Every year without fail, we will be left with loads of mandarin oranges, leftovers from the Chinese Lunar New Year. The man of the house INSISTS on getting a box/carton of oranges each year (“Get ‘kum’ (gold in chinese) into the house”), even though we don’t eat a lot. This is because excessive intake of mandarins cause sore throats and I don’t think anyone likes experiencing that.
My fruit drawer in my refrigerator has at least 15-20 mandarins leftover, some of which may possibly be soggy, but anyway, this year, I decided not to let them all go to waste.
So two days ago, I sorted out the mandarins and decided to make some Mandarin Marmalade out of them. I love eating bread with butter and marmalade, and what could be better than homemade Mandarin Marmalade? 🙂
The recipe I referred to called for 16 mandarins, but I decided to cut it down to half. Also, because of the tedious nature of the preparation process (removing the orange peel and then removing seeds and removing the pith), I had to split the process into 2 days.
However, once everything was prepped, all I had to do what dump the ingredients into the pot and simmer and boil it, stirring occasionally, of course.
Here’s my problem though. The recipe said to stir for about 1 hour until it thickens, but my batch of marmalade was sitting on the stove for at least 5-6 hours and it was still not set! I had to turn off the flame and let it rest overnight, and then continue the next morning! &*%$#(*&^
Well the next morning, eventually it did set and I managed to scoop it up into 2 glass jars. You will see that the color of my mandarin marmalade is a little dark, and that’s because I used molasses instead of regular sugar.
My kids said it looked like “Super Lutein Jam“! Hahaha!!! I don’t blame them though…the color is very similar to that of the health supplements my family is taking! 🙂
Tastewise, it is very midly sweet with a bitter twist to it, because of the mandarin peel. I really like the tang, but some might not. And it’s awesome eaten with some butter on homemade bread (which I made after the marmalade was ready).
I stored the mandarin marmalade in glass jars and placed them in the refrigerator once they had cooled down and they began to thicken a bit more too. It’s now the perfect consistency of jam, or rather like fruit preserve.
Unfortunately I have just run out of butter today, so if you’d like to come over for tea, just bring along a tub of butter, will ya? I’ll provide the homemade bread and marmalade. 🙂
Mandarin Marmalade Recipe (yield 6-7 150ml jars; this recipe can be halved)
16 mandarins (2kg)
1.2kg sugar (I used molasses)
6 cups of water
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Peel mandarins carefully, try keeping peels in one piece if possible. Then cut half of the peels (about 8 mandarins) into thin strips (julienne strips) and set aside.
2. Remove as much of the pith as possible and set aside.
3. Cut the mandarins half crosswise, remove the seeds and set aside too. Use a clean handkerchief or muslin cloth, wrap the seeds and pith together tightly.
4. Add mandarins, peel strips, the parcel of pith and seeds, lemon juice, sugar, water into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.
5. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat down to medium and let it bubble away for about 1 hour, stir occasionally until jell point is reached. (Took me 6-7 hours though!!)
Jell point Testing: Put a saucer in the freezer and chill it. Take it out when ready to test, add a dollop of jam onto saucer. Draw a line on the jam with a knife, if it wrinkles, then the jam is ready. If not, keep boiling the mixture for another 10 minutes and test again.
6. Once ready, remove the parcel and discard the pith and seeds. Pour the marmalade into hot sterilised jars. Seal 15 mins later, or when the jars are cool enough to handle.
How to sterilise jars: Preheat oven to 160C. Wash jar with water and dish washing liquid, shake well but no need to pat dry, leave on a baking tray and put in the oven. Let it sterilised for at least 20 minutes. Time it well so you take the jars out of the oven when your marmalade is ready. DO NOT add cold food into hot jar, it will shatter. Seal the jar when is cool enough to handle.