I love how nature provides us with everything we need, such as a tree full of the vitamin c goodness that are mandarins in the middle of winter. Our tree is crammed packed with the delicious little suckers and I have been eating them practically everyday.
Then I got to thinking, how do you preserve a mandarin, exactly? They can be juiced, sure, but they aren't the best for freezing or drying. Perhaps jarred in syrup? Then it dawned on me- marmalade!
I don't know if its because I'm getting older and can appreciate it more but I really am starting to adore marmalade. Honestly, this mandarin marmalade is really so delicious, I could eat it with a spoon. I don't often use spreads. I still have fig jam in the cupboard from 2 years ago. I have, however, used half a jar of mandarin marmalade in the last two days. That is obviously saying something.
Time: About an hour and twenty minutes. Seems like a long time, but an hour of that is just the syrup bubbling away on it's lonesome.
Makes: Three medium sized jars.
3 cups of raw sugar.
3 cups of water.
2 Cardamom pods, for fun (Optional).
Take the peel of the mandarins and julienne the peel of four of them. Dispose of the rest of the peel.
I wouldn't worry about removing the pith, because mandarins have so little pith anyway and it helps in the setting process as it contains a lot of pectin.
Chop the mandarin flesh into small pieces. Keep the seeds. They also contain pectin.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add all of the ingredients. Stir them continuously until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the syrup to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer away for about an hour.
You will know that the syrup is ready to become jam by putting a small amount on a saucer that has been sitting in the freezer. It should gel immediately.
Skim out all the seeds and the cardamom pods. They should have all risen to the surface.
Pour into jars that you have had boiling in a separate saucepan. Be careful not to burn yourself. Boiling the jars will sterilise them.