish color that I thought was actually quite pretty. The taste was once again utterly and completely amazing. This recipe has actually become my favorite marmalade. I don’t know why I never considered how good it would be…tomatoes are actually a fruit. I’ve brought sample bites to some of my friends to let them try it and the process is usually pretty amusing. When I tell them it is tomato marmalade they will usually wrinkle their noses and make a face. However once they try it their eyes light up and they are begging me for a jar. :-)

    I still have a ton of ripe tomatoes in my freezer from this past summer that I have been using for sauces and chili. I’m thinking about pulling some out and trying the recipe again with completely ripe tomatoes.

    Have you ever done that?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:04h, 06 January Reply

      I’m so thrilled you like the recipe. I appreciate you taking the time to give the details of how the timing worked for you. I wonder if the brand of tomatoes makes a difference. I’ll make a note that timing varies. There are numerous ways to tell if a preserve like this has set, so I should give some tips on that, too!

      I’ve never made this with ripe tomatoes, but would be curious to see how it turns out. I suspect the ripe tomatoes wouldn’t set as well, but I’m now curious about the taste. If you do make a batch, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

      Love how your friends reacted to the concept more than the actual taste. I am guilty of this myself sometimes!

      Thanks again for sharing your experiences with this recipe! Happy marmalade making!!

  • 52 Ways to Use Tomatoes | New Age Garden™
    Posted at 19:08h, 06 August Reply

    […] 15. Green Tomato Marmalade […]

  • Ann Sangster
    Posted at 17:40h, 20 September Reply

    We made the totally delectable green tomato marmalade. It is a wonderful way to use up an abundance of green tomatoes. The flavor is better than many citrus marmalades that I have tried before.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 19:03h, 20 September Reply

      I’m so glad you like the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to let me know how it turned out for you. Hope you enjoy it well into the winter.

  • Joyce
    Posted at 14:15h, 24 September Reply

    I had to hunt high and low for a recipe like this. I make regular RIPE
    roma tomato jam…cook down de-seeded PUREED for 2 hours then dropped in ripe pears from the trees. Sort of random preparation but the pear is the pectin. Add your cinnamon and other things to spice it up, and jar, process according to Ball Blue Book. Tastes like grape jelly.

    I am going to food process my green romas and make this. I enjoy Saigon cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, so will see what flavors make me smile.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:42h, 28 September Reply

      Tomato jam is under-rated. I’m so glad you’re going to give this a try with your green romas. I’d love to hear how it turns out! Thanks so much for sharing your jelly making. The pear sounds like a fabulous addition!

  • Colette
    Posted at 17:50h, 05 November Reply

    I’m not sure from this recipe what I am to do with the oranges and the lemon after removing the pith and peel. Maybe something is being left out that I can’t see. I assume they are what you refer to when you instruct to place the pulp in the pot. Should they be chopped? I assume so but don’t know.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:13h, 05 November Reply

      The citrus should be segmented before placing it in the pot. Here’s a video on how to do this. I linked to the video in my note, but that’s too late in the recipe. I’ll clarify the instructions and put the link there. Thanks for asking! I hope this makes sense to you now. Good luck with the marmalade.

  • Cynthia
    Posted at 22:10h, 05 October Reply

    I made this today.
    Mine looks like green relish : (. I love the idea. Any idea why mine doesn’t nearly as appetizing as the photo ? I diced the tomatoes quite small & was careful to follow the recipe. I would like to try again

    • Cynthia
      Posted at 19:33h, 07 October Reply

      I made this again today. I used larger tomatoes; it’s still green like chow chow.
      Interesting recipe. I’ll probably make lots of marmalade chicken this winter

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 14:08h, 16 October Reply

        Mine turned gold, but as long as it set and tastes good, the colour isn’t all that important. Enjoy your marmalade chicken!

  • Kandi
    Posted at 16:05h, 10 October Reply

    Mine stayed green also…I used Juliet/Roma Tomatoes. Not sure why it looks like relish.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:57h, 16 October Reply

      It might be the cooking time. Mine cooked a loooong time. As long as it tastes good, the colour isn’t all that important.

  • Eva
    Posted at 16:14h, 15 October Reply

    Lovely looking recipe! Did you use preserving sugar (with pectin in) or just normal sugar? Thanks, Eva

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:47h, 16 October Reply

      I used just plain old regular granulated white sugar. If you make this, I’d love to hear how it turned out.

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