What’s cooking today: Makataan marmalade

What’s cooking today: Makataan marmalade
(Photo: Louis Pieterse)

I made my own makataan marmalade. It wasn’t planned like that, but a marmalade it sure is. And boy does it have flavour. It’s the Accidental Marmalade.


This recipe accompanies this story


1.5 kg makataan flesh from the centre of the melon, pips removed

500 g pears, peeled and chopped

1 lemon, sliced thinly

1 lime, sliced thinly

1 orange, sliced thinly

Juice of 2 limes

7 cups white sugar

1 cup caramel sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 litres water


Put everything in a huge heavy pot. Bring to a boil, stirring, and keep stirring until the sugar has all dissolved. Boil rapidly until it has reached setting stage. Test this by putting a dessert spoon in the freezer until needed. 

When the syrup has reduced by about half, start doing tests at 3 to 5 minute intervals. Pour a little of the syrup onto the chilled spoon (using a teaspoon) and return the dessert spoon to the freezer for 2 minutes. Take it out and look at it, tilting the spoon this way and that. It should be fairly stiff but move just a little. More sensibly, it should look and feel like jam as you know it should be. This is a skill that comes with practice, but you should be able to pull it off. When it’s right, bottle in sterilised jars, up to the brim. DM/TGIFood

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]

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