November 25, 2015
If any of you are anything like me, you have a glut of Mandarin oranges in some corner of the kitchen, most likely because you’ve out of gumption to eat your way through that entire box, and yet you keep on buying them because they’re in season and it seems like a good idea. Years ago I began looking for alternate uses for Mandarin oranges (try them in smoothies and milkshakes, by the way – just pop them in peeled and whole) - one of my favorite things to make is Mandarin jam, which isn't at all like marmalade - it's soft and slightly runny and sweetly orangey without the big chunks of peel.
To festive it up even more, add a handful of fresh or frozen cranberries as it simmers, and up the sugar to 3 cups. Mandarin jam makes a great gift, in a glass jar tied with a bow. (If you really like the recipient, throw in a batch of freshly baked scones.)
2 lbs mandarins, mini or full-sized
2 1/2 cups sugar
juice of 2 lemons
Wash and zest the mandarins – I like using a Microplane grated to do this; it’s nice and sharp, and you can get the orange part off while leaving the white pith underneath. Set the zest aside and peel the oranges, then chop the flesh, working over a bowl or on a chopping board with a gutter to catch the juices. Pick out the seeds and put the chopped fruit into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until not quite smooth.
Combine the puree, zest, sugar and lemon juice in a large, heavy saucepan or small pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally to make sure it’s not burning on the bottom, for about half an hour. Test by dropping a small spoonful on a chilled saucer – when you poke it with your finger, it should wrinkle.
Divide into jars or freezer containers and refrigerate for up to a month, or freeze for up to 4 months.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
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