Celery Marmalade


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    4 cups

Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

This is beautiful with a mixed cheese plate and alongside ham. The grappa is there to keep the good green colour, says Wilma. It’s a good idea to fill various small jars so they don’t stay open for too long in the fridge.


  • 1 bunch celery, about 1.7 kg (3 lb 12 oz)
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) sugar
  • good pinch of chilli flakes
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon, yellow part only
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) white wine
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) water
  • 3 tablespoons grappa


Wash and trim the celery, and cut into sticks. You will need 300 g (10½ oz) of inner ones with their leaves and 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) of thick outer ones. Leave the inner ones to one side for now. String the thick sticks with a small, sharp paring knife by digging in at one end of the stick, then lifting the strings and dragging them down. Strip all the strings away or they will just end up in your marmalade. Chop up roughly, then blitz in a food processor, but don’t make it too fine as some small bits are good.

The tender inner sticks probably won’t need stripping. Slice these and their leaves into rounds so they will show up in your jars. Put all the celery in a suitable pot with the sugar, chilli flakes, lemon rind and juice, wine and water, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring extremely often to check that nothing is sticking or caramelising. If it seems to be going along too quickly and the sugar is getting ahead of the celery, add a little more water. Continue simmering and stirring for 45 minutes to an hour, until it is a bit jammy but still loose.

To test when it is ready, drop a teaspoonful onto a small saucer and tilt. It shouldn’t slide down easily, but drag with a little resistance. Add the grappa and let it cook for a couple of minutes more, then turn off the heat. Ladle into warm sterilised jars. Seal the lids tightly and turn the jars upside down. Leave to cool before turning upright, creating a vacuum. Store in the pantry until opened, then keep in the fridge.