Did you know that for every two spoons of classic orange jam you slurp, you are eating one full spoon of white sugar? Say no to that! Today we'll show you how to make a smooth orange marmalade completely sugar-free and without using artificial pectin.
Of all homemade jams, orange marmalade is probably the trickiest. Worry not, we have tested this recipe extensively and will share with you everything we have learned to help you get great results while having fun.
First of all, the traditional orange jam requires a certain type of orange. To get a thick jam, you need to use bitter and pectin-rich oranges, like the Seville variety. As they are not always easy to find, we adjusted our recipe to work with any orange. But we recommend you pick a sweet variety to minimise the amount of sweetener needed.
Seville oranges work great because they have a lot of seeds and white bits which are rich in pectin. In the classic marmalade recipe (the one with bits), you put these pectin-rich bits into a cheesecloth and let it cook with the rest of the ingredients. The problem is that those bits are also the most bitter parts of the orange. That's why in the classic recipe you use so much sugar: to compensate (and to preserve it).
Our recipe doesn't use the white bits of the orange, so we won't need to sweeten it a lot. Depending on the variety of oranges you picked, you may have to use no sweetener at all. In the steps below, we'll show you how to sweeten the jam using erythritol (a safe sweetener that contains zero sugars).
So how did we make the jam thick, without sugar and pectin? We used starch (potato or corn), just as we did for our other pectin-free strawberry jam. This technique works brilliantly, and it's very easy to apply. We also tested the recipe using applesauce and found it to be an excellent option as well. Check out the FAQ section below where we tell you how to use applesauce instead of starch. Remember to check the Tips section as well for more useful advice.
Overall, we are very pleased with this smooth orange marmalade. It's easier to make than the classic orange jam with bits, as it involves fewer steps. It's healthier because it contains zero refined sugars. And it's more accessible as you can prepare it with any variety of oranges.
NOTE: The default ingredients yield about 600g (1.3 lbs) of orange jam, enough to fill two 300g (10 oz) jars. We calculated that one serving is 30g (1 oz).