Cruising the Blogs: Orange Marmalade in the Microwave

Sunday March 4, 2012

the winter citrus bounty

My friend, award-winning food writer, journalist, food scout, restaurant critic, reporter on the lam, her own t-shirt boutique pusher, dancer in the dark, dragon boat rowing in the sun, and former editorial boss at the San Jose Mercury News is Carolyn Jung, aka FoodGal (married to her now famous counterpart, MeatBoy the grill meister). She always has the best darn recipes, from her father’s steak sauce to the best cookies and cocktails. I keep suggesting she write a cookbook one of these days with her family recipes. She is a professional restaurant hopper, and I don’t think she goes anyplace without her miniature camera in her iPhone so she can record the plate before it disappears into her mouth. She loves to eat and talk about it. She is so engaging, we all like to read and hear about it, too.

So of course I was pleased as punch when she made my microwave orange marmalade, adapted to her stash of Meyer lemons. Here is her blurb. She added vanilla bean and fresh thyme since she is more creative and bold than myself, who loves plain ol plain ol.

I like the microwave for jams as you can make a small amount, utilizing your over ripe fruit if need be, and not hassle with canning.

This marmalade is different than the traditionally made, where you slice and boil the rinds and end up with rinds floating in the transparent sugar base — a gigantic sticky mess on the kitchen counters, much less a sink full of. This marmalade has the rind ground in the food processor, then combined with the rest of the ingredients and cooked like lickity split in the microwave. It is great for spreading, but also great to use as a glaze on poultry or ham. It is less sweet and more citrusy than commercial. Carolyn nicknamed it “minute marmalade”.

Be sure to have at least a 2-quart glass measuring cup or microwave-proof bowl to give the marmalade room to expand while cooking without boiling over. You can find the big Pyrex measuring cups often at the kitchen equipment section of the supermarket. Or order my very most favorite measuring cup/batter bowl from Pampered Chef ( Nice, convenient, easy to hold. It is one of my favorite gifts to send for birthday gifts.

Carolyn Jung's Orange Marmalade with vanilla, thyme, and meyer lemons/photo couresy of FoodGal

Minute Marmalade by Carolyn Jung

Tuesday, 18. January 2011

Want to make jam when you’re, um, in a jam for time?

This no-fuss, no-mess, no-time-at-all recipe allows you to do just that — with help from your microwave.

My good friend and fellow Bay Area food writer Beth Hensperger has just come out with her latest cookbook, “Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook” (Harvard Common Press) that will have you looking at this common appliance in a whole new way.

Let’s face it — most of us use our microwave oven primarily for reheating leftovers. But it can do so much more, as evidenced by Hensperger’s book. Roast peanuts? Yup. Toast coconut? For sure. Dry fresh pasta? You bet. Dry fresh herbs? But, of course.

You’ll even find a microwave version of my Dad’s “Foil-Wrapped Chicken” in the book, of which I just received a review copy. Only, this version  is safe for the microwave because it uses parchment paper instead.

Her microwave “Orange Marmalade” takes just minutes to make. You can even turn it into “Meyer Lemon-Orange Marmalade” as I did, and add fresh chopped thyme for a twist. This easy recipe is a boon to those who have citrus trees in their yards and are trying to find new ways to use that bounty at this time of year.

Her microwave “Orange Marmalade” takes just minutes to make. You can even turn it into “Meyer Lemon-Orange Marmalade” as I did, and add fresh chopped thyme for a twist. This easy recipe is a boon to those who have citrus trees in their yards and are trying to find new ways to use that bounty at this time of year.

The sliced fruit — both peel and flesh — gets chopped in a food processor. Pour it into a Pyrex measuring cup, add sugar and a dash of light corn syrup. Zap in the microwave for a couple minutes, transfer to a jar with a cover and allow to cool. That’s it.

Albeit the consistency isn’t exactly like that of a very jelled jam; it’s more like a thick puree, which I kind of like. It’s fab spread on bread, biscuits, scones and toasted pound cake. What I especially adore is the bright, zingy taste. This is one jam where the freshness hasn’t been cooked out of it. You can still taste the lively citrus. And who can resist that?

Carolyn Jung’s Meyer Lemon-Orange Marmalade with Thyme

Makes about 1 cup


  • 1 navel orange (preferably organic), unpeeled, scrubbed, and quartered
  • 2 Meyer medium-size lemons, washed, cut into sixteenths, and seeded
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • Sugar (equal to the amount of pureed fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon Light corn syrup


Place orange, lemon slices and thyme in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until reduced to 1/4-inch pieces.

Transfer to a 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup. Note the amount and add an equal amount of sugar; stir. Note the amount and add 1 tablespoon corn syrup, which will prevent crystallization during cooling, per cup of orange-sugar mixture.

Microwave, uncovered on HIGH for 2 minutes. Microcook on LOW (10 percent power) or DEFROST for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened and the peel is tender. Be careful not to overcook. The mixture should fall from a spoon in thick drops.

Transfer to a storage jar. Let stand to room temperature; the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools. You can store the marmalade in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Variation a la Beth: Orange Marmalade — Omit the lemons and thyme. Place quartered orange in the bowl of a food processor and follow remaining directions.

chunkier cut

Adapted  and excerpted from “Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook” by Beth Hensperger (c) 2002, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site, then Carolyn’s as well.

Your Comments

4 comments Comments Feed
  1. Vicki Bensinger 04/03/2012 at 2:38 pm

    What a great recipe and I love how simple it is.

    I just happened to come to your blog because I was making Wheat Berries and wanted to see if I could make them in my rice cooker. When I googled it I came up with some comments and one of them mentioned your book which I plan to purchase on Amazon. In fact I just posted my recipe for a Wheat Berry Salad on my blog using the rice cooker. It was fantastic. So much easier than sitting over the stove making sure it doesn’t boil over or go dry.

    Thank you for the tips and I’ll be sure to check out your other books.

    Funny how things go in circles. I’m always posting on Carolyn’s blog. Glad to have found you.

  2. Carolyn Jung 05/03/2012 at 12:37 am

    I’m blushing! Good golly, thank you for all those kind words. Dancer in the dark, huh? The way I dance, I should ONLY be doing in pitch blackness. LOL
    And I sheepishly admit that I’m a Blackberry gal. Not that I don’t covet an iPhone (my husband’s in particular), but my fumble fingers can’t type worth beans on that touch keyboard. I think you need to come up with a recipe for making THAT easier. ;)

  3. Tawana 10/03/2012 at 11:22 pm

    I have been a fan of yours since Bon Appetit did a Cooking Class with you in 1985. It was after reading the 8 pages of recipes/pictures that I ventured into bread making. I still have the original article. I DO have a question for you. I am anxious to try your recipes for cakes and other things. I weigh my ingredients. It seems that each baker has a different weight that they go by for AP, Bread and Wheat flours. The range is crazy. My question is what gram/ounce weight do you go by, per cup? Thanks in advance for your help. Keep doing what you do…you are an inspiration!

  4. Beth 11/03/2012 at 9:29 am

    Hi Tawana. nice to have you catch up with me again. dont stress about the recipes that are written in standard measure…unless it is
    written in weight, just do casually with standard measuring cups with the dip and scoop method, stirring the flour first to aerate. If you get involved with the weights, it will take forever to transcribe
    and not be the way I wrote the recipes. BH

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