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Cara Cara Orange Marmalade

The varieties of homemade orange marmalade that you can create are home are endless. Take advantage of winter citrus season and make this cara cara orange marmalade recipe. The bright flesh of cara cara oranges is stunning!

open jar of cara cara orange marmalade homemade jam

Making homemade orange marmalade is a labor of love but truly worth the effort. It is a time consuming overnight process, yet the hands on active time is minimal.

This recipe for cara cara marmalade follows the same steps from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. Instructions for citrus orange lemon marmalade and a blood orange marmalade are other variations I welcome you to try.

How to make cara cara orange marmalade:

  1. Day one: Prepare the oranges by separating the peel from the pith (the white inner part).
  2. Break up the orange flesh in the food processor. Let the mixture sit overnight to soften the peels.
  3. Day two: Cook the fruit mixture, add the sugar, and bring to a boil.
  4. Process with the boiling water canning method or store in the refrigerator.

What is a cara cara orange?

Cara cara oranges are a type of navel oranges. You likely wouldn’t know the difference just looking at a cara cara orange tree. The outer peel is orange similar to a navel orange but the interior orange flesh is the hidden secret– it is a deep pinkish-orange! If you didn’t realize that you purchased a different type of orange then you will be happily surprised upon slicing into this citrus. 

These oranges are easily confused with a grapefruit or even a blood orange due to their color, but their taste doesn’t compare to a tart grapefruit. Cara cara oranges are sweet and bright and usually don’t have large seeds so they are easy to enjoy.

This information from Whole Foods shows the comparison among types of oranges:

Comparison chart of types of oranges source whole foods

When is cara cara orange season?

Cara cara oranges are a winter citrus fruit and are available in U.S. grocery stores during the winter months and sometimes into the spring.

slices of lemons and cara cara oranges on a marble board

How to make Marmalade Video

Let’s look into the steps of making citrus homemade maramalade

Day 1:

Separate the peel from the pith. The pith is the white, bitter layer under the peel.

Begin by using a citrus peeler. (I like this citrus microplane that Amazon sells.) The peeler ONLY takes the zest of the orange off and leaves behind the white, thicker layer called the pith. Pith is not great for eating due to its bitterness but it is valuable in the jam making process because the pith contains pectin, a natural substance that helps your homemade preserves reach a setting point.

Hand using a citrus zester to peel zest of orange

Now slice the fruit and remove the seeds. Take off the layer of pith and set it aside with the seeds. Wrap the seeds and pith in a cheesecloth bundle and secure tightly. This bundle will come into play shortly. 

Use a food processor to break down the blood oranges and lemons.

Slices lemons and cara cara oranges in the food processor for making marmalade

Pulse the fruit to bits.

fruit mixture pulsed to bits in food processor

Place the water, all of the processed fruit, the peels, and the cheesecloth containing the pith and seeds into a large pot. Let this mixture sit overnight (not refrigerated). 

Orange and lemon mixture that sits overnight for making marmalade

Day 2 for learning how to marmalade

Bring the fruit mixture to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the peel is tender. Remove from the heat and discard the cheesecloth bundle.

This next step may sound inconvenient but it’s the best way to find out how much sugar is needed. 

Pour the marmalade mixture out of the hot sauce pan and into a large measuring glass. You’ll need to find out how much liquid and fruit bits you have in order to get the proportion correct for fruit to sugar.

Two glass measuring cups of orange marmalade fruit mixture and sugar

Add the sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cook the mixture until it reaches the gelling point.

Ladle the hot marmalade into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. 

Jars of cara cara orange marmalade by a window

Cara Cara Orange Marmalade Recipe

Yield: 20 ounces

Cara Cara Orange Marmalade

open jar of cara cara orange marmalade homemade jam

The varieties of homemade orange marmalade that you can create are home are endless. Take advantage of winter citrus season and make this cara cara orange marmalade recipe.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Additional Time 10 hours
Total Time 12 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 or 5 large cara cara oranges
  • 4 or 5 large lemons
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • Sugar (amount determined by amount of fruit mixture after initial steps)
  • a piece of cheesecloth

Instructions

DAY ONE (about 30 minutes)

  1. First work on the peel: I use a carrot peeler to take a thin layer of peel off the oranges and lemons. You do not want the pith—the white layer just below the peel. The pith has pectin and will be used later but do your best to keep it separate from the peel. You should have about 3 cups of orange peel and 2 1/2 to 3 cups of lemon peel. Slice it thinly. Reserve any pith that has come off the fruit.
  2. Now slice the fruit and remove the seeds. Take off the layer of pith if it is thick. Set it aside with the seeds. Wrap the seeds and pith in the cheesecloth and secure tightly.
  3. Use a food processor to break down the oranges and lemons. Pulse until the mixture is in small bits. The fruit will continue to break down when you cook it and marmalade is often a chunky mixture.
  4. Place the water, all of the processed fruit, the peels, and the cheesecloth containing the pith and seeds into a large pot. Let this mixture sit overnight (not refrigerated). Note that you do not add the sugar until Day Two.

DAY TWO (60-90 minutes)

  1. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the peel is tender. Remove from the heat and discard the cheesecloth bundle.
  2. Measure the fruit and liquid. Add 1 cup sugar for each cup of fruit mixture (yes, this will be a lot of sugar). Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Continue stirring as the mixture comes to the gelling point. The mixture will thicken, keep stirring. Perform a gel-test to see if the marmalade is ready for canning. Take a tablespoon of the marmalade and place it in the freezer for a few minutes on a very cold plate. After a few minutes, if the marmalade wrinkles when you push it slightly then it has reached the gelling point.
  3. Ladle the hot marmalade into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process in a boiling-water canner. Alternatively, place the marmalade in the refrigerator if you do not wish to preserve it in a canner.

Notes

Recipe source from the Ball's Blue Book of Preserving

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

96

Serving Size:

1 tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 7Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

ADD A LABEL TO YOUR JAR OF CARA CARA ORANGE MARMALADE!

Did you know that I have a FREE Printables library? I love sharing labels that you can download and print yourself. When you are making jams, jellies, and marmalades, it is so nice to add a personal touch.

Access is free to my email subscribers. Join the growing number of email subscribers by using the form below. You’ll love this label for your homemade marmalade!


 CANNING TOOLS YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:

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Homemade preserves

Canning at home and making small batch jams and curds have really become a source of enjoyment for me in the kitchen. If you are interested in making more homemade preserves, here is a canning resource to give more more recipe ideas!

Pin this marmalade recipe!

Pinterest image of cara cara orange marmalade and free printable label

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Cara cara orange marmalade – My Blog

Sunday 9th of August 2020

[…] The varieties of homemade orange marmalade that you can create are home are endless. Take advantage of winter citrus season and make this cara cara orange marmalade recipe. The bright flesh of cara cara oranges is stunning! Print a free label to personalize your homemade marmalade. #caracaraoranges #caracaraorangerecipe #orangerecipe #marmamlade #homemadejam #preserving #canning #abakershouse #freeprintable #jamlabel, source : abakershouse.com […]

Anne|Craving Something Healthy

Saturday 2nd of February 2019

I've never made marmalade but I do happen to have a bunch of Cara Cara oranges in the fridge right now. I think I might experiment with this tomorrow!

Lauren @ A Nerd Cooks

Thursday 31st of January 2019

Your Cara Cara Marmalade looks so delicious! I love love love Cara Cara oranges. It's always so exciting when they start hitting store shelves in my area. I've never tried to make marmalade, but this seems very doable!

Holly Baker

Thursday 31st of January 2019

Thanks, Lauren! Hope you give marmalade a try. It is a bright burst of citrus on a winters day!