Mandarin and Orange Marmalade

Mandarin and Orange Marmalade with Vanilla

Mandarin and Orange Marmalade with Vanilla

My absolute favourite.  The vanilla does it for me!

Mandarin and Orange Marmalade with Vanilla1.5kg Mandarins
2 vanilla pods
1kg Oranges
500 grams Lemons
2.75 kg preserving sugar (as the pectin levels are low in mandarins)
A pinch of salt
A few caraway seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
¼ cup of Cointreau
a few cloves, if desired

Wash all fruit in hot water, ensuring all wax, labels and imperfections have been removed.  Using a zester, remove all zest from oranges and lemons, add zest and fruit pulp to a large heavy bottomed pan with the salt and caraway seeds.  

Peel the mandarins and very finely slice the peel, discarding pips and fine white tendrils of pith. Dice the flesh and add to the pan, covering with the sugar.  Turn on the heat, allowing the sugar to warm through before increasing the heat.  Add the vanilla and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly for 10-15 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.  Skim out any remaining pips or scum.   Allow to cool slightly before adding Cointreau*.

To test for setting place a saucer in the freezer and dab hot marmalade onto the plate.  If the skin wrinkles when you run a spoon through it as it cools the marmalade should set well.  If setting is not progressing, commercial setting agent can be added, alternatively add an additional cup of sugar dissolved in lemon juice.

Ladle into prepared jars - should yield at least 5 good-sized jars.

 * If you add the Cointreau while the marmalade is still at near-boiling point the mix will foam up violently - probably over the sides of your pan and possibly onto you - burning you and your stove.  I have learned this from experience and can't say that I particularly recommend it.