how to salvage overcooked marmalade?

Sigh. It was my first time making marmalade. I did what the recipe suggested - test for gell, nope, cook 2 more minutes... an hour later and I began to suspect that there was something wrong. 2 hours, and still not gelling, I decided to see what google had to say. Apparently I have overcooked syrup with orange bits in it.

Even though I (for once in my life) followed the recipe to the letter, even using the same kinds of oranges the recipe asked for (blood oranges). I suspect the recipe was just too sweet for the pectin to set. Oh well. I'll try again with a different recipe next time. But for now...

What can I do with this? It tastes delicious. Some sort of spread for bread would be nice.

Maybe blitz it in the blender, then strain out the bits for blood orange syrup? Would it be shelf stable if I canned it according to the original recipe instructions?

Any other suggestions or thoughts on how to salvage overcooked marmalade?



nancy E. November 14, 2015
Antonia, Thank you very much for that recipe. I will try it. Love Marmalade and will do anything to get good. I appreciate your help
Nancy November 14, 2015
Sympathize with your frustration...all those hours, all that care, and the recipe didn't work out as planned.
As others report, I too have had failed marmalade. But mine was overcooked to a rubbery consistency way beyond food use (good for games night, not much else).
Yours may yet come together, as others suggest. If not it still has possibilities - as an ice cream sauce, as a filling in cookies, as a spread between layers of cake, mixed with whipped cream as a "fool" dessert.
AntoniaJames November 14, 2015
Speaking of using it between layers of cake . . . . Mary Berry says that she almost always spreads a thin layer of apricot jam on the bottom layer of a cake she's going to frost between the layers. I could see blitzing and using this goop, or thinning a bit if necessary with Cointreau or brandy for those of you who ended up with marmalade that was too hard ("rubbery" really does describe it perfectly), to use that way. It would add a lovely brightness, don't you think? ;o)
nancy E. November 14, 2015
Twive i have made the Sicilian Blood Orange Marmelade on this site. Twice I could not get it to set and all the jelly cooked away leaving me with dryish peel to deal with. Why is it so difficult to get the fruit and juice to a setting temp? I am a big canner of Jelly and have won ribbons for my product but this recipe for marmelade is beyond me.
AntoniaJames November 14, 2015
nancy e, and any others who've been frustrated making marmalade (I almost vowed, years ago, never to make it again, having had so many problems just like the ones described here), you must try this recipe:

Rachel Saunders incorporates quite effectively a centuries-old tradition that seems to be skipped over in modern recipes: soaking the seeds and membranes of the citrus to extract all the pectin they contain - which is quite a bit. I'd read about that trick, and seen recipes where you wrap the pips in cheesecloth and let it cook with the marmalade, but the overnight soak is far more effective.

That recipe also produces a scrumptious marmalade. It's my father's favorite, so I make at least one batch a year. Valencia's are full of flavor, without being too sweet, so be sure to use those if you decide to try the recipe.

The recipe seems like a lot of work, but it's worth it. Plan to make it over a weekend, starting on Friday night. The amount of active time is not that great.

Hope this helps. ;o)
max J. November 14, 2015
We love Seville orange marmalade, I last made it from scratch 20 years ago after I discovered this brilliant product. Check out the reviews
AntoniaJames November 13, 2015
That stuff would also be tasty as a filling in these breakfast buns Mix it equal parts with softened butter, taste to see if you need to add more of the goop, and slather it on.

Now that I think about it, how about stirring some into softened butter for putting on toast, French toast, waffles, etc. Doesn't that sound tempting? ;o)
trampledbygeese November 14, 2015
Oh that sounds good.
amysarah November 13, 2015
Blood orange syrup would be pretty great (and also pretty) in a cocktail, maybe instead of Cassis in a Kir Royale.
trampledbygeese November 13, 2015
I haven't put it in jars yet. It's still in the pot looking very sad and smelling very good. It should be cool enough now that I can blitz it, then reheat it, jar it, can it, and see what happens.

Good news that it may set on it's own over time. If not, then I'll have yummy pancake topping.
henandchicks November 13, 2015
Oh no, I have been there, too! I fished out the peel and used it in any application that called for candied citrus peel, used the syrup (which did thicken, but was very strong because of the long cooking time) in baking and drinks. Because this was in school, where I was supposed to be TEACHING this stuff there were gallons of it. It lasted years in the fridge.
AntoniaJames November 13, 2015
It will definitely be shelf stable if you can as instructed. I'll post later with ideas for re-purposing.

One thing to note, however, is that often marmalades and jam actually do set after three or four days or a week. So, don't do anything yet. Put it in the fridge and just don't mess with it. Jams and preserves like to be still while they're settling into their new lives in jars. Take it out in a week and let it come to room temperature. Then decide if something needs to be done with it.

So sorry to hear about this, by the way. It happens to all of us. ;o)
Bevi November 13, 2015
I have overlooked jam several times. Did you process the marmalade?
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