Tempt You With Bitter Orange Marmalade? Why Ever Not??

“I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.” 
D.H. Lawrence
Marmalade : (n.) A preserve or confection made of the pulp of fruit, as the quince, pear, apple, orange, etc., boiled with sugar, and brought to a jamlike consistence.

Another beautiful and wonderful tradition I follow is bitter marmalade making. A tradition which is about giving and not so much about getting. This is the time of the year that the tangerine tree is laden with fruit and calling my name. I have a tradition of making bitter orange marmalade at this time of the year, packaging it in reusable jars that I collect through the year, and gifting them. I have a long list of bitter marmalade lovers who await their annual ‘share’!

Most people here gow tangerine shrubs purely for it’s ornamental beauty as the fruit is sour beyond belief.  I love putting the pretty fruit to better use, which is both eye candy & tantalizing to the taste buds. This is traditional British-style marmalade made with a recipe handed down from my mothers’ friend. British marmalade is a sweet preserve with a bitter tang made from fruit, sugar, water and, in some commercial brands, a gelling agent. American-style marmalade is sweet, not bitter.

Some believe that the British passion for the fruit – or rather, the fruit transformed to marmalade – began with a happy accident in 1700, after a young Dundee grocer named James Keiller took a risk on a large consignment of oranges that were en route from Seville, on a ship sheltering against a storm in Dundee harbour. The oranges were cheap, but Keiller couldn’t sell them: the flesh was far too sour. His shrewd wife, however, used the oranges to make a spreadable preserve. The jars went on sale in Keiller’s shop and soon demand became so high, the family had to order a regular shipment of oranges from Seville. By 1797 they had opened Britain’s first marmalade factory.

Tangerines are easy fruit to preserve as jam, as the seeds are high in pectin content. This particular recipe has the seeds tied together in a tiny piece of cheesecloth  and immersed in the ingredients during the process. I think it adds to the conventional bitter edge to the marmalade.

Marmalade requires just 3 basic ingredients – tangerines/oranges, water and sugar!  Do stop over at the Daily Tiffin where I have recently posted the recipe for

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  • Gera @ SweetsFoods
    7 years ago

    All my family will be delighted with this marvelous marmalade, bitter orange is the preferred!!

    Happy New Year 2010 for you Deeba and your family 🙂



  • Fuji Mama
    7 years ago

    I'm a huge fan of bitter orange marmalade, can I move in to your house? 🙂 Yours is beautiful! Oh, and by the way, I LOVE that starting quote–how perfect!

  • Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    7 years ago

    That's interesting to hear about how marmalade came about, I like it when there's a story behind something! Lovely pictures and I feel inspired to do some preserving too.

  • Bellini Valli
    7 years ago

    Marmalade is a special treat around here. I can't say I have had the bitter fruit variety, but I am not out of this world yet.

  • Rosa's Yummy Yums
    7 years ago

    It looks really delicious!

    Best wishes for 2010!



  • Snooky doodle
    7 years ago

    i love marmalade and this one must be even more delicious 🙂 happy new year

  • Julia @Mélanger
    7 years ago

    I love marmalade (not surprising given my parents are British!), and never knew the origin of it. So fasinating.

    Have a happy new year Deeba to you and your family!

  • farida
    7 years ago

    I love marmalade on a slice of bread slathered with butter. Thank you for the delicious post! Happy New year to you and your family. May the new year bring you lots of happy and delicious days!

  • lobstersandwich
    7 years ago

    Lovely post. Great quote at the beginning. How are you? Greeting and great wishes for 2010 to you.

  • meeso
    7 years ago

    That is a gorgeous color, and must taste so fresh and amazing!

    Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

  • shaz
    7 years ago

    You have some very lucky friends! The marmalade looks so very pretty. Wishing you and your family a very happy start to 2010 🙂

  • zurin
    7 years ago

    Wishing you n ur family a very happy new year Deeba and thank you for all your exquisite creations!

    zurin :))

  • kate/Kajal
    7 years ago

    Hey Deeba, the marmalade looks so bright and refreshing !

    Wishing you a fabulous 2010

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies
    7 years ago

    Wonderful! I love that you make your own marmalade.
    I haven't had true bitter marmalade before, perhaps I should come for tea! 😉

  • Mamatkamal
    7 years ago

    It looks so delicious!
    Happy new year Deeba, best wishes for 2010.

  • Priyadarshini
    7 years ago

    can i pls pls be added to ur list of marmalade lovers to that i too can get a bottle…..its been ages literally since i have had the bitter sweet homemade marmalade…..i miss it so much and ur photos bought back so many childhood memories

  • Anncoo
    7 years ago

    Happy New year and wishing you all the best for the coming year.

  • Jibran Ahmed Khan
    7 years ago

    A great website of cooking I like your recipe. Also you will like these blogs bcz these are also my personal sites just visit and make recopies for your family these all are Asian’s famous and delicious dishes.

    Free Biryani Recopies Download | Free Asian Food Recopies Download
    Free Food Recipe

  • Arwen from Hoglet K
    7 years ago

    Looks great Deeba – what a lovely gift!

  • marye
    7 years ago

    I love marmelade! This looks amazing!

  • Jeanne
    7 years ago

    You have a tangerine tree?? No fair! I love the British style of bitter marmalade – and your jars look fabulous. Lucky recipients!

  • kellypea
    7 years ago

    I made tangerine marmalade, too. I used California mandarins (okay, so not exactly tangerines..)but the flavor does remind me of them. We used to have a couple of trees so I know how quickly the fruit adds up. Love what you did with your jars 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Looks like a great recipe for orange marmalade. Perfect for summer picnics.

  • 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 4 years ago

    I have not yet perfected my skill in making a bitter orange marmalade. Do you have any tips on how to create one easily?

  • 4 years ago

    I don’t like orange fruit that much. Do you know if I can do this marmalade using apples instead?

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