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Jan 13, 2012 04:59 PM

Marmalade Came Out Alittle too Bitter

Hey,does anyone know how to fix a batch of marmalde? It tastes really bitter, but the sweetness is great. - got too much of the pith from the oranges in the pot. I know, I know...but this only my first time. Could you give a guy a hand and please, no verbal spankings.

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  1. you can add more sugar, or add more fruit. it's a pretty forgiving product.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      I don't think more sugar is a good idea as OP is happy with sweetness . Perhaps more fruit, with no pith.

      1. re: magiesmom

        yeah, the sweetness level is perfect. I was trying to get rid of a big box of oranges that was on sale.Now, is there a way to extract bitterness w/o adding more? I had the same prob with my cranberry sauce last month.

        1. re: hetook

          cranberries are naturally tart, not bitter. the only way to adjust that would be more sweetener, or an additional savory component like ginger or orange zest. the latter doesn't "extract" anything, but adds more dimension so the tartness isn't as manifest.

          you can try adding a savory ingredient to the marmalade, but that may make it unpalatable for something like toast (or whatever floats your marmalade boat.)

          have you used up all the oranges?

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I did. Made a ton ofOrange-date muffins,and thought I could make some Orange-Date marmalade.I never put in any sugar. Was kind of a neat idea,i thought. I know the diff & those cranberries were bitter.I bought a bag of organic but, I wish i stuck to the ones i usually get.

            1. re: hetook

              you made cran sauce with no sweetener? i use just a trace, but still use some. i have an amazing proclivity for this fruit almost as is, lol.

              if your recipe used dates, you could add more of those.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                No,i used sugar for the cranberry sauce - don't know why it didn't work? For the marmalade I was flying solo,i glanced at the internet to see how long to cook it. Oh yeah, I used up all the dates too.

    2. Not a whole lot comes to mind. The only thing I can think of that might help a little without completely redoing the marmalade or making more marmalade (without pith) to mix it with is adding just barely enough salt that it doesn't register as salted. Salt counteracts bitter flavors and might make a noticeable difference. Of course, you'd have to be very careful not to add too much.

      5 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        Sounds banal, but do you have more oranges or tangerines (are you tired of looking at them)? (sorry - just now re-reading that you have a big box) Or maybe add honey or agave? The cranberries sound good. Or Raisins?

        You know what, stop tasting it for a bit. Go grab a piece of toast and some cheese (how were you thinking of serving this?) Sometimes one flavor is very overwhelming and you just need to use it sparingly.

        Or just throw caution out the door and turn that batch into chutney (with apples and oranges and ginger)? I'm a good cook, but I've had a few disasters. I hope you don't have to throw it out. (Sometimes through initial failure, we end up with a gem.) :) Good Luck!

        1. re: blythe

          I know the disaster/success phenom well. I'll use it up . The tough part is if it's great it will be hard to duplicate. "Start with overly bitter homemade marmalade then add.. ha.

        2. re: cowboyardee

          Salt. that sounds right. I read a pinch of B. soda may work too. Has anyone heard
          of this?

          1. re: hetook

            I know baking soda can neutralize a little bit of acid (sourness), but I've never heard of baking soda counteracting bitterness.

          2. re: cowboyardee

            Salt does indeed help with bitterness. I'd say that's a great suggestion. And as you suggested go very light.

            The OP could take a small amount to play with so as to not alter the batch should they not be happy with any of the suggested fixes.

          3. I added a sm.amount of sea salt last nite before bed. It worked alittle! I have a couple more ideas, I can mix in some concentr OJ ...then freeze the whole batch for a couple days.

            1. Hey, i would like to thank everyone! Just came out of th kitchen with an amazing orange chutney. I used alittle advice from all of you. I added alittle salt then simmered sugar and juice in some nice Spanish red wine ..put in spices too, including star anise. Wow.and just the right amount of bitterness. Thankx- the last time i needed help from CH, i didn't recieved one post! whaa! LOOK OVEN BAGS!

              1. Someone just referred me to your post. I had the same issue. For future batches I highly recommend the Blue Chair Fruit cookbook. My husband has been making many batches of different types of marmalades and they've all come out great with the exception of this one grapefruit one. I chalk it up to use not using pink grapefruit like it says and then also not tasting the juice ahead of time.