Bitter Orange Peel Jam (Mrabba Bou Sfeir)

mrabba bou sfeir 3

As I mentioned in the previous post, we can use the peel of the (bitter) Seville oranges to make jam. This kind of jam has a mild sour taste which is delicious, and isn’t very sweet. This is another traditional family recipe that I’m sharing with you. I personally like it a lot and I hope you will like it too.


  • 1 kilo Seville lemon
  • 500 grams sugar
  • 5 grams lemon salt


  • Wash the oranges and grate the outer shell slightly

mrabba bousfeir

  • Using a knife, cut horizontal lines to divide the peel into 6 parts, then soak them in cold water overnight

mrabba bousfeir 1

  • The next day, replace the water with fresh water and boil the peels for about 10 minutes then discard the water again
  • With a small spoon remove slowly the white of the inside of the shell, rinse them and allow to dry
  • When they are dry, weigh them; the sugar used should be the same weight as the orange peels
  • Soak again in cold water for 6 hours, changing water halfway
  • Prepare a needle and a thread, and sew each shell into a crescent shape then sew every 12 pieces together
  • Place the shells and the sugar in a pot and leave together for 6 hours

mrabba bousfeir 2

  • After allowing it to rest for the 6 hours, place the pot on a medium fire
  • Add one cup of water and boil until the sugar thickens, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking on the sides of the pot
  • Dissolve the lemon salt with 1 tablespoon water and add it to the sugar syrup, stir and put the fire off
  • Allow to cool then remove the thread from the shells and place in a jar with the syrupmrabba bou s


Melon Jam

Melon Jam is not very popular. For me however, eating it reminds me of fond memories from my childhood. When I was young, I used to go to my grand parents home often; one time, when I had arrived at their house, I could smell something very special cooking… but I couldn’t recognize it. Curious, I went to the kitchen and saw my grand mother peeling melon with the help of my mother and aunts, preparing sugar and other ingredients. That was the first time I saw anyone making Melon Jam.

Now, I make it for my own children and I feel the same way I felt when I saw how they made it for the first time. Today I am sharing this recipe with you. Trust me, you will love the nice aroma it makes.

A serving suggestion: Enjoy it with toast (as seen in the picture) or with croissant, crepes… Everything tastes better with this jam.


  • 1 kg melon peeled and seeds removed
  • 700 gs granulated sugar
  • 100 ml red vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1 teaspoon butter


  • Cut the melon into small cubes
  • In a casserole, mix the melon with sugar and vinegar and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly
  • Add the butter, the ground cinnamon and the half vanilla pod, cut lengthwise
  • Let it boil for 15 mins
  • Lower the heat and let the jam cook for about 25 mins, stirring often
  • Remove the vanilla pod
  • To check if the jam is ready, place a drop of jam in a cup of cold water; if it forms a ball then the jam is ready
  • Place the jam in jars, close them and place them upside down for 10 mins


Apple Jam

In the old days in Lebanon, people used to store their food in what we call in Arabic, a “Mouneh” or another term for the Lebanese Pantry. In the villages, these pantries were made usually under brick structures –  prove the equivalent of today’s fridges. Since fruits are not all available all year around we used to make jams from all kinds of fruits to enjoy them even out of season.

Today I made apple jam. Apple, known for its vitamins and minerals is an ideal jam for the cold winters in the mountains in Lebanon, and since some would grow apples near their homes, it was common to find them in the Mouneh of people’s village homes.

I would like to share with you my mother’s recipe for apple jam, which my mother herself took from her mother.


  • 1kg of yellow apple
  • one  lemon
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • Wash the apples, peel them, remover the seeds and cut into quarters
  • Cut the lemon and rub the apples so they wont turn black color
  • Put the apples in a casserole, cover it with 3 cups of water and boil until it becomes tender
  • Remove the apples and put aside. Add the sugar to the boiling water with the cinnamon stick and let it boil for 5 minutes
  • Put the apples back to the water and let it boil on a medium heat fire
  • Reduce the heat and and let it simmer on a very low fire until the color of the apples turn like honey color and it thickens also like honey consistance
  • If the apples get dry before it reaches the desired color, you can add a little bit of water.
  • Put the apple jam in a jar, when it becomes cold close the jar tightly.