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Making sour orange marmalade

When life gives you sour oranges, make marmalade. Actually, sour oranges are also known as Seville oranges and make great marmalade. Canning fruit, making jams and other preserving type stuff is something I know how to do, but never did it much. I am not a big jam eater, but I have all these sour oranges and so there you have it.
It’s pretty easy, pick the 6 or 7 nicest naranjas agridas you have, wash them well. Slice them thinly, seed the slices, and put them in a heavy pot with about a quart of water. The seeds go into another smaller pot with a cup of water.
The small pot goes on the boil, for about 5 minutes, strain the liquid and add it to the big pot, discard the seeds.
Bring the large pot to a boil, let it simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the pot, cover, go to bed, or whatever you want for about 8 hours or more.
Return the pot to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until the peels get tender.
If you are scientific, measure the liquid and add a cup of sugar for every cup of liquid, if you are me and lazy, dump in sugar until you feel that you have enough. Now cook until it’s thick enough to jell. You may want to watch the pot, sugar water if it over boils makes a bit of a mess.
That’s it.
I use azucar standard

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. For the fifth or sixth time in as many years your sour orange marmalade recipe has brought joy and sweetness to our breakfast table. Thanks so much!!


  2. Hi Silvia
    how did your marmalade turn out? my didn’t do so well this year, it was too humid for it to jell well. I did however make some great candied orange peel and ginger.
    I think your idea has merit.

  3. I was soooo excited when your blog came up as the fourth google link since I’m also in Merida on Christmas Day wanting to make some sour orange marmalade! Your recipe is simple and requiring no pectin makes it perfect where such is not easy to find. I’m thinking of mixing in some toronja (grapefruit) since we also have that in the backyard. Have you tried that? You mentioned the Merida English Library. Wouldn’t that be a great venue to meet and share recipes, maybe take turns hosting meals? Thanks for the recipe. Silvia

  4. Hi Jane, I hope you find what you want in Uruguay. We considered it but decided that we were better off in Mexico. Though someone that we met here moved to Montevideo from here. We didn’t get to know her well, so I don’t know how she is doing. Sour orange makes a great marinade for pork or other meats, you can use it instead of vinegar in dressings too. I have been known to juice the oranges and freeze the juice to use in ice tea instead of lemon. My neighbors swear by a tea made from the leaves for intestinal troubles too.

  5. Theresa,
    So glad I found your blog. I live in AZ and finally obtained access to a sour orange tree, knowing they would make wonderful marmalade. I also received 2 bags of lemons, so lemon curd will be in the making also.
    Besides loving to cook, being in our 50’s, and sharing with others, we may have something else in common soon. We are looking forward to a trip to Uruguay and hopefully we find conditions amenable to our moving there and living as ex-pats so that I can retire. My husband is 70 years old and already retired, but here I would have to work 9 more years before we could afford not having my wages and not having my group health insurance. Wish me luck on finding Uruguay THE place to retire. I am in the process of expanding my limited Spanish also.

  6. Amanda, see if you can find an used copy. In fact an older copy which doesn’t assume that you can buy everything premade is probably better for your situation. I have bought cookbooks for a dollar at the Goodwill before. The internet is a great help too, especially You Tube where you can often find cooking videos that show you exactly how to do things.

  7. Thank you for answering all my questions. Im going to look into the price of that book and see if I can get someone to send it to me. Thanks again

  8. Amanda, I usually just make a big jar of it and keep it in the fridge, I don’t have any canning stuff anymore. My guess is about 6 cups. It’s orange marmalade and the peels stay in it. If you are new to making jams I saw a great video on You Tube about knowing when it’s set etc.
    What kind of jelly? This where that Fanny Farmer’s cookbook would come in handy for you.

  9. Couple of questions, how much does this make so I know I have enough jars for it? Also do the Im assuming the orange peels just stay in the Jam. I hope I can do this we spend a lot of money on jelly and it would be nice if I could make it for cheaper.

  10. It must be marmalade season, here is another blog with a post about sour orange marmalade plus a link to a chili-orange marmalade recipe that sounds interesting.

  11. I did it! I made Sour Orange Marmelade. THANKS for the recipe, and now also for the English Muffin Bread which you know I’ve been wanting!
    See my blog about making the marmelade.


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