Homemade Blood Orange Marmalade

Last updated on August 24th, 2021

Homemade blood orange marmalade doesn’t have the flavor profile one would think – most likely because blood oranges don’t have the flavor profiles they look like they should have. Blood oranges are thicker and richer and have more amino acids than garden variety citrus fruits. However flavor wise, they taste closer to a ruby red grapefruit than an orange.

Blood oranges also don’t have a ton of juice to spare. To make one cup of blood orange juice for another dish I recently tackled, it took more than six blood oranges. The citric acid in them was enough to burn a layer of skin off of my fingertips as well. Wear gloves if you’re going to be working with blood oranges. Oh, and be prepared for a mess; they do live up to the “bloody” part of their common name.

I was concerned the tartness of the blood oranges would render marmalade-making attempts in vain. I didn’t want to add more than the five pounds of sugar the standard recipe calls for. So, I took a deep breath and plunged in, treating the blood oranges as if they were in fact, regular oranges. It was a risk, spending the five pounds of blood oranges, five pounds of sugar and five hours of my day to hack this together. It paid off, better than I anticipated.

Tips & Tricks for making Blood Orange Marmalade

Required Tools

Cheesecloth, vegetable peeler, an entire afternoon, 4 quart heavy-bottomed pan, three pints worth of sanitized glass jars with lids.

Do you like zesting citrus? Do you have a day to kill? Then this recipe is for you!!

I did not use a microplane (pictured) to zest these blood oranges – and it’s not a tool I recommend for this project. I’m silly and wanted a pretty photo.

1.) Zesty zesty zesty! For about half of this I used a moderately sharp knife. For the rest I used a very sharp vegetable peeler. Your mileage may vary – but whatever you choose to use, make sure it’s very sharp.

2.) Once you’ve zested all five pounds of the blood oranges, finely chop the zest, as small as you can by hand.

4.) Do you know what’s better than zesting citrus fruit? Making supremes!

The true and correct way to supreme citrus is to do it while it is whole, removing the flesh from the membrane keeping the fruit intact.

I don’t have the fine motor skills (or frankly, the patience) to pull this off, so I cut the blood oranges into sections and pulled the flesh out of the membranes, section-by-section. Save the pith (the bitter white part of the citrus), and the membranes.

5.) After a little bit of work you should have 3 distinct piles. Chopped zest, pith and membranes, and completely clean blood orange flesh.

6.) Place the pith and membranes in a cheesecloth. This will go into the marmalade as it cooks to create pectin naturally.

7.) Dump zest, blood oranges, water, and sugar into a large heavy-bottom pot.

8.) Stir and add bag of membranes and pith to the pot.

9.) Cook for designated time (in recipe card below), and remove from heat and pot to cool.

bowl of hot orange marmalade

10.) Place the homemade blood orange marmalade into jars once it has cooled, or start canning procedures. This recipe will make approximately 3 pints of blood orange marmalade.

Homemade Blood Orange Marmalade

0 from 0 votes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, RecipesCuisine: American
Jars

3

Pints
Prep time

3

hours 
Cooking time

2

hours 
Calories

750

kcal
Total time

5

hours 

This blood orange marmalade is an unexpectedly rich and delicious flavor that goes with something as simple as toast, or as complex as meat.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Blood oranges

  • 5 pounds sugar

  • 4 cups water

Directions

  • Using a sharp knife or sharp peeler, remove zest from blood oranges, without any bitter white pith.
  • Chop zest into tiny pieces or slivers.
  • Cut blood oranges into supremes, setting aside and reserving all pith and membranes (see detailed tips above).
  • Place all membranes and pith into a cheesecloth that has been folded in half, and create a pouch by bringing the four corners of the cheesecloth together and tying the top with string.
  • Combine blood orange pieces, zest, water and sugar in large heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Stir over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. lower heat and place bag of membranes and pith into pot and simmer gently for at least two hours and up to three – or until marmalade has thickened. Do not boil.
  • To test marmalade for doneness, place a dollop of marmalade on a cold plate and run a spoon through it. If the marmalade gels up a little or forms a “skin” after about thirty seconds, then it’s done.
  • Remove from heat and cool completely before placing in airtight container.
  • Can be refrigerated without canning for up to 2 weeks safely, or canned for up to 6 months.

Notes

  • This recipe doesn’t use pectin, as the bag of membranes and pith will provide this naturally.

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About

Angela is a full-time software engineer and part-time photographer who loves to cook. In her free time (??), Angela enjoys exploring her home state in the desert southwest with her family, playing video games, and writing about herself in the third person.

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