Orange jam is a great simple jam to make and can at home. This orange jam recipe uses less sugar and the jam is seasoned with ginger and cinnamon (you can change the seasonings).
If you’re looking for a simple citrus jam this one is one of my favorites! Orange jam is simple to make and is quick too. Since oranges contain a good amount of natural pectin the jam jells relatively fast.
If you have a few too many oranges, making orange jam is a great way to preserve them. This quick jam can also be a great homemade gift for the holidays!
Orange Jam Recipe For Canning…
Now, you have probably heard of orange marmalade and it seems as if it’s a little more popular than orange jam…
When making orange jam, we don’t use the rind of the oranges, we only use the flesh of the fruit. I love marmalades and make them often (watch me make grapefruit marmalade on YouTube), but sometimes you feel like making a citrus jam that doesn’t have the hint of bitterness that the rind of the fruit adds.
Another reason to make jam instead of marmalade is that some people are concerned about using the highly sprayed peel of the fruit. Of course, you can wash your fruit well or make sure that you buy organic fruit but still some people prefer to not use the peel.
Choosing Fruit For Orange Jam…
Try to choose ripe, juicy fruit. We are going to remove the seeds so if you can choose a variety of oranges that doesn’t have a lot of seeds it will save you some time.
In fact, it doesn’t have to be oranges or only oranges… You can make this jam with mandarins, clementines, or tangerines… Or, if you’d like, you can mix them.
Ingredients For Orange Jam…
Go by the simple ratio of one part fruit to half part sugar. After I clean my fruit of the peels and as much of the white pith as I can, I weigh it before adding to the jam pot. This makes it easy for me to figure out how much sugar to add.
It also means that you don’t have to follow a recipe exactly. If you want to process more or less you easily can.
Aside from the oranges and sugar I also added the juice of half a lemon (and it’s seeds to help the jam jell), 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
You don’t have to season this jam but I like it with ginger and cinnamon. You can also add clove, nutmeg, star anise, or allspice. I wouldn’t add all of them, just choose a couple and experiment.
I made this orange jam with 7 oranges (3.5 pounds before peeling) and ended up with 8 – 4 oz jars or, in other words, 4 half-pint jars.
Tools For Making and Canning Orange Jam…
Make sure that you have a large enough pot or pan for the number of oranges that you are going to use. It’s better if it’s a heavy-bottomed pot. We’ll need a spatula to stir the jam, an immersion blender to blend the fruit (or you can use a potato masher instead), and a spoon to check if the jam is ready.
You can keep your jam in the fridge, of course, but if you are going to can it make sure that your water bath canner is ready and that you have all the canning utensils. We’ll also need a damp paper towel to clean the rim of the jar.
How to Make Orange Jam…
Start with ripe and juicy oranges…
Peel the oranges and remove as much of the white pith as you can then cut the oranges to small pieces and remove the seeds.
Place your orange pieces in a bowl and weigh the fruit on the kitchen scale. This will help you figure out how much sugar to use. I had just under 3 pounds of fruit here which means that I used just under a pound and a half of sugar.
Add the fruit and the sugar to the pot and turn the heat to medium-high…
After a few minutes, the sugar will melt and the mixture will come to a boil. Hold it on a gentle boil for five minutes stirring frequently…
Lower the heat to medium-low and keep cooking for a few more minutes before mashing your fruit. I used an immersion blender for this but you can also use a potato masher. You can blend the fruit all the way or you can leave large chunks of fruit.
Next, add your seasonings if you choose to use any. I added 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. You can also choose to use a cinnamon stick or a few pieces of ginger root or a couple of star anise and fish them out before you can the jam.
Stir the spices in and keep cooking for an additional 30 minutes or so before squeezing the juice of half a lemon into the jam and stirring it in. Also, add a few (4 or 5) lemon seeds and stir them in. They contain a lot of natural pectin and will help the jam jell.
After you add the lemon juice and seeds, keep stirring and watch the consistency of the jam. Keep in mind that it will keep thickening in the jars while it cools. To check if the jam is ready, scoop a little bit of jam in a spoon and set it aside for a few minutes to cool. Then, add it back to the pot and as it leaves the spoon you’ll be able to see how thick it is.
Canning Orange Jam…
While the jam is cooking, fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover the jars by about an inch. Set it on the stove top and turn the heat to high. Bring the water to a boil.
When the jam and the canner are ready…
- Wash the jars, lids, and bands with hot water and soap (you do not need to sterilize them since we are going to process them in the water bath canner for 10 minutes). Fill the jars leaving 1/4 inch of headspace…
- Use the bubble remover to remove air bubbles…
- Use the damp paper towel to clean the rim of the jar…
- Center the lid and close the jar with the band finger tight…
- Process the jars in the water bath canner for 10 minutes (4 oz, half pint, and pint jars). Adjust processing time if you live above 1000 feet in elevation according to the table that is in the recipe card below.
- Turn the heat off and uncover the canner. Let the jars rest in the hot water for 5 minutes before removing them. Place them on a kitchen towel on the counter to cool overnight.
Storing Canned Orange Jam…
Before you store your orange jam, make sure to check that your jars sealed by pressing the center of the lid. If there is no movement there it means that your jars are sealed and ready for storage. If you have a jar that didn’t seal, you can try to process it again or keep it in the fridge and use it first.
Wipe your jars, remove the band, and store them in the pantry for up to a year. I like to remove the band because sometimes it gets rusty and it’s hard to open the jar a few months later. Also, because it’s easier to monitor what’s happening in the jar without the lid in the way.
Serving Orange Jam…
Orange jam is a wonderful wintertime jam! It’s great on toast right next to your morning coffee (with or without cream cheese) and it’s great on some crackers. Like cranberry apple jam, it can be a fun addition to the holiday table and will go great with turkey and mashed potatoes.
You Might Also Like…
If you are looking for other ways to preserve oranges, check out my candied orange slices that are delicious and sweet. If you are looking for other ways to preserve winter citrus, check out how to preserve lemon peels and how to preserve whole lemons in salt and oil. This is a traditional method that I learned from my Moroccan mother.
For other fall and winter sweets, check out my kiwi jam and simple persimmon jam recipe and this creamy and delicious stovetop apple butter. If you are looking for more low sugar, delicious homemade jam recipes, try this cantaloupe jam, fig jam, mulberry jam, plum and apple jam, or this delicious cranberry apple jam that is another great fall jam to make around the holidays.
And for a list of all the jam recipes that are available here on the blog, check out my jam recipes page.
I hope that you’ll give this recipe a try! It really is simple and delicious. I am going to tie a cute, colorful string around my jars and gift them to the neighbors. Of course, I’ll make sure to leave a couple for us to enjoy!
- 7 oranges (about 3.5 pounds)
- 1.5 pounds of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4-5 lemon seeds
- Peel the oranges and remove as much of the white pith as you can. Dice the oranges and remove their seeds.
- Add the pieces of oranges to a mixing bowl and weigh the fruit (I ended up with just under 3 pounds of fruit).
- Add the fruit to a jam pot and add half of its weight in sugar (I added 1.5 pounds of sugar since I had about 3 pounds of fruit). Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and cook (stirring) a few more minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to blend your fruit.
- Add cinnamon and ginger and mix them in. See notes for options when it comes to seasoning this jam.
- Cook for about 30 minutes stirring frequently before adding the juice of half a lemon and its seeds (4-5). Stir the juice and seeds in.
- Cook for another 15 or 20 minutes or until the jam reaches your desired consistency. To check if the jam is ready, scoop a little bit in a spoon and set aside for five minutes to cool. then add the jam back to the pot. As it leaves the spoon you'll be able to see how thick it is. Take into consideration that the jam will keep thickening as it cools.
- To can orange jam... Fill your water bath canner with enough water to cover your jars by at least an inch. Place the canner on the stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Wash your jars, lids, and bands with hot water and soap.
- Fill your jars with the hot jam leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.
- Use the bubble remover to remove air bubbles.
- Clean the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel.
- Center the lid and close the jar with the band.
- Place the jars on the rack of the canner. Lower the jars into the boiling water, cover the canner, and process for 10 minutes (adjust processing time according to the table below).
- Turn the heat off, uncover the pot and let the jars rest in the hot water for five minutes before you remove them. Set them on a kitchen towel on the counter to cool overnight.
- Check that your jars sealed, remove the bands, wipe the jars, and store them in the pantry for up to a year.
You don't have to season this jam but I like it with ginger and cinnamon. You can also add clove, nutmeg, star anise, or allspice. I wouldn't add all of them, just choose a couple and experiment.
You can choose to use ground spices of a cinnamon stick, whole clove, or star anise and fish them out before you can the jam.
If you live above 1000 feet in elevation, adjust processing time according to the table below...
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Hi! I’m Lady Lee. I help homesteaders simplify their homesteading journey while still producing a ton of food! I am a single mother of four, I was born in Israel and raised in an agricultural commune called a Kibbutz. Now I homestead in central NC.