Blood Orange Marmalade


Growing up, I was not a fan of marmalade since it was kind of firm and dense, had a bitter taste, and I could never figure out why it was full of chopped-up pieces of what we used to throw away when we peeled an orange. But then one day, I was served a marmalade that changed my life--or at least what I thought about marmalade. I've been a huge fan of that style ever since, and it's exactly the kind I'm showing you in this recipe!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs 55 mins
2 1/2 cups

Growing up, I was a huge fan of fruit jams (or "jellies," as we called them). Once you learn about jam, dry toast just doesn't cut it anymore. But, there was one spread I just didn't understand, and that was marmalade.

It was bitter, and for some reason, loaded with chopped up bits of what we used to throw away when we peeled an orange. Then one day, much later in life, I had the other kind of marmalade. It was everything the other wasn't. Soft, and almost runny; sweet, with just a subtle hint of bitterness; and instead of white, pithy bits, it featured perfectly candied strips of zest.

I eventually came to understand that all the bitterness in the traditional style was intentional, and that's exactly how they like it "over the pond." But above and beyond culinary masochism, they included all the pith when cooking the marmalade (since those parts are where the natural pectin comes from, which is what firms up jam as it cools). Personally, I'll take runny and delicious over extra firm and indelibly bitter any day.

As I mentioned, you can use any citrus or combination of you want, but as far as taste and color go, it's really hard to beat blood oranges. But no matter what you use, if you want a marmalade that's not too similar to marmalade, then I really hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

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  • 5 large blood oranges

  • ½ cup cold water

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

  • 1 ¾ cups white sugar


  1. Wash oranges well. Use a peeler to remove all the zest in long strips. It's okay if some of the white pith comes with it.

  2. Transfer the peels to a saucepan and add 6 cups of cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to low and simmer until the peels are soft and tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  3. While that cooks, cut oranges in half and juice them into a large measuring cup; this should equal 1 cup. Pour in 1/2 cup cold water and set aside.

  4. Remove peels from heat and drain off the water. Transfer peels to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, slice the zest into very thin strips. Transfer into the blood orange juice.

  5. Pour zest-juice mixture into the saucepan along with lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces and thickens slightly, 30 to 40 minutes. A probe or candy thermometer should read about 225 degrees F (107 degrees C).

  6. Meanwhile, inspect jam jars for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any defective ones. Immerse in simmering water until juice mixture is ready. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.

  7. Pour into sterilized jam jars and let cool to room temperature. Seal jars and transfer to the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight, before enjoying.


Chef's Notes:

Any kind of citrus will work here; just make sure it's enough to produce 1 cup of squeezed juice.

If you want a much stiffer, firmer, and (probably) more bitter marmalade, use the entire peel, rather than just the zest.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

45 Calories
12g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 40
Calories 45
% Daily Value *
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 12mg 62%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Potassium 42mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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