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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mandarin and Cranberry Marmalade with Warming Spices

Here is the first of several new marmalades I've made this year - Satsuma Mandarin oranges, cranberries and a combination of warming spices. Right now, I'm kicking myself for not freezing more fresh cranberries when they were readily available. Next year, I will stock pile!

For what it's worth, Miss Paula declares this to be her favorite so far. In fact, when I gave it to her to taste, after three big spoons full, she asked me to take it away for her own safety! This is very good for the usual applications - toast and yogurt. I think it will also be a welcome dessert filling or glaze.

Mandarin and Cranberry Marmalade with Warming Spices
1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
about 24 small Mandarins or other small tangerines
Juice of 1 lemon
6 cups sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
5 slices fresh ginger
2 whole cloves

Prepare jars, lids and boiling water bath. Place some saucers and spoons in the freezer.

Rinse and then roughly chop the cranberries. I usually run them through the slicing blade of my food processor. Set aside in an eight cup measuring cup.

Wash and peel the oranges. Stack sections of the peel and slice very thin. Save 1/2 cup of the sliced peel. Place the sliced peel and 4 cups cold water into a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, pull the segments into quarters and slice out the tough membranes where the segments meet in the middle of the fruit. Slice across the quarters at 1/4 inch intervals. Add the orange pieces to the cranberries, as they are sliced. After the peels have simmered for 30 minutes, drain, reserving liquid. Add the peels to the measuring cup. Add the simmering liquid to the measuring cup until the total of all the fruit and liquid reaches 8 cups.

Add the 8 cups fruit mixture and 6 cups sugar to a large pot. Break the cinnamon sticks into a few pieces and place them, with the ginger and cloves, into a wire mesh tea ball. Add this to the fruit and sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Cranberries have a lot of pectin and this jam will thicken sooner than other marmalades. I pulled mine off the heat at about 216 degrees. When it begins to thicken, test by scooping a small amount into one of the spoons from your freezer. Allow it to cool for a few minutes. You may want to reduce the heat while awaiting the results. When it is cool, but not cold, push it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is ready.

When desired thickness is reached, remove from heat and skim any remaining foam. Remove the tea ball. Allow to cool for one minute and stir. This helps to even distribute the solid bits throughout the marmalade. Carefully ladle into hot, prepared jars. Wipe the rims and top with lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and allow to cool overnight before labeling.

Makes about 7 half pint jars.

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