Sicilian Blood Orange Marmalade

By • January 15, 2011 • 43 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a recipe that I adapted from one found in a Sicilian cookbook. It is best for bitter oranges like Sevilles or blood oranges that can benefit from a process that eliminates some of their bitterness. The four day soak eliminates the bitterness and surprisingly, none of the flavor. More than just a marmalade, it is great as a filling in cakes and cookies.dymnyno

Food52 Review: WHO: Ever-fabulous wine-making, paradise-dwelling dymnyno -- that's pronounced "Diamond Wino" to the uninitiated.
WHAT: Sunset-hued blood orange marmalade.
HOW: A very unusual technique that involves poking holes in the oranges, and then a five day soak.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It's always fun to encounter a new technique. Here, a little patience does most of the work for you, and then said patience is rewarded with a batch of glistening, perfectly bittersweet marmalade.
The Editors

Makes 9 cups

  • 3 pounds blood oranges
  • 3 pounds sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Using a fork or a spiky florist turtle (for quick results!) prick the oranges completely.
  2. Put them in a small pail or large bowl and cover with water.
  3. Change the water every day for 4 days.
  4. Drain the oranges and cut in half and remove the seeds (there will be very few).
  5. Slice them very thinly and turn and slice the other direction so that you mince the oranges.
  6. Put the minced orange pulp,lemon ju and the sugar in a large heavy pot and heat until the sugar is completely melted.
  7. Cool, and leave overnight to develop color and flavors.
  8. Next, bring to a boil, put in the thermometer, lower the heat slightly and simmer until the jell point is reached (220).
  9. Pour into sterilized canning jars and seal.
Jump to Comments (43)

Comments (43) Questions (3)

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8 months ago dymnyno

It makes about 9 cups. It's a simple recipe. The genius part of the recipe is using a spikey florist turtle to do all the poking!

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8 months ago dymnyno

My friend Paige discovered the great idea and passed it on to me :)

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8 months ago Yasmeen

Hi, this looks delicious. Blood oranges - where ya been all my life? I was wondering how many jars this recipe fills, and of what size? Thanks!

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10 months ago dymnyno

Thank you, June. You have no idea how nice your comment sounds to me today,

Junechamp

10 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

it's time for my third annual marmalade making event (no, it's not a party, just me). Thank you so much, dymnyno, for sharing this recipe. You've enriched my life and those of my loved ones immeasurably.

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about 1 year ago laurel

I did a little research a couple months ago because I was worried with the soak or boil and dump the water methods with these kinds of citrus recipes (candying too) that you would be loosing all the flavor. Harold McGee answered my question - the bittering agents are water soluble, the more flavorful aromatics are in the oils, so those stick around even after soaking.

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about 1 year ago dymnyno

Thanks! It does make sense. I think that water processing olives for preserving works the same way, too.

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about 1 year ago laurel

Oh, good point!

(Sorry I commented twice, took me a minute to see the 'Reply to' arrow :))

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almost 2 years ago susanm

hi. cant wait to make this! 2 questions:
1. in step 1, the oranges are unpeeled, right?
2. in step 2, do you refrigerate during this soaking process?
thanks!

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almost 2 years ago dymnyno

The oranges are unpeeled. I left them out on the counter, but if you have a very warm house or live in a hot climate, refrigerate them.

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almost 2 years ago shoestringmama

I finally made this ... found the recipe too late last year! The marmalade turned out very yummy but sadly the color isn't nearly as rich as yours - think it was just luck of the draw on the blood oranges I picked that day. Note to self for the next batch, get a candy thermometer as my meat thermometer shows it'll go to 220 but it never did. And another note to self - use fresh lemon juice. Really glad you posted this recipe and shared this technique. I will make it again. Thank you!

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almost 2 years ago Rifka

What is the purpose of the soaking and changing the water? Don't you just lose some juice and flavor? Thank you.

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almost 2 years ago dymnyno

The marmalade loses the bitterness, not the flavor!

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about 1 year ago laurel

I did a little research a couple months ago because I was worried with the soak or boil and dump the water methods with these kinds of citrus recipes (candying too) that you would be loosing all the flavor. Harold McGee answered my question - the bittering agents are water soluble, the more flavorful aromatics are in the oils, so those stick around even after soaking.

Junechamp

almost 3 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I made this marmalade this weekend, and it is SO delicious, I will definitely do it again next year. I have great photo I wanted to post, but I guess the cooks can't do that.

Hilary_sp1

almost 3 years ago Hilarybee

Dymnyno do you have process the marmalade in a water bath or just eat it up quickly?

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almost 3 years ago dymnyno

I process the marmalade in a water bath. (I have a lot of tweeky versions that I made last year before I decided on the one I finally used)

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations on a well-deserved wildcard, dymnyno! Brilliant, and gorgeous to boot. Looking forward to making a batch.

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almost 3 years ago dymnyno

Thank you Gingerroot, Can you find blood oranges on Oahu?

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

Yes at WF - just picked some up, going to start a batch w/my daughter today!

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

congratulations! what a brilliant technique!

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almost 3 years ago dymnyno

thank you!

Sausage2

almost 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This looks absolutely fabulous! I so wish I had time to make this to have it for Sunday brunch. Maybe next week... Huge congratulations!

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almost 3 years ago Darlene Carrigan

Congratulations on the win! I prepped these last week and canned it this past Sunday. We have been enjoying them every morning this week!

Junechamp

almost 3 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I sure hope there are 3 pounds of blood oranges left at Whole Foods because I dearly want to make this marmalade! Congrats on the win, dymnyno!

Gator_cake

almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations! This looks gorgeous - like liquid garnets - and sounds fantastically delicious.

Karen_and_amy

almost 3 years ago My Pantry Shelf

Yum, Mary! This looks delicious. I have never made marmalade, but this looks so beautiful I will have to give it a try!

Twittah

almost 3 years ago Brianne Du Clos

Oh, this looks splendid. Congrats on the wildcard win!

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almost 3 years ago TasteFood

This looks great, Mary. Congratulations!

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almost 3 years ago Midge

Congrats dymnyo! Can't wait to try this.