February 15, 2011

To Try Tuesday - Cara Cara Marmalade

I really want to be one of those people who makes their own jams, jellies, chutneys, and marmalade's but I have a lot of practicing to do.  There is just something magical about opening a jar of jam that you made all by yourself.  I also think that something like this makes a wonderful gift.

Hands up if you have never hear of Cara Cara oranges.  I hadn't until a few days ago when I was visiting Good Food, Good Wine and a Bad Girl where there was a recipe for Cara Cara Marmalade.   According to Webicurean "Cara Cara oranges have a bright orange peel and pink - raspberry colored flesh. They have a sweet taste with undertones of cherry and a low acid profile. Cara Cara oranges are medium-sized and round, with a yellow-orange rind and they're usually seedless. They peel and segment easily. The flesh is a brilliant reddish-pink, which makes it a colorful and tasty addition to salads".  I was immediately hooked but I didn't think that I would be able to find these oranges here.  I am still looking for the elusive Meyer Lemon.  However, I was in for a treat as Costco is currently selling large bags of Cara Cara oranges.  I couldn't believe my luck and I knew exactly what my To Try Tuesday recipe would be.

This recipe couldn't be easier, but I still managed to have a little trouble towards the end.  More on that a little later.  After cutting up all of the fruit I was amazed by the beautiful colors.  Even after a soak in water for 24 hours it was still a vibrant color.  The marmalade isn't quite a vibrant but it does have a wonderful flavor.


The only changes I made to this recipe was to use Grand Marnier rather than whiskey (I didn't have any whiskey on hand) and I cut off a lot of the rind and chopped it small so that the marmalade wouldn't be too chunky.  Unfortunately I think that I cooked this a little longer than necessary.  It still looked a little liquid to me so I gave it a few more minutes.  I didn't realize that it will firm up as it cools.  Mine seems a little too firm, but it still tastes great.

I highly recommend you visit Isabelle's blog Good Food, Good Wine and a Bad Girl and check out some of her other recipes.  I also have my eye on her latest post,  a Warm Raspberry-Chocolate Pudding Cake that looks out-of-this-world.

Cara Cara Marmalade

  • 3-4 medium Cara Cara oranges (about 2 lbs/1 kg)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp whiskey (I used Grand Marnier)
  1. Using a very sharp knife, cut the oranges and lemon into halves lengthwise. Cut off the top and bottom ends of each half, then cut out seeds and white pith in the center. Collect the end bits, seeds and pith in a small bowl - you'll need these later.
  2. Slice the orange and lemon halves cross-wise into very thin slices, then chop up into smaller bits (how small is up to you - I didn't cut the fruit but did cut off the rinds and minced the peel into small pieces for a less chunky marmalade). Transfer the chopped fruit and any accumulated juice to a large non-reactive mixing bowl.
  3. Wrap up the seeds, pith and end bits you saved earlier in two layers of cheesecloth and tie off with cotton twine to make a neat parcel. Place this bundle in the bowl of chopped citrus, then pour in the water. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  4. The next day, pour the contents of the bowl into a large non-reactive saucepan. Stir in the sugar, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours or until the peels are quite soft. Remove the cheesecloth bundle from the pot, and discard.
  5. Turn the heat up to medium, bringing the marmalade to a rolling boil. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches 220F on a candy thermometer (or until it passes a set test).
  6. Stir in the whiskey, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Immediately ladle the jar into sterilized glass jars.
  7. Once cooled, the jars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. If longer storage is desired, process the jars immediately in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, after which they can be stored for up to a year in a cool, dry place. 
Makes 5 500ml jars

Original recipe can be found here


  1. That looks incredible! I love marmalade, we go through it SO fast in my house. I never even thought of making it myself! Yum!

  2. I've heard of blood oranges, but never cara cara oranges! Looks very interesting.. I wonder if I can find any..

  3. I'd never heard of Cara Cara oranges until now. But that marmalade sure looks delicious! The photo looks so good I can almost taste it! :)

  4. Making my own jams has been a goal of mine forever. My grandma was amazing at it, and I used to help her out all the time. Just need to get some courage and do it by myself.

  5. Looks and sounds delicious.. I like such orange jams, but never tried to make it myself.

  6. I bet this is fabulous! I love your addition of Grand Marnier :)

  7. This is the first time I've heard of cara cara oranges and your marmalade looks delicious! I love making and canning jams and jellies ad can't wait to do more this spring and summer!

  8. I've never made any jams/jellies/marmalades either, but I agree with you about how they seem to have certain quality of "coolness" when you can say you made them on your own. Thanks for the recipe; I can't wait to try this out!

  9. I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Felice! Just so you know, jam making is seriously addictive... once you get started, there's really no turning back. :)
    PS - Love the Grand Marnier instead of whiskey. The flavour must be amazing.

  10. Oh hey, I've just posted a marmalade recipe and noticed your post in my inbox. What lovely colored oranges. I've never heard of this Cara cara orange before, they look like grapefruit. The whiskey sounds like a good idea too!

  11. It looks wonderful and I can smell the orange frangrance if I close my eyes. This reminds me the first time I had orange jam long long time ago....thank you for bringing back some old memories :)

  12. @ping
    Ping, your mandarin orange marmalade looks delicious! I'll have to try it next time.

  13. Oooooh that sounds fantastic! I would love that smell of the oranges!
    I make my own jams/jellies/marmalades and I know exactly what you mean about that feeling you get when you open up a jar of jam that you made yourself. :)

  14. I've never heard of cara cara oranges but this looks fantastic! It would make a nice gift, too

  15. Oh! Marmalade! I love it on little warm buttered croissants with a steaming cup of coffee ... love your version! Congrats on making this leap into jams, jellies, and preserves!

  16. My housemate just bought me a jar of gourmet peach jam, and I have to say, receiving good jam is such a sweet pleasure...how much more when you make it yourself!

  17. This looks great and I too had not heard of a Cara Cara orange. I thought from the photo perhaps it was a small grapefruit. Beautiful recipe!

  18. Cara Cara Oranges are my new favorite fruit (and that's a lot to say with how much I love fruit!)... This looks absolutely delicious... I may have to make this to enjoy the oranges on my English muffins too!

  19. Oooooh that sounds fantastic! Nice vibrant color of the finished product.

  20. I've never had or heard of a cara cara orange! WHERE do you get them? Does whole foods have them??? They are so pretty! And the Grand Marnier is such a great touch!

  21. Nicely done with the Grand Marnier!!! I LOVE Cara Cara oranges!! My dad's neighbor had a tree when they moved in, but the people never ate the fruit. For a year or two they gave it to us, then decided to chop down the tree. I almost cried!
    I've never actually made marmalade... Yours is the second jam/marmalade/canned item I've seen today and my interest is ramping up!


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