I couldn't resist these mandarins at the market the other day.
Real mandarins, with branches and leaves.
No glossy, plumped up "wrapped in plastic" specimens here.
The man who sold them to me had a perplexed look on his face when I said I would be photographing them!
And they were a delight to eat too. Juicy, with a wonderful perfumed aroma. I love to peel back their skins and seeing that wonderful, gorgeous orange flesh.
So what does one do when they buy a box and can't finish them?
They make mandarin jam!
I suppose you could call it a marmalade but I couldn't tell the difference. Does marmalade have bigger chunks of orange in it?
I was hanging out to make my own jam for a while now. It's been ages since I'd featured one on the blog.
Remember this quick blackberry jam I made? That was over a year and a half ago.
I actually find the whole jam making process is very therapeutic.
For this mandarin jam I decided to flavour it with a little vanilla bean and a tiny bit of Greek mastic that I was given a while ago. I couldn't really taste the mastic and it was pretty much an afterthought. I probably need to increase the amount next time as I thought it would pair well with the mandarin jam.
Whatever the case, this was wonderful on toast and I also got to use it on another sweet treat (recipe next week).
This recipe is quite simple. With anything involving boiling liquids and whole pieces of fruit be careful and take care!
- 4 whole medium sized mandarins
- water for boiling
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup of caster sugar
- 1/2 a vanilla bean
- a pinch of Greek mastic
- Place whole mandarins (skin and all!) and lemon juice in a pot and barely cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer till mandarins are tender and soft to the touch.
- Remove mandarins from liquid and process in a food processor. Give them a few whizzes in the food processor but don’t let it all go mushy. We’re looking for a little texture here
- Return the fruit to the pot and add the sugar, vanilla bean and the mastic. Bring back to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Boil the mandarin jam mixture for about 30 mins – the seeds will rise to the surface during this time, and will be easy to remove
- Let the mixture cool and store in sterilised jars.