My father used to travel a lot during his working life. That is when we learned about Bitter Orange Marmalade and it became one of my favorite bread spread for breakfast.
As not native English you first have to learn the difference between marmalade and jam as for the rest of the world marmalade is marmalade – from what ever fruits it is made of.
Still one has to know that what we commonly know as Orange Marmalade is actually made from bitter oranges or Seville oranges.
In my garden I have planted both types of oranges a few years ago. And even though I planted them the same year, my orange tree is delivering oranges almost every year whereas the bitter orange did not even try to develop flowers.
But after – I think – five years or so and the threat of cutting it off if it does not deliver, this year it rewarded me with several beautiful fruits. One should not say that plants do not understand what you tell them!
So I finally got the chance to make my homemade Bitter Orange Marmalade, which turn out so delicious that I most definitely want to share it with you. Searching the internet for an adequate recipe I found only marmalade made with loads of sugar. As the fruit itself is really bitter I understand the necessity of using a lot of sugar but I found a way to reduce the amount and still getting the sweetness needed.
From my last trip to my home country Germany I brought a preserving sugar from Dr. Oetker 2:1 with Stevia as sweetener. If you use this kind of sugar you normally do not need to add any extra sugar to make a jam from other fruits. I first tried out to make the marmalade the way recommended on the package but realized during cooking that bitter oranges are far too bitter. Still, with this kind of preserving sugar you can reduce the normal amount of sugar to approximately half.
If you make marmalade make sure that you use biologic bitter oranges with untreated peel, as you want to use it as well. Usually the peels of oranges and other citric fruits are treated with E230 or E233, a chemical ingredient to preserve the fruit from rotting. Even if the fruit has been fertilized biologically and sold as such, it does not mean that the peel has not been treated. Ask you grocery store to be sure that they are untreated as you cannot wash off the chemicals.
How to prepare:
Place a small plate into your fridge or freezer. Prepare 4-5 jars (appr. 250 gr filling quantity) with boiling water.
Wash the bitter oranges and lemons, cut into halves and add together with the water in a large pot. The fruits should be covered with water. Close the lid and bring to boil on high.
Let boil on medium heat for 2 hours.
Pass the fruits through a sieve, keeping back the water. The water should be reduced to approximately 900-1000 ml. Give back the water to the pot. If necessary add some water.
Let cool the peels a bit to be able to be handled. Remove the pulp from the bitter oranges with the help of a spoon, set the peels aside. Add all pulp and the lemons to the water, bring to boil again and let cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes with open lid.
Cut the peels of the bitter oranges in fine stripes, set aside.
Place a clean towel in a sieve and add the pulps, keeping back the liquid again. Twist and squeeze the towel well to get all the liquid out from the pulps.
Add the liquid in a clean pot and let cool until less then lukewarm. When the liquid has cooled down add the sugar and the preserving sugar and stir well until dissolved completely. Add the peel.
Bring to boil on high, steering continuously. Let cook bubbly 5-10 minutes. Eventually defoam. To control if the marmalade has cooked enough, take the plate from the fridge or freezer a add half a teaspoon of the marmalade on it. If the liquid is stocking on the plate it is ready.
Remove the pot from the heat and fill the marmalade into the clean, hot jars. Make sure that the edges of the glass stays clean. Close well and let stand on a kitchen towel upside down for app. 30 minutes. Then turn around and let cool.