meyer lemon and blood orange marmalade

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

It all started innocently enough over pedicures with one of my girlfriends. We were at our favorite place, tucked away in the West Village, having a girls’ Sunday. I had raved about the place to her in the past and wound up getting her and her mother addicted to the tiny place where the nail technicians meticulously transformed your feet from wintry paws to moisturized, groomed, sparkling, and, dare-I-say, sexy toes. Aside from my nearly-decade-long gratitude for their attention to my feet, I am a huge fanatic of their citrus tea, which they serve upon request.

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

It was over cups of this citrus tea, that my friend issued a challenge, or rather – suggested an idea for this blog. We deduced that the tea was probably citrus marmalade dissolved in hot water. It was simple – but strangely delicious, seductively fragranced, and highly addictive. “Why don’t you reverse-engineer it,” my friend said, “You’re pretty good at that sort of thing.”

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

Emboldened by her faith in me, and excited by the idea, I rushed home to do some research on the topic. I wanted a marmalade that offered a hint of bitterness, to give the “tea” a bit more complexity. Having tasted the tea a few times, I could tell it was a blend of lemon and orange, with an emphasis on the lemon. Having decided on a ratio of three to one, lemons to oranges, I was ready. Or so I thought.

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

That afternoon, I was catching up on reading the New York Times. It’s not often that I don’t read the Dining section first thing on Wednesday mornings, coffee in hand as I try to wake up. But that was the week I had switched careers and everything was topsy turvy and I simply lost track of which day was Wednesday or Thursday or whatnot. I was so busy – the days blended into one. Scrolling down the articles – something caught my eye. And then I started to laugh.

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

There, right in front of me, sat the latest installment from Melissa Clark’s “A Good Appetite” column. The title read, “Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Marmalade”. I’ve been scooped – but only in the best possible way, and by a person whose palate and cravings most closely imitate my own. It was as if Melissa had anticipated my thoughts, and decided to help me out – bring me one step closer to the tea I’ve loved for so long.

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

I decided to just trust her on this one – her idea to blend the musky sweetness of Meyer lemons with the slightly bitter blood orange certainly sounded more complex and exciting than a regular lemon and Cara Cara blend. I happened to be out of sugar and so armed with only Demerara sugar, I had to make do. I cut up my citrus, checked for pits, and gently simmered away. The apartment, filled with a fragrance so sweet and sunny, brightened up; I couldn’t stop licking the spoon.

blood orange and meyer lemon marmalade

When it was ready, I couldn’t wait for the marmalade to come to room temperature – I greedily spooned some into my cup, poured hot water over it, and stirred. And when I tasted my homemade concoction, I was grinning from ear to ear – the brew I made tasted exactly like the tea I was longing for, the tea I thought I could only have while getting pampered. I sipped it on my couch, eyes closed, hands around the warm cup – the only thing missing was the foot massage.

Oh, and one more thing!
Speaking of Melissa Clark, I’ve been helping her out with a few projects. Check one of them out – there’ll be more to come. But at the moment, I’m sort of pinching myself from the sheer joy and delight that I get every night when I get home from helping her out. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had working, and I’m really excited for what’s in store!

Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Marmalade
Adapted from Melissa Clark, New York Times

To make the tea for yourself and see what the big fuss is all about, try dissolving about 2 teaspoons of the marmalade in roughly 10 ounces of hot water. Sip while hot and don’t forget to eat the candied, sweet rinds at the bottom.

3 medium Meyer lemons, ends trimmed
1 medium blood orange, ends trimmed
2 1/2 cups Demerara (raw) sugar


1. Place several small plates or saucers in the freezer.

2. Wash the citrus under warm running water. Half the lemons and orange in lengthwise, then cut each half into 1/8-inch segments, lengthwise. Pluck out any exposed membrane and remove the seeds.

3. Measure the cut citrus. You should have 2 1/2 cups, but if you have less, use the same volume of water and sugar as you have citrus. (If there are only 2 cups, for example, use 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar.) Place the citrus and the same volume of water into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook citrus until the peels are very soft and fully cooked, about 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Add the sugar to the pot, stir to combine. Turn the heat up to high and bring back to a boil; then lower the heat to medium and let the marmalade simmer until set. It should take about 20 to 30 minutes, but start checking after 15 minutes to see if it is set by spooning a little onto a chilled plate from the freezer. If the liquid sets, the marmalade is ready; if it’s still runny, cook a few minutes more and then check again. (If you using a candy thermometer, wait for the temperature to reach 222 degrees F.)

5. Allow marmalade to cool to room temperature before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and use within a month.

Makes about 2 cups.


  • Radish

    Cara – it’s call Jin Soon and there are 3 locations in the city – I love the West Village one. It’s amazing!

  • kickpleat

    How fun with the photos on Melissa’s site! And this marmalade looks amazing and bright. I admit to also loving marmalade tea – though it’s only delicious with homemade marm.

  • Mary

    There are no “coincidences”. The Universe, in whatever form you believe in, was trying to help you out and to reassure you that you have made the right career move.

  • Gail

    Locanda Verde serves an incredible bitter orange marmalade ‘scented’ toast w/their homemade ricotta for breakfast (drizzled w/truffle honey and flecked w/ fresh thyme, I might add). Hello Locanda One Tough Cookie via Sassy Radish!

  • Whitney

    I’m visiting NYC at the end of March for a week so I’m totally hitting up Jin Soon!

    Isn’t it funny how sometimes you are just craving a certain thing or wanting to figure out a recipe and it just smacks you in the face. I love the food writing world just for that.

  • Radish

    Gail – I just had that over Sunday brunch. It could’ve easily been my meal too! So delicious.

    Branka – right above the recipe, I give you proportions for the tea – hope that helps!

    Whitney – you will love Jin Soon! They are amazing. Just be sure to make an appt – the place is tiny and it is wildly popular.

  • sarah

    Your post comes at the most perfect time! For the last few weeks I’ve been searching for a marmalade recipe, and this one looks to be just perfect. I love lemons and blood oranges are my favorite citrus. I can’t wait to try it out.

  • Sean

    Hi Olga — you know me as Hedonia but I’m also the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

  • Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    I have Melissa’s cookbook and have been so pleased with everything I’ve tried that if you add her name to the words Meyer Lemon I’m already done in. Blood oranges too? Beautiful and I’m sure absolutely amazing.

  • Lana

    LOL! I have a plate or two that are souvenirs from lovely places I visited:)
    Your photos are amazing (as usual). I made Meyer lemon curd recently from a friend’s lemon tree (lucky!), but this marmalade looks very inviting, especially if it can be made into a sweet tea (I am teaching my girls to enjoy hot tea).

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I’m not sure how (or why) i managed to get out of whole foods the other day without a bag of meyer lemons and blood oranges. I saw them and they were absolutely stunning… but, for some reason, i decided not to purchase them. And now I’m kicking myself… hard. I’m dying to try out Melissa’s recipe.

  • Dana

    I wish someone else in the house other than me ate marmalade, then I would feel more warranted in making it. Maybe it will just have to be a treat for me.

  • Radish

    Brian – you should check this out before the Meyer lemon season is over.

    Dana – I like the idea of treating yourself – you should do it.

  • Radish

    Jane – I should have remembered to grab some for you for today. Why don’t I whip up a fresh batch when I’m back from Florida?

  • Christine

    Well I guess I best go buy some Meyers. This sounds delicious!

    Also, so very cool that you’re getting to work (a) doing something you love and (b) with Melissa Clark. I have a foodie crush on her in a bad way.

  • Brita

    Love love love!! Thanks O for the shout out. I can taste the tea while reading this!! When am I coming over to try it out? You know who to ask when up for a challenge ;)

  • Radish

    As soon as I’m back, I’m making another batch!! So then – but will make a batch for you! And of course thank you for the idea. I owe it to you!

  • Lael Hazan @educatedpalate

    LOVELY combo and terrific post. Congratulations on working with Melissa Clark! We have Meyer lemons; however, our blood oranges haven’t been good this year. I may just have to break down and purchase them to make this. Giuliano enjoys marmalade, perhaps I can get the girls to like it too.

  • Kathy

    I thought the Meyer lemon season was VERY short, like maybe only a few weeks. Is it longer than that? Can you ONLY make this marmalade with Meyer lemons?

  • Radish

    Kathy – we still have our Meyers in the stores – so I think the season is a bit longer. I would stick with Meyers as opposed to other lemons because of the unique taste qualities the Meyer lemon imparts onto the marmalade. Maybe this is a good one to tuck away until next Meyer lemon season in your area?

  • Sharmila@CheekyChilli

    Loving the coral jewel tones of this marmalade! Love Meyer Lemons. I’m always looking for ideas to use them and this clubs them so neatly with another favourite citrus, blood oranges. Can’t wait to try it, especially given that it will last a month in the fridge; though I’m guessing it will be gone in a week. My husband a sucker for anything citrus.
    Also congratulations on your projects with Melissa Clarke. I adore her writing and go to sleep with “In the Kitchen with a good appetite” on my bedside table. You’re so lucky to be able to work with her.

  • Lizzy

    Hello! I made this recipe the other night (my first EVER attempt at a marmalade/jam/anything of the sort). It tasted delicious, but I had a hard time telling when it was done.. Can anyone give some advice on how to do the “put a bit on a frozen plate and see if it sets” technique? As in, how much to spoon on there, how long to wait, what to look for etc. My first batch has now become one big rock of yummy goo, but the flavor is so wonderful (and I still have 3 meyer lemons left) that I have to try again! Thanks!

  • Radish

    Lizzy – when you’re looking to see if the jam/preserves has “set” you’re seeing if a drop or two “run down” or “run and thicken” running down the frozen plate. Marmalade isn’t supposed to be runny, so if it’s spreadable then you’re in good shape.

  • molly

    Hey, congratulations on the photo gig! What fun.

    Never in a million years would it occur to me to make marmalade tea, though for all that, I love the idea. I tore out Melissa’s recipe when it first ran. Now I’m thinking I’d best get on it, post-haste!

  • Mairi @ Toast

    On hot buttered toast….would be heavenly. So wish we got blood oranges here in NZ…seem to be scarce as hens teeth! Must try next batch of marmalade with brown sugar. Though I think I may have to curb my preserving as jars of fruity goodness growing weekly at quite a rate as I try to bottle summer ;)

  • MJ

    This marmalade is fantastic! I printed out your recipe on Friday, found the Meyer Lemons and blood orange at my local gourmet produce place, and made it with regular local beet sugar. I think it took more than 15 minutes to firm up, but it did set/firm, and is delicious! Very fresh and zesty tasting with a beautiful pale coral-pink color – thank you for the great recipe!

  • Sheri Richards

    You saved the day with this recipe! It is impossible to find the multi-citrus marmalade that you can find in every single grocery store in Canada and my husband has been pining away for it. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  • marcine m.

    Doubled the recipe; had little luck finding meyer lemons, so I switched the ratio of lemons to blood oranges. Can’t wait to try with muffins, toast, tea, you name it! Thank you kindly!

  • Skye

    I”m making this now, but it took more fruit to get to the right amount of pulp. I used 3 lemons and 3 oranges to get there. So far, it’s taking a lot longer to thicken up also. Not sure why. I’m planning to seal it in the water bath canner 5 minutes when it is set.

  • Radish

    Skye – jamming is one of those things that’s more of an art than a science. Plus depending on BTUs your range has, plus other factors. I find my batches vary from one to another. But jam, thankfully, is forgiving. Either way, you will have a tasty marmalade on hand!

  • Jasmine

    hay i was just wondering if you absolutely have to use dermera sugar or if its okay if you just use plain old granulated sugar or brown sugar? Id love to hear back if possible, thanks!

  • foldhere

    The tea you get at the nail salon is probably korean citron tea- from the name, it sounds like it’s a korean place. And it is basically a citron marmalade (usually made with honey), that they add to hot water.

  • Shae

    Would this marmalade be safe for long-term storage if sealed properly? If so, how long in the water bath would you recommend? I would love to keep some in my pantry throughout the year. It looks lovely!

  • olga

    Shae – yes, it would work for long term storage. I’d put give it about 10 to 15 minutes in the water bath. And it’s a lovely thing to have on hand year-round!

  • Elise

    The tea sounds definitely like korean citron tea. You can get it at any Korean store in the winter. It is a staple in my house after I had it at my korean in laws.

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