Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blood Orange and Strawberry Jam

Sweet, fresh, tart, ruby-red blood orange and strawberry jam. Absolute heaven on buttered toast with tea. Home cooks have been making jam for hundreds of years with recipes passed on from grandmother to mother to daughter as a way to preserve the family's home grown fruits throughout the winter. For those of us who grew up in suburbia, with neither fruit trees nor a family canning recipe, homemade jam is something for the trendy or intrepid.

Perhaps you make jam because you care about the food you eat and want to serve minimally processed food to your family. Or, maybe you simply want to be able to eat a gourmet jam that isn't available on your supermarket's shelves. It's possible I simply fall into the "mmm... yummy jam!" category.

If you've never seen a blood orange before it takes its name from the red veins that run through the flesh. Blood oranges (varieties include Tarocco, Sanguinello, and Moro) are common to Sicily and a few other areas of the Mediterranean. The color ranges from thin veins of red to fully red to almost purple-black depending on the variety. I remember the first time my mother brought one home from Russo's market. I was mesmerized by the colors. Mom made cocktails with it for me and my best friend Gaby when we were home from college. It's still "our" aperitif when Gaby and I get together.

Blood Orange and Strawberry Jam ~ makes approximately 2 quarts
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's orange marmalade and strawberry jam recipes.
1 lb strawberries (weight after trim; you'll need a pint + for the recipe)
7 oz blood orange (about 2)
5 oz lemon (about 2)
6 cups water
6 cups sugar

Carefully wash oranges and lemons. Thinly slice blood oranges and lemons, removing seeds. Combine citrus with the water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add sugar. Stir until dissolved and then let sit covered 8 hours or overnight.

After the 8 hours have elapsed bring the mixture back to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer 3 hrs. Wash and trim the strawberries. Weigh out one pound and then halve or quarter the berries depending on their size. Add strawberries to the simmering citrus and cook over medium heat 30 minutes to a temp of 220º F.

Ina Garten's way of testing to see if the jam is set enough is to put a little on a cold plate. I tried this trick as well by putting a plate in the freezer for 10 minutes and then putting a small spoonful of jam on it. If it "set up" in a few seconds it was ready. If it runs on the plate continue cooking.

I also decided to use my favorite immersion blender to blend the jam together to a smooth consistency. If you prefer a chunky style leave whole. There is more than enough jam here to share so follow good canning protocol and share your bounty with friends. Or, just gobble it up with tea and toast. 



  1. The citrus and berry combination sounds absolutely delicious. This would be a real treat on toast or english muffins.

  2. I'm in the mmm...yummy jam camp. Looks wonderful and I bet it tastes delish on a bagel.

  3. The blend of fruits here must really taste amazing. While I do not make jam myself, my niece does it as a hobby. I will need to pass this along with a request for a jar. This is about the most creative and tasty jam recipe I have seen in a long time. Well done!

  4. Blood oranges! - I don't think there is a fruit out there that makes me happier. This is a genius combo!

  5. Such a gorgeous and awesome jam! I just made jam for the first time a few months ago and I was shocked how simple it is! Who knew?!

  6. this looks great, i might need to pick up some fruit this weekend at the farmer's market and make this soon, it just sounds too delicious!

  7. The vibrant color says a lot about how magical this would taste with bread, cookies and crackers. Yum!

  8. Mmm, what a wonderful flavor combination :) Gorgeous color!

  9. What a great flavor combo, I love blood oranges, and I bet they pair perfectly with the strawberries. And love your photography, it's beautiful!

  10. Must try right away. thanks for sharing

  11. looks great. nice lighting in the pic too.

  12. This looks yummy. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. Beautiful, I love the jar you used.
    This jam sounds so good, I think I really have to try it. I love different flavours of jam and I have not tried one like this before. Hope I can find blood oranges this weekend.

  14. Love this recipe, thanks for letting me post it on my blog!

  15. I love making jams because it makes me feel virtuous. :) Your blood orange strawberry mixture looks wonderful, Jess! My husband is a huge fan of marmalade but adding strawberries to the orange might just temper the bitterness for the rest of the family.


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