Yayy! It’s the season of oranges! Oh yeah, it is the Christmas season too! So, why not bring the two together. So, it is orange marmalade for Christmas! Yes, you heard right! Not jam but marmalade – bitter and sweet!
I have been planning on what recipes I can prepare with oranges for this season. At first, I thought may be a cake or any other dessert with it. And then, I thought oh, why not jam? And that is how I ended up making orange marmalade. This recipe does not end here. There is a follow up recipe using this orange marmalade. So, wait for it!
How is orange marmalade different from orange jam? For one, the taste! Jam is sweeter but marmalade has a sweet and bitter taste. That is the characteristic taste of marmalade. So, marmalades are often made with citrus fruits, the most common being made with bitter oranges. Sometimes, they are made with a combination of citrus fruits too.
Orange jam does not involve so much of water while making it, whereas marmalade has some water content which is often thickened by the fruit pectin. This pectin gives these jams and marmalade a spoonable texture. These fruits have natural pectin in their white inner part, called pith.
Often, preparing marmalade is a very lengthy process. Some recipes call for a day or two to finish making it. But we are making it comparatively easier. So, for this orange marmalade we will be first peeling the orange skin off slice it off thinly to add to the marmalade. Then we will be saving the white pith and seeds to provide the natural pectin to make the orange marmalade.
The flesh and peel will only go into this marmalade. Of course, water and sugar will ride along. So, the main and the only ingredient we will be using here are oranges. Can a recipe become simpler than this? No right?! Apart from the cooking time, this recipe comes together so easily. But, before you slather it onto your bread the next morning, give the marmalade at least 48 hours to set and for the flavors to set in.
For this orange marmalade recipe, you can use any oranges. I used the kinnow variety that we get easily here in India. The Nagpur oranges have a greenish skin but kinnow suits the profile for making marmalades – bright orange skin and sweet taste.
And the most important thing is, ‘do not alter any ingredients, especially sugar’. Because, the right amount of sugar will also help to thicken the marmalade. Trust me, I have the experience of adding less amount of sugar – and it was not a good one too! SO, NEVER ALTER THE RECIPE! As I already have experiences in making the perfect marmalade with that spoonable consistency, this recipe is a foolproof one.
So, slather this delicious orange marmalade onto breads, croissants, or even some vanilla ice cream for that kick of flavors. Enjoy morning breakfasts with your loved ones. Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating! Merry Christmas to all!
While you are here, do checkout my other dessert recipes. Also, look through my cakes, bars, ice-cream, brownie and no-bake dessert recipes to enjoy during this Christmas season. Prepare this show stealing braided pesto wreath bread for your holiday table!
Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.
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- 6 ripe oranges, approx 1.2 kgs
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Wash and pat dry all the oranges. Using a peeler, remove the orange zest leaving behind the white colored pith.
- Chop the zest into thin strips and set aside.
- Cut the ends of each orange and remove all the pith from it. Then cut the flesh alone and collect it with all the juices in a bowl. Also, collect the membrane and seeds and tie it in a muslin cloth.
- To a pan, add the zest, the flesh along with the juices, water and sugar. Let it cook on low heat. Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and add the muslin bag to it. Let the marmalade cook until it reaches 220 F and let it cook for 5 minutes in the same temperature.
- Take the marmalade off the heat, remove the muslin bag and let it cool down. Store in sterilized jars. Serve marmalade on breads or croissants.
- While cutting the orange zest, make sure the pith (white inner part) is not included. This pith will lend a very bitter taste to the orange.
- Chop the zest into thin strips to make sure the marmalade is in a spreadable consistency.
- The membranes and the seeds act as natural pectin and helps to thicken the marmalade.
- Do not reduce the amount of sugar used. This amount will also affect the consistency of the marmalade.
- When the sugar dissolves completely, stop stirring the mixture.
- Bring the marmalade to 220 F. This will also affect the consistency.
- If your marmalade has not set even after 48 hours, then bring it to the above mentioned temperature and cook for further 5 minutes. Also, try adding some sugar if you have altered the amount.
- Always store the marmalade in sterilized, moisture free jars. They remain good at room temperature for a month.