Navigate to Food section

Sicilian Orange Marmalade

April 01, 2021
Photo: Justin CovingtonPhoto: Justin Covington

Afew months ago, my late husband, Allan, and I visited Siracusa, the oldest Jewish town in Sicily to survive since ancient times. We stayed at a hotel called Alla Giudecca (The Jewish Quarter) in the reconstructed Jewish section of the city on the island of Ortygia. In the basement of this hotel, we walked down 58 steps to what was the largest mikvah in Europe in antiquity—with five pools. It is the oldest mikvah to survive in Europe and shows by its many pools the importance of the area’s large Jewish community, which had come from Greece. The mikvah was used until 1493, when the Jews were expelled from Sicily by the Spanish.

Featured in: Getting Into a Jam


  • 5navel oranges (about 3 pounds)
  • 2lbs sugar
  • 1cup orange liqueur, plus more as needed
  • Large pinch saffron (optional)
Yield: 4.5-5 cups


  • Step 1

    Wash the oranges and slice off the ends. Cut them vertically (through the poles) into quarters, then thinly slice crosswise. Put in a nonreactive bowl and mix gently with the sugar, orange liqueur and saffron, if using. Cover and let macerate for a few hours or up to overnight.

  • Step 2

    Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour, or until thick and jammy. Let cool for a few hours or overnight, then reheat and cook a little more if it hasn’t thickened (or dilute with water or more orange liqueur if too thick).

  • Step 3

    Transfer to glass jars and store in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 months.