Christmas on toast! This is packed full of sunny flavours! I had a large bag of clementines left from Christmas so decided to venture into my first foray of marmalade making, my thanks go to http://www.seasonsandsuppers.ca for their great Clementine Vanilla Marmalade for their hassle free recipe. So many I looked at said to soak for hours on end, separate the peel from the pulp and wrap the pulp in muslin bags, and although I haven’t followed faithfully(I thought the amount of liquid for the jam making process too low for one, and I didn’t have vanilla pods) I loved that they sliced and used the whole orange, labour of love I can do but why do so when you don’t have to? The great thing with marmalades is you don’t need pectin, citrus fruit produces it. The marmalade from this recipe is so good it’s even converted my non jam loving daughter!
I’m making up another batch within 24 hours as I am giving a jar to a few friends, and I only got 4 jars from this! I am also very excited about the thought I can dip into a jar of this and prolong the window of opportunity to enjoy this wonderful fruit over the next few months. 2011 is going to be the year of the preserve for me, as Spain very much runs with the seasons and I want to bottle as much up as I can while things are plentiful. It means I will be trying a water bath with the jars so I’ll let you know how it goes.
Thanks also to the experienced jam makers for the tip to test its setting point by putting a saucer in the freezer and when you think your jam is ready put a spoonful on the saucer, pop it back in the freezer and after a few minutes check by running your finger through it, if it wrinkles it’ll set. Even though I have a jam thermometer this tip helped more than the temperature of the mix!
Making this did take longer than the two hours suggested but not by too much, and you don’t have to stand over the pan for the whole time so I just started making dinner at the same time. If a recipe is time consuming I often try to use the time wisely and get on with something else.
1 kg / 2lb 3 1/2 oz clementines, plus approximately 400g / 13oz more for juice
Approximately 900g / 2lb sugar(I used 600 of white and 300 of brown)
180ml / 3/4 cup water
Get a really sharp knife and slice as finely as you can (I aimed for about 2mm thickness) the clementines, going across the fruit so you get a star shape from the flesh inside.
Get a large, heavy bottomed pan and place the fruit and cold water to cover. Bring up to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes, drain and repeat the process. This should remove any bitterness from the pith.
Let the fruit cool to the stage where you can touch it, and chop up into smallish chunks, and with the tops and bottoms slice finely. Remove any bits of flesh that come away easily and don’t look in the best shape. Weigh the chopped fruit(I lost 100 grams in pulp I didn’t like the look of), as you want equal quantities of fruit to sugar.
At this point if you want to use the saucer to test the jam put one in the freezer.
Into a deep pan(but not an aluminium one) put the fruit, sugar, and juice the remaining clementines. I got about 180ml / 3/4 cup of juice. Add this and another 180ml of water (or juice if you have enough fruit) to the pan and stir well. Juice the lemon and add to the pan.
Put onto a high heat and bring up to a rolling boil. You are aiming for it to reach 220 degrees F, but depending on where you are located it may linger around 217 for a very long time. Basically you want to boil it at this temperature for anything from ten to thirty minutes, until it has thickened considerably. When you think it has thickened enough use the saucer test. If it doesn’t work first time(it took me three attempts!), boil it again and try again after a few more minutes.
Skim any skum that has formed during cooking. If you stir it in your jam will not be as clear as it could be.
Ladle into sterilised jars(or ladle into a pint jug and pour it in if the necks of your jars are small), and put the lids on.
If you plan on eating this quickly don’t worry about using a water bath and when cool put the jars into the fridge. If you want to keep the jars for a while then once sealed place the jars in a pan of deep simmering water for 15 minutes. To stop the jars from bumping on the bottom of the pan place a plate or steamer insert under the jars, just make sure the water level covers the jars entirely.