Bitter Orange Peel Jam

Bitter Orange Peel Jam |

Mom II used to live in Turgutreis, Bodrum before moving to another city. Bodrum is located in Aegean region, on the West of Turkey. Besides being famous for its untouched bays and paradise like beaches, this city is also famous for its citrus fruits. You can even see citrus trees in the city center. And these are definitely different from the fruits you buy from markets. They have such a distinctive fragrance that you have that dilemma of eating or smelling. You know you can’t do both at the same time. when you eat, it’s all gone!

Bitter Orange Peel Jam |

Bitter orange appears in February and its bitter flavor is almost gone towards the end of the month. People in this city make orange marmalade from sweet orange while they make jam from bitter orange (Sour orange or Seville orange) especially at that time of year. I’m originally from the South of Turkey, and this jam is also popular there. Although its name calls for breakfast, it’s a little different from regular jams. Jams are typically served at breakfast in Turkey, but this one is mostly served as dessert to end up dinner. Also, you can serve this to your guests along with Turkish coffee. They make a great combination of balanced flavors.

Mom II gave us two jars of bitter orange peel last year and we still have one of them as  we stopped eating sweet things like jam months ago because of blood sugar problems. I was thinking of writing about it here, but wasn’t sure when. I received a comment today asking for the recipe of this jam. And I decided not to wait any longer to share it with you before giving it to a friend as a gift. So here is mom II’s recipe.

Bitter Orange Peel Jam |


5 from 1 reviews
Bitter Orange Peel Jam
A dessert like jam with bitter orange.
  • 8 bitter orange
  • 1 kilo sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 almonds, raw
  • 6 cups water
  • extra water
  1. Wash oranges finely. Grate just the orange colored part of them until their white surface. Wash them again.
  2. Slice just their peel (not inside) lengthwise.
  3. Put a long thread through a sewing needle.
  4. Roll the peel slices just like in the way you do for ‘pig in blanket’.
  5. String these peel rolls carefully.
  6. When you finish, take the needle and tie the ends of thread.
  7. Fill a large bowl with cold water and put orange peel rolls string into this water.
  8. Wait it for a day changing the water couple of times. This will help remove bitterness.
  9. After a day, put peel rolls string in a pot and fill it with water until their top.
  10. Boil it for about 30 minutes and drain.
  11. Fill it with water again, boil it for another 30 minutes and drain.
  12. Repeat this step a few times. This will also remove bitterness.
  13. Drain them for the last time and put them on a paper towel to remove excessive water.
  14. Mix sugar and 6 cups water in a pot.
  15. Put orange peel rolls string into this pot. Boil them over average heat until it has the right consistency and orange peel rolls lose color.
  16. Then add 1 tbsp lemon juice, boil it a few minutes more and take it from heat. Let it cool.
  17. Cut the thread from different parts and remove orange peel rolls from thread.
  18. Place almonds inside each roll. And put them in jars with the syrup.
  19. You can keep them in refrigerator as they are better when served cold.


  1. says

    Amazing jam!! I really love orange jam, but I never tried to make it. This looks really good

  2. megi says

    These look amazing! I absolutely love the curled up look, most candied oranges I have seen (including what I make) is simply cut into long strips, these look really elegant and I can just imagine how good it would look on a fancy chocolate tart.

    • says

      Aren’t they so cute? Chocolate tart with these curled orange peels would definitely be a hit!

  3. says

    This is delightful. I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever have the chance to find bitter orange in Eastern Canada. Is it possible to make this with navel oranges or even something similar with lemons? The roll ups with string are so intriguing and gorgeous.

    • says

      Haven’t seen this jam made with regular orange or lemon here. But I think it is worth trying.

  4. Kate @ says

    My mom used to make these all the time when we were younger and lived in Macedonia … I don’t think I’ve had them since I was a little kid. Thank you for reminding me… I’d love to give these a try!

  5. says

    Saw your link on twitter and goodness, it really looks good! We don’t use jam very often, but this is one I’d like to make one day. THanks!

  6. says

    How beautiful…and I’m sure the flavor is amazing. One of my friends was eating an orange today in class….I was jealous. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. May the middle of your week be full of joy and laughter.

  7. Heather says

    Hı Zerrın Many thanks for your bıtter orange peel recıepe we were gıven some from our neıghbours last year and ıt so tasty but dıd not know how to make ıt we wıll be makıng some ın a few weeks tıme and wıll let you know how we get on. we lıve ın the south coast of Turkey and there ıs plenty of these oranges ın the vıllage.Many thanks agaın best wıshes to you and your famıly Heather

    • says

      Oh! Are you living in Turkey? Maybe in Antalya? They grow bautiful oranges there too. Would love to hear your result.

  8. says

    Oh, this recipe has got me very excited. I love “marmalade” you can eat with a spoon and when I saw these gorgeous, delicate little rolls I was transported to another time and place. In another few months Seville oranges will make their appearance here and I will definitely make these then. Can’t wait!

  9. says

    Your jam is beautiful and sounds delicious, Zerrin! I would love to make this now with all the delicious citrus that’s available!

  10. OysterCulture says

    This jam, just sounds delicious and not what I think of jam. I can see it would be a perfect accompaniment to many things, coffee of course, tea, What a treat to share.

  11. says

    Wow, I’m glad to have found your blog. I’ve been looking hard on the net for Turkish food blogs in English. I mean real foodie blogs, not touristic ones. I love your photos and recipes.
    My dream is to move down to Bodrum or Mugla and live close to the nature. I’ll live my dream through your blog for now. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Namie, glad to hear that you love my blog. Guess what? Our dreams are the same :) That’s my pleasure if you feel closer to your dream via my blog. Cheers from Turkey!


  1. […] I’m tacking the Turkish cuisine today. I love discovering unusual and native ingredients and incorporating them into cooking. I was given this strange looking fruit preserve, turunç, whose identity was revealed through the google search as bitter orange or Seville orange. Of course, I knew  Seville orange but not in this look, which reminded me of animal intestines or something. So when Mr.O’s mum, with a suggestive look, held one piece up to my curious face, I was a bit scared.  But after knowing what it was, I was amused by the discovery because we have similar fruit called Yuja, which is unedible sour citrus, therfore made into marmalade or tea. My mum uses the marmalade when cooking for its aroma and effect of getting rid of odors in fish or meat. Anyway, it was very sweet and apparently according to the Ottoman customs, was offered as a spoon sweet (Aegean Eating) to show the host’s hospitality. Another recipe for Bitter Orange Jam is found on Give Recipe. […]

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