BREAKFAST HEAVEN: Orange Marmalade with Spicy Beer and Cheese Loaf

We got a big bag of oranges for a dollar at the farmer’s stand. When life gives you oranges, make orange marmalade.

Originally we planned to make this recipe by Dave Lebovitz.

His ingredient list reads:
Oranges, water, sugar, salt, Scotch

He says the Scotch is optional, but it’s what attracted us to the recipe in the first place. :D

He uses Seville oranges that are less sweet and ideal for this recipe. Since we were using navel oranges, we added a lemon to the mix.

Our aim was to make this marmalade as ‘orangy’ as possible. Our ingredient list reads:
Oranges, one lemon, orange juice, orange blossom honey, orange liqueur

The end result is a flavour that can best be described as ‘essence of orange’.

We get fresh honey in different flavours at our local co-op. That’s why our marmalade is darker (and tastier!!!) than the one made with sugar.

The freshly-squeezed orange juice imparts a lot of sweetness on its own. Hence we could get away with much less honey. Don’t use regular clover honey. If you can’t find orange blossom honey, we recommend using sugar.

You can leave the peel out if you wish. To us, marmalade is all about the complexity added by the bitter undertones from the peel.

The next time, we will probably add a hint of ginger. If you are in India and don’t get the big American yellow lemons, use a sweet lime (mosambi) instead.

If you have a rice cooker, bread machine or crock pot, this is a good time to get it out. You can let the marmalade cook down while going about your chores. We used a wide pressure cooker base, left it uncovered, and stuck in a wooden spoon it in, checking it every 15 minutes or so.
To sterilise your glass jar (we made a quart of jam), simply run it through a dishwater cycle and take it out while warm, or wet it a bit by rinsing inside, and microwave it on high for a minute.

Some recipes use pectin as a thickener. We didn’t.

**Don’t worry about adding the Grand Marnier if feeding this to children. The alcohol completely burns off during cooking, leaving behind only the flavour.

‘Essence of Orange’ MARMALADE
(Makes 1 quart)

3 navel oranges
1 lemon
2.25 cups of orange blossom honey (or sugar)
4.5 cups orange juice (or water)
**if using water, you may need to increase the honey/sugar to between 3.5 and 4 cups
ΒΌ tsp salt
2 tbsp orange liqueur like Grand Marnier (optional)
**Scotch and Cognac are good substitutes

1. Wash the oranges and lemon with a drop of dish soap to remove waxy residue. Dry them well.

2. Peel the oranges and lemon with a vegetable peeler. Make thin peels and try to get only the coloured part, and as little of the white as possible. Cut the peel up into very thin strips, about an inch long. We got 1 packed cup of chopped peels.

3. Peel the oranges and lemon to remove all the white pith, remove all the strings and seeds and chop into small pieces. We got 3.5 cups of fruit.

4. Put all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan. Start with 2 cups honey/sugar. Bring them on high flame to a rolling boil. Reduce the flame to medium.

5. Let it cook down. Leave the pan uncovered. It will get more and more bitter as it cooks down. Keep checking every 15 minutes or so, tasting and adding more honey/sugar if you need it.

6. It took us exactly 2 hours to get to the right consistency. It will get thick and syrupy, and will coat the back of a spoon.

7. Keep a small plate in the freezer for 15 minutes. Take it out when you think the marmalade is done. Add a spoonful to the plate. Put it back in the freezer. After a couple of minutes, take it out. The mass of jam on the plate should have “set” a bit. It should not flow, and it should crinkle a tiny bit when you touch it.

8. Switch off the flame, cover the pan and let it cool for 30 minutes. Put the marmalade in a sterilised glass jar.

9. Cover it, let it cool completely, and refrigerate.

Tip: If your marmalade thickens too much after cooling, reheat it, add some orange juice, bring it to a boil, and cool it again.


Sending this over to Padmaja at Spicy Andhra for Weekend Breakfast Blogging. The theme is Summer Fruits.

Also sending this to Meeta at What’s for Lunch, Honey? for her Big Birthday Bang.

All about Oranges

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  1. roopa says:

    fabulous recipe yummy what else…. sure to try my to try list is increasing day by day getting no where ehn to try… thks for the recipe it is looking so tasty and this is one of my favorite jams…

  2. Anjali says:

    Bee you are a sweety. You home delivered just the recipe and the marmalade ;) ???

    4.5 cups orange juice is good but if one cuts out the water all together less cooking time will be required and one can achieve better results. I’ll skip the liqueur still underage ;) . My experiments with jams and marmalade tells me water can be eliminated completely for juicy and citrus fruits. Good you did not use pectin as it gives a jammy crystalization but your marmalade is the right consitency. I can almost smell the gooey and looks divine too. I want the Spicy Beer Bread recipe too. Greedy me. Then I’ll think of a substitute.

    Have you thought of sun cooking the marmalade!

    anjali, i agree. with jam you can eliminate the liquid. however, for marmalade, i think to extract the bitterness from the peel, and to get it to become soft, one needs some liquid. maybe next time i’ll add less. sun cooking is a good idea, and we have HOT summers here, but we have winds of 40 miles per hour whipping through from time to time. my marmalade may end up in a neighbour’s yard, or in the canal across the fence. – b.

  3. Suganya says:

    Orangelicious :-)

  4. viji says:

    What a coincidence Bee! Looks yummy and colourful. Nice presentation. Actually your photo talks bee :) Viji

  5. Meeta says:

    Delicious! Oranges and Grand Marnier – what an incredible combination. Bee/Jai you guys rock and huge hugs for bringing this one to my birthday party. You got it right – it’s gonna be a 24 hour event so we need breakfast too!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Looks delicious! My sister makes marmalade, I will have to tell her about the Grand Marnier trick!

  7. sra says:

    i want breakfast now!

  8. Coffee says:

    Slurp! I can almost lick it off the pic! ;)

  9. Asha says:

    OOH!!! Bee,gorgeous looking Maramalade.Goes very well with any bread but I would like that bread recipe though!!:)))

  10. Mishmash! says:

    Striking picture ! orange marmalade is one of my fav’s too:)


  11. Kanchana says:


    Reading all the blogs of this group is one of my daily rituals now! Nice combination Bee, that is so cool that you made marmalade!


  12. Anita says:

    A lovely orange marmalade. Beautiful colour! I have never tried with oranges, but I make lemon marmalade all the time.

    About adding water, I think it is needed to soften the fruit. I even add water to fruit jams (to mango, for instance). Sun-cooking, on the other hand, relies on time to do the softening!

  13. seema says:

    Orange Marmalade is all time there in my fridge. A loves it Bee and I am litterally drooling over your picture. Beautiful presentation. Yummmy

  14. Sreelu says:

    Wow orange marmalade Yummo !!, love them on warm toast with good coffee. Thanks for the recipe we have an abundance of oranges in the backyard its time to experiment !!

  15. Aruna says:

    You Guys tempt us with ur amazing pics first & then fool us into thinking the recipe is pretty damn striaght forward & easy!!

    Hats off to u guys!!! Nice recipe :-)

  16. Sukanya says:

    Hay they are looking YUM! YUM!…Mouth watering one…Excellent pictures…..Beautiful presentation…I love it…

  17. Jennifer says:

    Great recipe! I love orange anything. :-)

  18. Anjali says:

    winds of 40 miles per hour ….then B & J will sing Gone with the wind ;) . Anita youre right suncooking does depend on time for softening.

    Bee about borrowing Dad I would do like my 8yr old nephew. “Baba maze aahet!” LOL with the chin stuck down and hugging Dad. Can you picture that ;) .

  19. pelicano says:

    Hey, I missed this one when I blinked my eyes :-) I really like what you’ve done with marmalade; your use of orange-blossom honey is inspiring! Grand Marnier eh? I might have a few fond memories attached to that liqueur…ok, I’m jotting it down. You win!

  20. nandita says:

    Just got back my net connection and came straight here from the WBB wound up! Lovely marmalade and with that liquor making it so grown-up and exotic – straight bookmarking this and waiting for the orange season!

  21. Pintoo says:

    Hey, l loved the orange marmalade, but what about the spice beer bread recipe. Please share it with all your blogger friends. As I am a sucker for anything made with beer.

  22. Jai says:

    Hi Jai&Bee…
    i was just cureious to know , can we actually heat honey to such high temprature? because as per siddha/ayurveda, mixing honey with warm milk is advised, but never with hot milk.

    yes, it destroys the nutrients, but the honey we buy has already been heated. it is not raw.

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