If you dream of spreading sticky, sweet orange marmalade onto fresly baked croissants in the morning, then do I have the recipe for you! This orange marmalade, known to the French as confiture d’orange, is perfectly sweet, irresistible, and foolproof!
In the past, I had tried several orange marmalade recipes. Marmalade isn’t as straightforward as other preserves. Unlike strawberry jam or apple jam, you can’t just throw a handful of orange slices into a pot with sugar and call it a day.
Well, technically, you could. If you like really bitter orange marmalade, then by all means, do what I just said.
Removing the Pith
Otherwise, if you prefer your marmalade sweet without any bitter traces, I’ve got a fantastic recipe for you. I love using this recipe with winter’s plentiful oranges to make a batch of homemade orange marmalade.
The key to preventing bitterness in orange marmalade is to get rid of the white part, known as the pith.
I’ve found that the best way to do this is to use a vegetable peeler, which has allowed me to remove the orange rind (an important, pectin-filled part of making marmalade) without getting the bitter white part too.
The Special Trick
I then take a sharp knife and use it to remove the pith from the actual orange. If the orange rind has any lingering pith on it, I use my knife to remove that from the rind too.
After making orange marmalade numerous times but still having trouble with bitterness, I searched high and low for special tricks I could use to help me out.
That’s when I came across Jacques Pepin’s trick of boiling the orange rind 3 times before using it in the marmalade.
Basically, you want to cut your orange rind in a julienned fashion, then boil the cut up rind in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, then add fresh water and boil for another 10 minutes.
You repeat this step for a third time before you actually dump the rind and orange segments into a pot with sugar and the rest of the marmalade ingredients.
The result is a perfectly sweet orange marmalade with no trace of bitterness. It’s the way I love to eat marmalade, and in my opinion, it’s one of the most foolproof ways to make it!
P.S. You can find great jars for storing your marmalade in here!
Homemade orange marmalade with no trace of bitterness!
- 2 oranges
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- small pinch of ground cinnamon
Use a vegetable peeler to remove a thin layer of orange rind off the oranges. Use a sharp knife to julienne the rind. If there are any remnants of the pith (the white part of an orange) on the rind, use your knife to shave it off. Then, use the knife to remove the white part from the actual oranges, tossing the white parts in the trash. Now, cut the oranges in half, then cut each half into thin half-moon slices. Temporarily set aside.
In a medium pot, add the chopped orange rind. Fill the pot with enough water to fully cover the rind, then bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain the water from the pot, then fill again and boil for 10 minutes. One last time, drain the water from the pot and then fill again and boil for 10 minutes.
Drain the water from the pot and now add 2 cups of water, the orange slices, the sugar, and the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low so that the mixture is simmering.
Cook the marmalade for 40 minutes, giving it a stir every 5 or so minutes. Make sure to keep a watchful eye on it so that it doesn't overflow or anything of that nature. When it's almost done, stir in the pinch of cinnamon. The marmalade will look runny, but it will firm up as it cools, and even more later on when it's refrigerated.
Note: The marmalade will be runnier than store-bought marmalade due to the amount of minimal sugar in this recipe compared to store-bought marmalade. How thick your marmalade ends up can vary depending on the type of oranges you use and how thick their peel is. If you want to have assurance that your marmalade will come out on the thicker side, you have the option of wrapping up the pith (white parts) that you remove inside a piece of cheese cloth or 2 coffee filter papers, and seeping the pith in the marmalade as it cooks. Both the orange peel and the pith are where oranges' pectin (the firming agent) lies, and using the pith in this manner will give you the pectin boost you need without the bitterness of actually being in the marmalade. You can add the enclosed bundle of pith after you've stirred all your ingredients together in your pot and have begun cooking the marmalade.