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That Bloody Marmalade Tastes So Good!

January 10, 2011

Waking up to a tidy kitchen made it the perfect day to “put up” some blood orange marmalade…an experiment that went right!

Lately, this kitchen has been putting out less than perfectly set jellies and marmalades leaving us to wonder “What is going on?  And, what can be done to rectify the problem?”  We know the ingredients are the best we can buy, and that the  taste is there but we are not achieving a perfect set every time.  Doesn’t everyone want to open a perfectly set jelly, jam and/or marmalade every time!?!  YES, we do!  We’ve concluded it boils down to one missing ingredient and that is patience.  Note to self…be more patient and enjoy the process…”you know what to look for”.

BLOODY MARMALADE: yields 6 x 250mL

  • 4 1/2 pounds Blood Oranges (approximately 12 small oranges); divided 3 pounds for pulp and 1 1/2 pounds for juice ~ yeilding 1 cup of Blood Orange juice
  • 2 large lemons
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup Orange Blossom Honey
  • 2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  1. Place 5 spoons and a small plate in the freezer for gel tests.  And, prepare for water bath canning.
  2. Weigh, divide, and wash the oranges well.  You will want 3 lbs of blood oranges for pulp and zest and enough oranges to create 1 cup of juice (discarding the zest from the juiced oranges~ approximately 4 oranges for juice only). Wash the lemons. 
  3. Remove the outer rind from the oranges and lemons using a peeler and cut the peel into very thin strips.      Place the rind, water, and blood orange juice in a large stainless steel saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat and boil gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, remove all the white rind, and seeds from the 3lbs of zested oranges and lemons.  Remove most of the interior membrane as well; leaving only pulp.  Add orange and lemon pulp to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add sugar, honey, and red chili pepper flakes to the saucepan.  Return to a boil over high heat and boil rapidly, uncovered, until set.  Approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  The time will vary depending on the heat of your stove and the saucepan you use.  Watch your marmalade closely during the last 10 minutes and perform set tests as necessary using your frozen spoons to test.
  6. Remove from heat and ladle into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Wipe rims, place lids on jars and screw bands to finger tip tight.  Process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
  7. After 10 minutes turn off heat, remove lid, let jars rest for 5 minutes before taking out of hot water bath.  Check seals, label, and store.

The set of this marmalade is perfect…it’s not as hard as a rock but it’s not runny.  It will spread nicely on bread, crackers, a layer cake, or whatever you fancy.  It isn’t overly sweet but it’s not too tart either and you can definitely taste notes of the orange blossom honey.  And then, there is a little bit of heat that comes from behind just to make sure you’re paying attention to how good it really is!

Put Up Total:

  • 6 x 250mL regular mouth mason jars
8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2011 8:25 pm

    I just made some marmalade yesterday, it turned out good but I think I will use your recipe next time. Mine didn’t tell me to peel the oranges to make the zest which made the zest part thick.

  2. January 10, 2011 10:15 pm

    Where do you live? I need to come for a visit.

  3. Kat permalink
    January 11, 2011 1:49 pm

    Every winter I make Blood Orange marmalade, but I never considered adding red pepper! What a brilliant idea. Next week I’m making Blue Cheese and Fig Savories, a crisp appetizer cracker. I’ll substitute Blood Orange marmalade (with red pepper) for the Fig preserves called for.


    • January 11, 2011 2:22 pm

      Sounds good. We’re going to make those savories too…even bought the Blue Cheese!

  4. January 26, 2011 7:30 pm

    I was thinking of you today when I saw blood oranges on sale at a shocking $1.99 a bag for 8-10 oranges.

    I was so, so tempted. Who would know that I cheated on the 100 Mile Challenge. I kept rationalizing that if I made the marmalade, I wouldn’t eat it until after the challenge in April. Sometimes, April can’t come fast enough!

    • January 26, 2011 9:33 pm

      That’s an amazing price…I think they are 3.99 for a bag of 8 here. Would that really be cheating if you don’t eat them until April? I commend what you are doing and think that everyone should be more aware but it has made me realize we can’t do it! Is it cheating if I go to Florida and then can them there?

      • January 27, 2011 7:20 am

        That’s what I tried to rationalize, but my husband talked me out of it and I walked from the produce aisle dejectedly. Nothing like leaving blood oranges for turnips and onions.

        It’s totally not cheating if you’re in the place and bring it home. I tried to load up my bag with Ontario wine when I was in Ottawa for Christmas, but remembered even wine country is farther than 100 miles from Ottawa.


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