Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry

Orange Jelly

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After making my by first batch of Clementine Jam with Cinnamon and Vanilla, I was emboldened to try a few other new recipes from my new book. I decided to take a stab at the “Blood Orange” recipe, with regular Navel oranges because that’s what I had.

Orange Jelly

  • 1 3/4 lbs Granny Smith Apples
  • Heavy 2 cups of Orange Juice (2 cups, 1 oz.  Eyeball it)
  • zest from 1 1/2 oranges
  • Water
  • 4 2/3 cups Sugar
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Powdered Pectin

Day 1: Rinse the apples. Quarter them. Put them in a pot with a heavy 3 cups water [1]. Bring the pot to a boil, and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Strain out the juice (she strains twice, with damp cheesecloth). Refrigerate over night.

Day 2: Juice the oranges, and measure out a heavy 2 cups of orange juice [2].  Mix the Orange juice, an equal amount of the apple juice from the first day, the sugar, and  the lemon juice in a pot [3]. I zested 3 orange halves at the last minute and tossed it into the pot as well [4]. I also added my remaining half bag of pectin, just to make sure it set properly. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring, and boil hard for 10 minutes. Remove the seeds if you added them, and then put the jelly in jars and process them.

Here’s a picture of my recent creations, from left to right: my clementine jam, a jar with some orange zest infusing in booze, and my orange jelly.



The jelly turned out very nice. The set was just about perfect, although there were some small clumps of undissolved pectin in the finished product. The flavor was very bright and orange-ish, without any discernible bitterness. I’ve already tried it with butter on toast, and it was wonderful. I suspect it will go great with some cream cheese on a bagel, or as part of a glaze over chicken.

I didn’t do as good a job skimming the foam off the top as I should have, so some of that ended up in the jars, along with the clumps of pectin. Mulligan. Obviously it’s all edible, but it does detract from the clear, sparkling beauty of the jelly, if you care about that sort of thing. The little bits of zest are visible, and create a great effect.

Possible Modifications

This was a very simple recipe and sometimes simplicity is rewarded. However, there are some things that I think could be changed in future batches, if I were the experimental type:

  • Obviously, do this with blood oranges for the original intended results.
  • Some flavorings that (i think) may go great with this are: fresh crushed black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, “apple pie spice”, etc
  • Some fruits that may go well with this are: Other citrus (lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit), cranberries, pineapple, pomegranate, blueberry
  • Various flavored liquors and flavor extracts (vanilla, triple-sec, cranberry or pomegranate liquor, etc)


  1. She says 3 cups, 2oz. 3 1/4 cup should be fine and easier to measure. I think that the granny smith apple juice is supposed to be the primary source of pectin, since she doesn’t use any powder.
  2. Her original recipe called for 2 3/4 lbs of oranges to get 2 cups, 1 oz juice. I needed an extra orange, two tangerines, and two lemons to get to the necessary amount.
  3. She also takes the orange seeds, puts them in a cheesecloth bag, and includes that during the boil for flavor. I didn’t have cheesecloth bags, so as a substitute I put the seeds neatly into the compost pile.
  4. her recipe called for two whole oranges, thinly sliced and candied to be added. Instead, I added zest from some of the oranges, and used zest from the remaining fruits in a jar with some good vodka or rum. After soaking for two weeks, I’ll use this mixture as orange flavoring or as the starter for Triple Sec.

Author: Andrew Whitworth

I'm a software engineer from Philadelphia PA. Sometimes I like to go out to my garden, or step into my kitchen and make a really big mess of things.

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