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 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.
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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
- Wash oranges finely. Grate just the orange colored part of them until their white surface. Wash them again.
- Slice just their peel (not inside) lengthwise.
- Put a long thread through a sewing needle.
- Roll the peel slices just like in the way you do for ‘pig in blanket’.
- String these peel rolls carefully.
- When you finish, take the needle and tie the ends of thread.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and put orange peel rolls string into this water.
- Wait it for a day changing the water couple of times. This will help remove bitterness.
- After a day, put peel rolls string in a pot and fill it with water until their top.
- Boil it for about 30 minutes and drain.
- Fill it with water again, boil it for another 30 minutes and drain.
- Repeat this step a few times. This will also remove bitterness.
- Drain them for the last time and put them on a paper towel to remove excessive water.
- Mix sugar and 6 cups water in a pot.
- 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.
- Then add 1 tbsp lemon juice, boil it a few minutes more and take it from heat. Let it cool.
- Cut the thread from different parts and remove orange peel rolls from thread.
- Place almonds inside each roll. And put them in jars with the syrup.
- You can keep them in refrigerator as they are better when served cold.