Recipe: Winter Citrus Marmalade

Sandra Kehoe

Sandra Kehoe › Sandra Kehoe and her husband live with their two young boys in the suburbs of New ...


Marmalade is a great way to preserve the fantastic flavors of winter citrus, keeping that unmistakable zesty sweetness on hand throughout the rest of the year. Sandra Kehoe recently shared a wonderful recipe for “CaraMoroSumo” marmalade, which uses a trio of fantastic-tasting fruit: the superstar CaraCara navel orange, the Moro blood orange, and the Sumo mandarin.

The first day of spring has come and gone, and I’ve been trying not to read all the bloggers on the west coast who are in full spring mode with their asparagus and radishes.  That will be us soon and there will be ramps on the menu don’t you worry (yes, I said ramps!).  But in the meantime I have been staring at my gorgeous citrus stash and trying to prepare myself for the inevitable diminish of bright citrus sunlight.  Sure with modern grocery stores you can still get citrus in the summer, but it is never as good and my favorite varieties won’t be around for long.  I have been thinking about the best way to preserve my beautiful winter citrus so it will last through the summer months, and I finally came to the conclusion that I must make marmalade.

Sandra cautions you to set aside the proper amount of time to take on this marmalade recipe:

Please proceed with intent because making and putting up marmalade is no simple afternoon project. Anyone that knows this blog, understands that I am not about quick and easy. I enjoy making food that slows down life and brings enjoyment. We move too fast, wanting instant gratification in so many aspects of our lives, but what ever happened to sitting for a while and focusing on a single project. Making things from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require attention and time. Personally, this is my favorite way to relax and find peace. If your hobbies lead you to other activities then you can find delight in knowing that you can easily get great marmalade in a store or farmers market (or stop by my house for some!).

Made 10 4-oz jars, but you can use any size jars you like

4 lbs of citrus (I used an assortment of Cara Cara, Sumo and Moro Blood Oranges)

4 cups of the liquid from cooking the zest

5 cups of sugar (I prefer to use unrefined natural cane sugar but regular white sugar is fine too)


Wash the oranges in warm soapy water and then dry completely. Using a serrated vegetable peeler or sharp knife, remove the zest from all the fruit. Stacking a few of the zest strips at a time, slice them as thin as possible. Collect all the zest and place it in a large pot with 2 quarts of water. Bring the zest and water to a boil on the stove top. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the zest is tender. When finished drain the zest from the water and reserve 4 cups of the cooking liquid.

While your zest is simmering this is a great time to supreme all the citrus fruit. Collect the segments and juice into one bowl and collect the membranes and seeds in another bowl. Once all the fruit has been separated, collect a handful of the seeds and some of the inner membranes and bundle it into some cheesecloth and tie shut with twine so that no seeds can escape. Prepare a boiling water bath and sanitize your jars and bands. Place cleaned lids into warm water and set aside. Set sanitized jars and bands on the counter in preparation of filling.

In a large and deep pot combine the drained zest, 4 cups of cooking liquid, segmented citrus, sugar, and the cheesecloth bundle of seeds. Bring everything to a vigorous boil and continue to boil until the mixture reaches the set point at 220° F, which can take about 30 to 40 minutes or longer. Make sure to stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. The mixture must hold at 220° F for 1 minute after you remove the pot from the heat source (you should also test the marmalade using the freezer test). If the marmalade is not ready then return the pot to the heat and cook an additional 5 minutes and test it again. Once it is set to your liking remove the pot from the heat and remove the cheesecloth bundle and discard it.

Ladle the marmalade into the prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch head space and wipe the rims clean. Add the lids and bands (finger tight), and process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the boiling water and set on top of a kitchen towel on the counter to cool. Listen for the tink, tink, tink of sealing jars and check the seals using the finger test the next day. Label your jars and pass them out to family and friends!

This article and recipe originally appeared on Kitchen Apparel. They are reposted here with permission from the author.

Have you preserved any winter citrus yet? What’s your favorite recipe?

Photo Credit: Sandra Kehoe

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