How to Make Calamondin Orange Marmalade: A New Orleans Visit

We just got back from a fast weekend trip to New Orleans to attend another baby shower for Lauren, hosted by friends of her mother-in-law, Karen.  My sister, my mom, and I took the drive down and were glad we got to see Lauren before the baby comes and to experience another baby shower with her down in her home turf.  We do not want to miss anything baby related these days, so I’m happy that I’m able to go on these trips on the spur of the moment.

Did I mention that I love my job?  OH do I!  I love having the flexibility to do things like this baby shower and still work at home (or on the road).  Blessing, it is!

So, we really just spent some family time together and got to see Lauren and Philip’s house more put together, since when we were there in September they had just moved in.

While we were there, Lauren and my mom canned orange marmalade using these cute oranges that are growing in their backyard, called Calamondins. I had never heard of this type orange before, but they are small and tart little oranges and so very cute.  Think kumquats in size and definitely not sweet to eat.

orange trees

Lauren Google searched and found a recipe that someone had used to can these Calamondin oranges, so that’s what they used.

mom and lauren picking

They went out and snipped off enough oranges to make a batch (made 8 little jars).

pretty little oranges

Brought them in and washed them well.

cutting stems

The are beautiful little fruit, but I tasted one and yes, they are tart.  Definitely not good to eat all alone.

mom cutting stems

Snipping off the leaves and stems.

cutting up oranges

They then cut and seeded all the little Calamondins until there was enough to boil.

sliced oranges

They sliced them in thin slices, removing the seeds as they went.

boiling in water

The first afternoon, they boiled the oranges the recommended time and then put it in the fridge until the next day.

adding sugar

Next day, they added the sugar and used a candy thermometer to watch it reach the right temp.

mom and lauren

Then after sterilizing the jars and getting the lids ready to go, it was time to fill the jars.

pouring in jars

It’s a beautiful color and the rinds are still in there too, adding a more intense citrus flavor. The rind is not tough, but soft.

wiping lids

Wiping down the edges and then adding the lids.

adding lid

Adding the lid which will seal.

screwing on lid

Then screwing on the top.  One by one, each lid popped indicating they were sealed.

finished jars

And don’t they look pretty?

orange marmalade

We tasted it on some toast with butter and it was very delicious.  It’s not probable that too many people have this citrus fruit growing in your backyard, but just in case you have access, below is the recipe.

Lauren found a blog with this recipe, so I’m linking over to Gardening on the Go and you can read all about the calamondin oranges and the recipe she used to can them.

master bedroom

I snapped a few pics while I was there of their decorating progress in the master bedroom.  I shared this room with you earlier, but it’s looking great.

master furniture

The dresser she found is so pretty painted with Annie Sloan gray paint.


The girl she bought it from did a great job with the painting.

dresser in guest room

And she helped her get the dresser that we painted all finished up too. This is in her guestroom, painted Annie Sloan Country Gray and they sanded it down and waxed it.  She found the hardware at Hobby Lobby and this dresser got a wonderful facelift.

guestroom dresser

Updated guestroom dresser.

tree collage

I had to share Lauren’s tree with you, since she still had it up until after New Years when we were there.  She has been collecting these beautiful Christopher Radko (and knock-off Radko) ornaments since college days and now has a huge collection of beautiful glass ornaments.  Her tree is SO pretty and sparkly with all these gorgeous colors.  Their kids are going to love this big 9’ tree all decked out for Christmas.  It was hard for me to really get great pics of it, but I did the best I could.

laurens tree

Here it is at night!  Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Lauren tree undecorated

Here’s a look at the tree without all the ornaments.  It’s sort of hard to tell, but the branches of this tree are spaced apart just right to allow for hanging these types of ornaments.  It’s a really neat tree that she got through the Atlanta mart and it’s perfect for her collection of beautiful glass ornaments.

I’ll be back tomorrow with pics from the shower.  She’s all set now with baby things!

- Rhoda


  1. You all fit in a lot on your little weekend trips! That jam looks wonderful! And the tree is gorgeous! I’m always at the shows at the Atlanta Mart – I am going to look at the trees this week while I’m there That tree is beautiful! And Lauren looks great!

  2. You are ambitious, long drive, busy weekend and still managed to get a project in, such a sweet picture of your Mom and Lauren over the stove working together. Your photography skills are improving, I want to reach out and try that toast with the marmalade on it…

  3. Loved seeing Lauren’s pretty tree and ornaments and the pics of your mother and Lauren making the marmalade! That photo of the toast and marmalade makes me want to reach out and take a bite!

  4. Almost makes me want to make jam….almost! What sweet photos of your mom and Lauren! Lucky girl! I am happy that your job allows you to travel and share your experiences with us! You are a lucky girl too!

  5. Sweet pictures of Lauren and her grandmother – making memories! So glad you get to do these trips and bring us along! You are truly blessed.

  6. Love the tree! I never heard of that type of orange either. However since moving to SC I now see many kumquats…..

  7. The orange marmalade looks of my favorites!…the tree is beautiful..such a fantastic shape and love the bedroom…such a calm retreat!…Glad you had wonderful time in New Orleans.

  8. I have stayed a couple of times at a vacation rental home that had these oranges in the yard. They are tart, indeed! I used that to my advantage and made a Key Lime pie with them. I figured Key Limes are small, tart, so why wouldn’t these work well. It was a very good pie.

  9. Just a few hours east of New Orleans, we have lots of satsuma trees, which these look just like, but satsumas are sweet, so I’m curious about this form of citrus. Very interesting, and I love her tree!

  10. Barb Hudson (Yankoski) says

    Enjoy sharing your wonderful visit with your daughter – her home is as lovely as she is and you can see the touches she has added that are similar to what you would do. Loved, loved, loved the pictures of Lauren and her grandma cooking the jam especially the one with the baby bump showing as it felt like the wee one was participating too. I wondered if small oranges we get here on the west coast of Canada called Clementines could be used in this recipe? I will try it with them and let you know. You are so lucky to be able to travel when you want and incorporate the trips into your work. Thanks for sharing and as always, cheers and hugs from Canada’s west coast.

  11. Hi Rhoda, and Happy New Year to you! Your marmalade looks scrumptious. Very pretty. We have calamondin in the Philippines, where they are called kalamansi. You hardly ever see them so big and orange there, as they are often picked while smaller and still green. They make a wonderful lemonade-type juice. I love one squeezed into my lightly-sweet tea, too.

  12. I always love the posts you do on your family. Your mom is awesome, and I love it when she cooks something! Everything was beautiful! Can’t wait to “meet” this baby when she shows up!

  13. I use to make orange marmalade each year and give out as small Christmas gifts but I have gotten away from it. Your post reminds me of how good it is on a warm piece of bread. This is a very good tutorial.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. I loved seeing your mother and niece enjoying time in the kitchen. Those memorirs are.priceless. And her Christmas tree is lovely!

  15. Rhoda’s mom making orange marmalade with her granddaughter Lauren, now really, how cute is that! And in all seriousness, I felt like I could taste that marmalade and butter on that toast. That is one awesome picture. Thanks for sharing, Rhoda!

  16. I loved Lauren’s Christmas tree and I’m very curious where she got it and what it is called. Do you think you could find out and email me? Thanks. Toni

  17. I’m new to your blog – found it through MKA! The orange marmalade looks delicious and beautiful in the jar. I’m a jelly maker but I’ve never tried orange marmalade. A question about the dresser – I’ve used Annie Sloan paint once on an old deacon’s bench. I used the soft neutral wax after the paint dried and rubbed it in so there was a soft sheen. If I’m reading your post correctly – it looks like you sanded the piece after applying the paint but before waxing. A light sanding around edges or all over sanding? Thanks for any tips.

    • Barbara, thanks for stopping by. Yes, you sand lightly on the edges where you want distressing to show and then apply the wax. Buff to a sheen after that.

  18. Dear Rhoda,
    I am reading your blog from a very far country and enjoy every newsletter you send.
    Last Saturday morning I made the jam from dozens of oranges picked from my tree, after distributing hundreds of them to friends and family.
    I followed your instructions except I did not check the temperature. I trusted my eyes and the frozen plate test.
    The result? 20 jars of great orange jam, not too sweet, with a hint of pulp biterness, exactly as it should be.
    Thanks and continue to send your lovely articles,

    • HI, BC, thank you for sharing that! I love that you live so far away and you have the very same Calamondins?? So glad it turned out well & thank you for reading!

  19. I grew up in Naples, FL. Our neighbor had a calamondin tree and made marmalade from them each year. My mom grafted her tree and started making marmalade too! The calamondin is a unique citrus! There is no comparison to other marmalade once you have tasted it! Orange marmalade becomes tasteless! LOL Now we live in Costa Rica and we have two calamondin trees! Mom is still making her marmalade from them and I had two pieces of homemade bread this afternoon with calamondin marmalade slathered on top! My mom’s recipe is different than the one you used. We also use the seeds to make a pectin for the marmalade. Love your pictures!

  20. Hi Rhoda,

    What a lovely treat to find you. I recently bought a Calamondin orange tree which I have in my ‘orangerie’, a big sunny room in my Vermont house with floor to roofline windows facing east and west and which grabs as much sun as possible. The tree is full of ripening fruit and I plan to make marmalade as soon as I have enough.

    Thank you so much!

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