It’s been a while since I last posted a recipe. Since my last post, I’ve had multiple reunion dinners, visited numerous homes, had countless people over to ours, made hundreds of cookies, went on a short trip to Bintan, and adopted another orphan kitten. Yes, busy is how I’d describe my CNY so far, how’s yours? Well if you’re like me, you are probably tired of stuffing yet another CNY goodie in your belly and are wondering what to do with the heap of mandarin oranges leftover from The Great Orange Exchange tradition. They say when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. In this case, when I’m dealt with a stash of mandarin oranges, I make marmalade. Homemade marmalade is relatively easy to make, free of preservatives and gelling agents, can be kept for a long time if stored properly, can be eaten all the time, and makes a great gift! Plus, how cool is it to be able to add your own twist to it? I added fresh ginger to mine in honour of my newly adopted ginger kitten. But you could add other spices such as cloves or even chilli for the adventurous!
Mandarin Orange Marmalade
Yields: About 1 litre
500g mandarin oranges
100g fresh ginger
1 kg raw sugar
1. Score the skin of the oranges and lemons from top to bottom to make four cuts around the fruit. Remove the peel in quarters, then slice into thin strips.
2. Squeeze the remaining fruits with your hands over a strainer to extract as much juice as possible. Add to the juice another 2 litres of cold water and the thinly sliced peels.
3. Place leftover pulp, pith, and pips into a muslin bag (cheese cloth). Tie the bag up and immerse it in the liquid. Leave overnight in the refrigerator in order to extract as much natural pectin as possible.
4. The next day, peel and cut ginger into very fine strips. Transfer the liquid and the muslin bag into a very large pot (at least twice the volume of its contents to prevent boiling over) , then add ginger shreds in.
5. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 50-60 minutes until the peels are soft and translucent.
6. Remove the muslin bag and set aside to cool. Strain the mixture to measure the remaining liquid. If less than 1 litre, top up with water. If more than 1 litre, boil it down some more. When muslin bag is cool enough to handle, squeeze to extract all the juice and pectin from it.
7. Add peels and juice back to the pot. Add sugar and bring to a hard boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Skim off any white foam or pips that may float to the surface to ensure a clear finish.
8. Boil until the mixture reaches a temperature of 105C/220F, about 15-20 minutes. Then turn the heat off and let it cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
9. Ladle into sterilized jars. If you would like to extend the shelf-life of your marmalade, I’d recommend home canning.
If you missed the previous CNY-inspired recipes…