Sometimes seducing a guy is a very easy task: you think, you wink, you double blinkdans la poche [easy peasy].
And other times it just isn’t; no matter how hard a girl tries, nothing happens.Back in 1998, I remember this boy in my class whose hair definitely recalled Son Gohan’s (as a Super Saiyan – c’est evident).
It seemed he fancied anything but me; well he must have changed his mind.
Two years later, when I brought him a jar of some marmalade I had made I saw sparkles in his eyes.
I will never forget that day, the day he fell in love with me.
See! All it needs to win a guy’s heart is a jar of marmalade.

That day was now more than six years ago; though, whenever I try to play the lovely-and-adoring-girlfriend and bring breakfast to bed, I can get two different faces: either the as – grumpy – as – usual or the I – love – you marmalade – so – much.
You’ll guess the latter is only found when a fat pot of marmalade is sitting on the tray.
Hopefully I can never run out of it. Indeed I’m a very lucky girl and have a beautiful bitter orange tree in my garden, which gives dozens of oranges every other year.


Bitter oranges
The oranges from my garden are slightly smaller than regular oranges and thus are perfect for jam making as the pith isn’t too big.
If making marmalade, you must use organic non treated oranges.
Even though my oranges are 100% organic I wash them to get rid of bugs or earth/sand traces.


How does marmalade solidify? – Pip is the word
What I really like about this marmalade is that you don’t have to use any extra pectin as the pips provide enough of this gelling substance.
Pectin is a molecule made of different groupings of polysaccharides (complex sugars) and allows the formation of a gel.
There are two types of pectins: HM and LM which indicates the degree of etherification of the molecule. The higher the etherification, the faster the gel will set.Bitter orange’s pectin and more generally, citrus fruits’ pectin, is HM (High Methoxyl) and can only form a gel in presence of acid (orange) and sugar. What a lucky (and delicious) coincidence!


Here we enclose the pips in muslin bags and soak them in the orange/water mixture so they release their pectin.


Bitter orange marmalade


This is not really a recipe as the quantities of water and sugar are utterly dependent upon how many oranges you have.
What you have to remember is that you’ll need:
1,8kg of water for each kg of orange
1,3kg of caster sugar for each kg of the orange/water mixture

Then you all you have to do is follow the steps. Easy!


Note – the marmalade will look runny at first but will solidify when resting.
It’s quite unusual to let the jars sit, open until the jam is set, but it allows the gel to form evenly.


Note bis – I just love this marmalade spread on hot crusty bread!Note ter – Take in consideration the fact that this marmalade is made over three consecutive days.

Sexiest bitter orange marmalade

organic bitter oranges
caster sugar

Wash the oranges, slice them as finely as possible and save the pips.
Enclose the pips in some muslin squares (fanny: I used 10x10cm squares and made three bags for 1,5kg of oranges) and tie securely.

Weigh the oranges and write down the weight.
You’ll need orange weight x 1,8 = water weight in kg.
Place the orange slices, water and muslin bags in a large plastic bowl, cover and refrigerate for 24h

Boil the mixture for an hour and transfer back into the bowl. Let in a cool place for another 24h.

Weigh the mixture and write down the weight.
You’ll need mixture weight x 1,2 = sugar weight in kg.
Ok it sounds a lot, but hey, you’re making jam out of bitter oranges.
Discard the pips bags and mix in the sugar.
Boil for an hour and pour into sterilized jars.

Allow to set at room temperature. Close the jars and keep in a cool place.