Can It Up: Blood Orange Marmalade with Campari

Posted on 31 January 2013

Blood Orange Marmalade with Campari

Look, there’s a reason why the folks of Downton Abbey serve “bought marmalade.”

Marmalade is not easy. It’s exacting. It’s laborious. It demands several hours of hands-on time for a modest yield. It dirties an crushing number of pots and other dishes.

Boy (howdy), I am glad that I don’t wash the dishes around here.

Blood Orange Marmalade with Campari

This is why, as delightful as traditional marmalade is, I don’t make it often or ordinary. I avail myself of the splendid California citrus and make something a bit unusual. Like meyer lemon-strawberry marmalade, which I made last month and was a big hit. Or ginger lime marmalade, next up on my list.

For this month’s Can It Up, it was all blood orange marmalade, all the way. I adore the distinct ruby glow and the sweet, almost berry-like aroma of the Moro orange, which is the variety mostly commonly found here. The addition of Campari enhances the provocative bitterness of the peel.

Blood Orange Marmalade with Campari

I can’t wait to break these jars open with an alluring, but almost cloyingly sweet pound cake. Or for use as a pungent glaze on a pork tenderloin with a zesty spice rub. Or, in the Downton Abbey fashion, with a flaky croissant from our local bakery and a cup of classic Earl Grey tea.

Blood Orange Marmalade with Campari

Blood Orange Marmalade with Campari

Yield: 6 8-ounce jars


3 lbs blood oranges
6 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup Campari (or other orange liqueur)


Using a sharp knife, trim tops and bottoms from oranges. Score the peel of each orange lengthwise into quarters. Remove peel and set fruit aside. Place peel in a large stainless steel saucepan with enough water to cover generously. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Cover generously with fresh cold water and return to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, until peel is softened. Drain. Using a spoon, scrape white pith from peel and discard. Using a sharp knife, cut peel into paper-thin strips.
Working over a large stainless steel saucepan to catch juice and using a small, sharp knife, separate orange segments from membrane. Place segments in saucepan and squeeze membranes to remove as much juice as possible, collecting it in the saucepan. Discard membranes and seeds.
Add cooked peel and 4 cups water to segments. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until peel is very soft when squeezed with fingers, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and measure 6 cups, adding as necessary to yield the required quantity. Mix well.
Ladle 3 cups of the cooked mixture into a clean large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Ladle remaining mixture into a second saucepan. Bring both saucepans to a boil over medium-high heat. Maintaining boil, gradually stir 3 cups sugar into each saucepan. Boil hard, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches gel stage, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Add 1/4 cup Campari to each saucepan. Stir.
Process 10 minutes.

From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

6 responses to Can It Up: Blood Orange Marmalade with Campari

  • Rachel says:

    Looks lovely – the color from the blood oranges is beautiful! The addition of Campari is a fantastic idea.

    • allfourburners says:

      Rachel, thank you! The Campari was super fun — I was so glad that I had a bottle hanging out in the garage.

  • All your marmalade flavors sound fantastic. Very curious about the ginger lime. I made an orange marmalade one time and found the flavor to be too bitter. I’m not sure if I did it right though…will have to give it another go! Your blood orange looks gorgeous.

    • allfourburners says:

      Thanks, Gloria! I will make the ginger lime sometime this week and will let you know how it turns out. I am a big advocate of removing the pith when making marmalade, as it makes everything quite bitter. I know that some recipes leave it in.

  • Lynn V says:

    Did this recipe twice. I discovered the difference between immediately picked and fully ripe (within three and a half days of the purchase of the case), so I adjusted how I got the pectin flowing. However, both batches turned out very ruby red, a beautiful colour. They don’t seem to match this recipe blog’s photos… I blame the orange (Morro) and the colouring of the Campari. 😉 Tastes lovely nonetheless.

    • allfourburners says:

      Lynn, my Moro oranges (a.k.a. blood oranges) were weird – half orange and half red. Thus, my batch didn’t end up the lovely ruby color that yours did. Glad that you had success with the recipe!

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