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Sweet Orange Marmalade - Let's Jam # 1

Monday, July 2, 2012

I love the smell of oranges and all things citrus. But I hate it when it’s bitter. Store bought marmalade are always bitter, unless you buy orange jam.

Err.. orange jam and marmalade . Aren’t they the same stuff?

Well, marmalade is JAM with fruit peel in it. And it’s the peel that causes it to be bitter, which is why you can hardly get non bitter marmalade, except for Smuckers or some other brand that I don’t know of. Maybe they have something to remove the limonin from the peel. I wonder if rubbing the peel with salt do the trick of removing the bitter compounds(limonin)? I’m wondering. Wait, I’ll try that next time. : )

The marmalade I made doesn’t taste like store bought ones. The fragrance and taste is far more intense than store bought ones. Maybe I’ve never tasted real marmalade before and those that we get off the shelves are always loaded with pectin, so there is less fruit content in there. Pectin is something added in to set the jam. Low priced store bought jams are always made with flavourings and food colouring, so it taste like orange squash and is light coloured.

This is my second attempt at making marmalade. The first time, I pared the rind with a peeler and thinly sliced it. Sliced the fruit, cooked it and then took such a long time to remove the membranes from the jam (they give a plastic bag effect on mouthfeel, so must remove). I slightly overcooked the jam, and so it was too thick, but taste wise it was good. This method worked well for me and I did it again with with changes to make the job easier (no need to fish out membranes) and better mouthfeel. I did not put in any pith or seeds to avoid any bitterness and I only derived the pectin from the membranes of the fruit.

As for the fruit used, I used Valencia oranges. Do not use Navel as navel’s juice will turn bitter after juiced for a while. And I do find Valencia’s rind to have better flavour compared to Navel’s. Do let me know if you’ve used Navel and it turned out alright, but since oranges are not that cheap here, I’d rather not risk it.

I did a lot of reading before I embarked on this. Trying to find information on how to reduce bitterness of the marmalade. The answer is all in the pith, and so the pith is something that I'm not going to add in, so are the seeds. No no no! My source of pectin will be from the membranes and juice, no where else.

Homemade Orange Marmalade
Recipe source: Internet websites
Revised method by: WendyinKK

Valencia oranges, peeled and weigh only the flesh.
Lemons, peeled and weigh only the flesh. Use 1 lemon for every 4 oranges.
What’s the amount?
Fruit flesh weight : Water : Sugar
1 : 1 : 1

If 500gm of fruit flesh, then 500gm sugar and 500gm water.
Easy? Yes. Very.


1. Zest all the fruits

2. Peel all the fruits. Weigh the flesh and calculate the amount of water and sugar needed. Keep that noted down.

3. Hand press to juice all the fruits. You can use a ricer (Ikea has it), but I don't have one. Discard seeds if you see any.

4. Keep the components separateas you work. When the juicing is complete, combine the juice and zest, keep in the fridge, covered with cling wrap.

5. Deriving pectin from the membranes - Put the membranes and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Put the lid on immediatly and let it sit overnight (8-12 hours). The next day, do as the pictures.

6. Cooking, use a heat that is suitable to maintain its boiling state, but not too much. Remember to put a ceramic plate into the freezer before you start to cook.

7. When you think it's done, try testing it by putting a drop of it into the frozen plate. Let it sit for 10-20 seconds. If it doesn't wrinkle upon pushing, then place the plate back into the freezer.

8. While the marmalade is cooking sterilize the bottles by boiling in water, then air dry them. Fill the clean jars with the super hot marmalade. Use oven mittens or other protective gear when handling these bottles.

Now you may think the marmalade is dark. I think the colour's pretty golden. The bread used here is Hokkaido Milk Loaf. My kids won't touch the marmalade. But I loved it.

22 lovely notes:

Mel July 2, 2012 at 12:14 PM  

Hi Wendy
Loves looking at the tutorial photos you post here! I loves all food with citrus zest in it. Thank you for this recipe post.

Angel July 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM  

txs for sharing this recipe....i loce it so much...
May I ask how much time to cook the jam???with low heat....?txs...

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM  

Haha, sama sama

It's hard to say. The less you cook the shorter time you will use.
When I made 4 oranges 1 lemon, it took me less than 1 hour. I forgot exactly how long, it also depends on the heat you're using or how much pectin you are able to derive

Phong Hong July 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM  

Wendy, this tutorial is really good. Quite a laborious process to me. Eh, you got extra bottle of jam right ? Heh...heh...heh....

Sem July 2, 2012 at 2:54 PM  

we need to turn the jar upside down after put the cooked jam in the jar, right? I noticed if I didnt do that, there will be vapour in the jar after I closed the lid.
Ha, I just cooked the mango and passionfruit jam.

eencyweency July 2, 2012 at 3:08 PM  

wow! I never knew marmalade can be sweet. For all my life I've been hating marmalade because I thought all marmalades are bitter. I even wonder why do Paddington bear loves marmalade so much lol

Small Kucing July 2, 2012 at 4:37 PM  

oo like this also can ah...nice

babe_kl July 2, 2012 at 4:58 PM  

You're right, homemade orange marmalade taste totally different from store bought. Never like them until I tasted homemade ones. It's awesome!

Little Inbox July 2, 2012 at 7:51 PM  

That's long process. But, the outcome is so fulfilling. BTW, posted the pumpkin millet porridge and blueberry cereal on my blog. ;)

Esther@thefussfreechef July 2, 2012 at 8:06 PM  

Wow, the jam loooks so good, i just had dinner, but this is making me crave for a nice pieceof toast with jam. Must learn to make these. I love home made jam, but even those store bought so called "home made" ones do not taste very authentic. Thanks for sharing this! Absolutely love the detailed instructions.

lena July 2, 2012 at 8:07 PM  

hi, not that i want to do it now but is the juice ratio also same as water and sugar? cos i read that you said fruit flesh weight is same ratio as water and sugar 1:1:1 so the water and sugar ratio should be the same as juice weight or flesh weight? sorry, i tak pernah buat jam so would like to know more. I guess when you did this you hvnt got your microplane yet?

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 3, 2012 at 1:20 AM  

Phong Hong,
This post was done yonks ago :)

Hmmm.. from what I read, it's to make sure the bottle will be properly sealed.
Mango and passionfruit sounds yummy!

Haha, it's the pith, get rid of that.
Maybe paddington bear has special marmalade.

small kucing,
boleh saja

home made ones are very intense, right?

Little Inbox,
Long lor.... haha.
I'll hop over and see your take with millet :)

ur own homemade is always better than store bought homemade, kekekekke.

U really have the eye for detail. LOL. Geng!
Actually the first time i did it, I weighed the flesh cos I sliced it and boiled, 2nd time, I weighed the juice. LOL.
I think I'll rectify the intructions, thanks for telling me, lately u know me la, too busy with that project, I have sooo much to do, hahahaha! 2molo 2 more items to make.

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 3, 2012 at 1:21 AM  

Oh yes, 6 months before the microplane, this post is about 1 year ago, LOL!!!!

Jess @ Bakericious July 3, 2012 at 9:54 AM  

Hi Wendy, I am back, finally hahaha... I have been thinking to make jam lately cos FIL eat for breakfast almost everyday. After seeing your post, more tempting. Probably will do it someday soon :P.

Jeannie July 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM  

I like the transparent look of your jam, so tempting! But so laborious, After cooking that kumquat compote, I don't think I want to do this lol! Looks so much more work!

Anonymous,  July 4, 2012 at 8:29 PM  

Hi Wendy....
How r u wendy? Spechless and salute sifu... I really lost not even half of your write up. i do not understand the term....pectin,limonin, oven mitten. Even then i like to read over n over again hehe...Shd i give u my address n u send one bottle for me to try hehe.


WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 4, 2012 at 9:01 PM  

When I started blogging, I dunno a lot of things too, but whenever I encounter something I don't understand, I google. That's how I learn. There are lots of pictures on the internet if you find the words hard to understand.

Kimmy July 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM  

Hi Wendy, your info about marmalade is perfect. I just posted a Citrus Marmalade. I agreed the bitterness comes from the pith but I discovered that the bitterness becomes mild after a while. I like your jam texture. Will try this one. too.

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 5, 2012 at 11:12 PM  

Yeah, it does mellow out, but store bought ones have been made for ages, but yet they are still biiiiiiitter. I cannot stand any bitterness

Kimmy July 6, 2012 at 12:55 PM  

Wendy, honestly I don't buy marmalade. Usually, I make my own and I used only the fruit flesh and zest. My hubby dislikes the bitterness too, got to be careful on what types of jam I make.

Poh Lin,  July 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM  

Hi Wendy,

Have not been here for quite some time. I really miss looking at your food.

So, the weight of the juice should be same as sugar & water?

Mabel February 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM  

Looks yum!

From what I was told, marmalade is bitter because of the type of oranges used - Seville or bitter oranges. :) It is also because bitter oranges have very very fragrant and flavourful peel.

I'm attempting one later today with just bitter orange (the flesh and peel).

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