Blood Orange Strawberry Marmalade

by Irvin on May 16, 2011 · 16 comments

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Awhile ago my friend Shila, who tweets under the name “Shilantro” and who I met at the first annual Food Blogger Bake Sale last year, ended up emailing me out of the blue asking me if she could interview me for her cool start up company Foodia. Flattered, I said OF COURSE and then we proceeded to have a lovely chit chat where I then babbled about my love of the pastry chef Sherry Yard (Executive pastry chef at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago and author of the amazing Secrets of Baking and my personal pastry idol) and kitchen scales. Thankfully Shila did her magical editing and made me sound somewhat normal in the interview. After it was all over with, I made her invite me to her apartment to teach me how to make preserves and properly can (yeah, I can be bossy that way). We ended up with this lovely blood orange strawberry marmalade.

Blood Orange Strawberry Marmalade

The recipe comes from the gorgeous Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders. Shila and I had bantered back and forth about the book and how every single page of the book made you basically want to live and breathe fruits and preserves. I think the sentence “I want to live in this book” may have come out of my mouth when I was talking about it. So I was thrilled that Shila told me she had picked a recipe out of that book to make for our canning date.

Shila Testing the Blood Orange Strawberry Marmalade

Shila Testing the Blood Orange Strawberry Marmalade

The recipe sounds a bit complicated, but really it wasn’t too bad. It just requires some upfront prep time. Thankfully Shila had taken care of that before I arrived. She had also scavenged some rosemary from the neighborhood (there apparently was a rosemary bush near her house), I had brought some backyard lemons for the marmlade and the blood oranges and strawberries came from the farmers’ market. You really can’t get more local or organic than that right?

Local Seasonal Fruit - strawberries, blood oranges, lemons

I’ve made jams and marmalades and curds before. In fact, one of my favorite marmalades to make is a kiwi lime marmalade (I use it to put in muffins, but truthfully it’s pretty amazing on its own, as well as on fresh cornbread) and I can make in 15 minutes with a microwave, start to finish. But I’ve never bothered to can before. It all seemed so fussy and complicated. But Shila showed me that you can use the dishwasher/oven method and it was super easy. [EDIT: I’ve been informed that the oven method isn’t considered safe by the USDA. More on that in the notes below]. Sadly I don’t have a dishwasher at home, but with summer coming up, I might have to start figuring out a way to sterilize and can all the summer produce that is soon to arrive at the farmers’ market in basketfuls. Because I LOVE my summer fruit.

Blood Orange Strawberry Marmalade

Or maybe I’ll just start hanging out with more with Shila. She’ll do the canning, I’ll just reap the benefits. I mean does she really need six cans of the same preserves in her pantry? I’m sure she won’t miss just one….

Blood Orange Strawberry Marmalade

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim @ Comfort in Crumbs May 16, 2011 at 6:39 am

Congratulations on another interview and on marking ‘canning’ off your unfinished business list. I haven’t canned since I was teenager on our farm in Tennessee. There really is no better way to capture the sun and flavor from seasonal fruit. Your marmalade looks gorgeous!


Shawn May 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

It’s so beautiful! I’ve never canned (being from the south, that’s just sad) but, I’m definitely trying this. The addition of rosemary has me completely intrigued!


tracy May 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

pretty pretty! I’m taking a class at Blue Chair this month and this marmalade has me even more EXCITED!!! xoxo


Jennifer (Delicieux) May 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm

This looks so delicious! Mmmm blood orange and strawberry…it doesn’t get any better! The rosemary would give it a lovely fragrant twist.


leaf (the indolent cook) May 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

This looks wonderful – and such a gorgeous flavour combination!


Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood May 18, 2011 at 11:39 am

How love marmalade. You can keep your jam – I’ll take marmalade on my toast any day.


[email protected] May 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I love the orange and strawberry combination. I’ve always gone for the jam sugar option because i’m always petrified that it wont set. Thanks for the recipe.


Jennifer @ Oh Sweet Day! May 26, 2011 at 3:04 am

I love the idea of the citrus and strawberries in this marmalade- so unique but I can just imagine how lovely it must be!!


Medifast Coupons May 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

Very nice, we are big blood orange fans, when we see them we buy them, but never thought of doing really anything else with them other than eating. Thanks so much for the recipe, look forward to trying.


Kirsa May 26, 2011 at 11:18 am

hello there.

I stumbled on your post while looking at foodgawker. I must say if the marmelade does look very good, there is one thing that actually made me come and take 2 minutes to leave a comment.

You advertise that you can use the dishwasher and/or the oven to sterilize the jars for canning. As a regular canner, this part made me go, OMG ! because it is dangerous. Yes, you read it, dangerous.

There is a reason why canners must use the water bath method to sterilize and can: water conducts heat much more efficiently than air. Therefore, if using your oven, or dishwasher, you’re actually heating air, which does not allow for proper temperature acquisition to kill off potentially harmful bacterias. If in doubt, get some info from your government’s food safety dept. Also, popping the jars in the oven can render them brittle: even if intact, at least one of my jars (in my early canning adventures) shattered without warning at the slightest bump. hopefully no one got injured, but it could have been quite a lot of trouble, as the jar was full of scorching marmelade.

please consider this information for canning with sweet or acidic foods. and please for anything outside of that, use a pressure canner (which is the only recognized ways to can non-sweet or non-acidic foods). Botulism is potentially deadly. please think about the people who will be eating it, you – or your family and friends.


Lexie May 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

@Kirsa… you… you did notice that this post is about making Jam right? Jam being both Sweet and Acidic?


Kirsa May 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Yes I have noticed that this is jam. Being acidic and sweet is inhospitable for bacterias and other things alike, but there is still a risk: it depends of the sweetness of the fruit (it changes as the fruit ages and ripens), same for acidic content, it varies. Even if you did everything right, if when you open a jar, you’re unsure (looks weird, smells weird, has some kind of deposit or wathever), don’t take chances and throw it away. Better safe than sorry.

I just had mentionned the bit about using a pressure canner for anything else outside of that because…. because sometimes people get ideas. I’ve seen people try lots of things… and not always the safest kind.


Irvin May 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hi Kirsa. Thanks so much for commenting. I was following the method described in the book Blue Chair Jam Cookbook for the oven method. I have since contacted Blue Chair Fruit Company and they stated that they only recommend the oven method for jams and marmalades as the high sugar and high acid content makes them inhospitable for harmful bacteria.

That said, the oven method is not USDA approved, for the reasons you stated (Shattering glass? Scary!). I have gone ahead and edited my post to let people know the reasons why the oven method is problematic. Thanks so much for giving me the heads up about it!


Kirsa May 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm

USDA, that was the name of the organism I was looking for. I’m not from the states, (actually, Quebec) so it slipped my mind 🙂

The Blue chair Jam cookbook people gave you the right info. I just don’t understand why they would take any chances. It IS inhospitable. tought as I just mentionned to Lexie, fruit is natural and content in acid and sugar changes as the fruit matures and age /ripens.

But I understand why you tried it: it seems easier, it dosen’t require to have a giant pot to sterilize / can, etc. I myself have two books that mentions that way as fine to can…. I tought that bookwriters or editors provided some kind of safe and accurate information… which is what most people assume, and expect, actually. (these are “The River Cottage Preserves Handbook” and “Qu’est-ce qu’on mange ? Volume 5”. They however still offer good info on the water bath.)

Seriously, it dosent really take much more time to do the water bath method. Most jams you set them in only for 10 minutes and sterilizing takes the same amount of time. If you happen to speak / read french (or have a good translator), there is one real good website on canning and preserving, which is It’s seriously my go-to reference for any canning recipe: the guy tests everything with lab equipment, and much info is available (including on the three kinds of pressure canner available on the market).

Anyway hope you enjoy your canning experiences, opening one’s own jar is quite the delightful experience 🙂 Drop me a line if there’s anything, I’ll be happy to discuss canning recipes / tips with you 🙂


Joel May 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I wish I had read your version of this receipe before I started it two days ago. I don’t think the cookbook mentioned that you needed to drain the oranges before adding the berry juice.
Needless to say it took me well over 4 hours to get any consistency that resembled jam/marmalade texture. Way too much liquid in my batch. Now I want to do it all over again ! Too bad blood oranges are out of season (or at least hard to find) now. I made it with regular oranges and the flavor is still good, just probably not as pretty as the blood oranges would have been.


InPDX January 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Wow, such going-on about open kettle. The worst that happens without a water bath is a jar doesn’t seal. Then you stick in in the fridge at eat it first.

Did you get any measurement on the strawberry juice? I’m itching to try this recipe, but it would be good to know how much juice she’s thinking you ought to have at the end of the simmering and straining. I’m guessing you’d want it as concentrated as possible, to keep cooking time down, but I wish I knew a ballpark.


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