This Valencia orange marmalade (orange jam) will be adored by marmalade haters. The orange zest is fine, leaving the pith out, making it sweet and full of orange flavor.
My husband’s side of the family loves sour foods. They adore lemons and add it to everything. I had a hard time adjusting to my in-laws cooking when we first married because I come from a family that loves jams.
My mom’s side of the family (the Persian side) adores jams of all kinds. It is not uncommon to find a plate of bread, feta and jam on the table after a big meal. “A little sweet helps with the digestion.”
I adore all kinds of jams, from classically Persian like sour cherry jam to all American strawberry rhubarb jam. And today I am sharing my mother’s favorite: orange marmalade, also known as orange jam.
Why this recipe is so awesome
I have a garage full of wonderful Valencia oranges from our trip to the orange orchards a couple weeks ago. Our refrigerator has been full of fresh orange juice and the house has been smelling sweetly orangey.
(sigh) I love oranges.
Normally, I am not a marmalade fan, especially of store-bought marmalade. It tends to be overly sweet, bitter from giant chunks orange rind and more sugary than orange in flavor. But this orange jam is glorious and is thousands time better than anything store bought.
I made my zest fine, using a citrus zester (not a micro grater used for hard cheeses, mind you) for my zest. And I used juiced my glorious Valencia oranges and kept the pulp, too, for added texture and flavor.
The seeds were tucked away in a cheese cloth packet because they release natural pectin for the marmalade. I may not share this marmalade after all, it’s that orangey good.
You can even kick in out of the stratosphere with a dash of orange blossom water or Grand Marnier. I am in orange heaven right now.
Ingredients you need
- Oranges: I used Valencia oranges for this recipe. You will need the juice and the zest for the oranges. You can also use navel or cara cara oranges. They each offer slightly different flavors.
- Granulated sugar: Although I have made jam with brown sugar as well as with jam with honey, this orange jam is made with regular ‘ole sugar.
1. Using a zester, remove the zest from 5 medium Valencia oranges. You should have approximately ½ cup of zest.
2. Cut the oranges in half and extract the juice from these oranges. Continue juicing additional oranges until you collect 2 cups of juice.
3. Reserve the seeds collected from juicing and place in a small cheese cloth, tied with kitchen twine. The seeds will release natural pectin needed for the marmalade.
4. In a small pot over high heat, add orange juice and granulated sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Stir in the zest and the cloth packet of seeds.
5. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce to medium heat and continue cooking until jam thickens, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat and let seeds sit in the marmalade for 20 more minutes before removing. Pour into an 8-oz jar and store in the refrigerator
Recipe tips and FAQs
If you are only making a jar or two of orange marmalade, just store it in the refrigerator. It lasts for a month or two in the refrigerator, that is if you don’t eat it all up before then.
You can also use freezer safe containers and freeze your extra jam. If you hot can your marmalade, it is recommended that it be used within a year. Canning your jam using hot water is a very easy technique. I have instructions on how to can with hot water here
Jam is usually made with whole fruit. Since citrus fruits are mostly juice, it is harder to make it into a jam. This is why you use the aromatic and flavorful zest as well as the juice to make marmalade. If you use the pulp from juicing the oranges, your jam will be thicker than normal orange marmalade, making it more jam like.
Marmalade can be used like any jam or jelly. Spread it on your toast, bagel or scone. Use it as a filling in thumbprint cookies. Serve it on a charcuterie board. It is also often brushed onto fruit tarts. You can also roast chicken or pork brushed with orange marmalade.
- 10 medium Valencia oranges
- ½ cup of zest
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Using a zester, remove the zest from 5 medium Valencia oranges. You should have approx ½ cup of zest.
- Cut the oranges in half and extract the juice from these oranges.
Continue juicing additional oranges until you collect 2 cups of juice.
- Reserve the seeds collected from juicing and place in a small cheese cloth, tied with kitchen twine. The seeds will release natural pectin needed for the marmalade.
- In a small pot over high heat, add orange juice and granulated sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in the zest and the cloth packet of seeds.
- Bring mixture to boil, then reduce to medium heat and continue cooking until jam thickens, about 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let seeds sit in the marmalade for 20 more minutes before removing.
- Pour into an 8-oz jar and store in the refrigerator.
Serving Suggestions: For extra flavor add 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water or 1 TBS Grand Marnier during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
Cooking Tips: If you like larger bites or orange zest, you can scrape out the pith (white part) of the orange shells after juicing, and coarsely chop the remaining skin to desired size.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g
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