My first 2013 canned preserve will likely be my last at my current residence. Bittersweet, I know… just like this beauty of a fruit spread. The lower-sugar mandarin orange marmalade utilizes the whole fruit for its hidden pectin, incredible flavor, and bright hue.
Honeyed Mandarin Orange Marmalade
Yields about 7 half-pints
- about 4 lbs mandarin oranges, scrubbed, halved, stem ends and seeds (if any) removed, and thinly sliced (stubborn bits can be finely chopped)
- 2 cups water
- about a 1/2 cup local honey
- 2 1/2 cups (or more to achieve desired set) white sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
DAY ONE: Prepare the oranges and transfer to a non-reactive pot; add the water. Bring the mixture rapidly to a boil, letting it simmer for a few minutes. Remove the mixture from heat, cover, and refrigerate overnight, or anywhere between 12-24 hours.
DAY TWO: Over high heat, add the sugars and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and scorching. Continue to rapidly cook the marmalade to approximately 220 degrees F, or until the marmalade is set (the classic frozen plate or spoon “sheeting” test are pretty standard if you don’t own a thermometer); add more white sugar, in increments of no more than a 1/2 cup, until you reach the desired set if needed (the amount of sugars indicated above makes for a very-spreadable marm, and I say the less sugar, the better). Turn off the heat and immediately transfer hot marmalade to sterilized half-pint or quarter-pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.