You know it’s winter when the crates of clementines start showing up in stores. No winter snack is quite as delicious as one (or two… or five) of those things! Easy to peel, sweet to eat – try stuffing a few in your parka pocket before a full day of skiing or a long winter walk. I’ll never forget the time my dad pulled one out for a surprise snack on the chairlift up the mountain. Wow, they’re memorably good.
So I know you could make orange marmalade, but wouldn’t clementine marmalade be that much better? I hoped so. Off to the store I went to pick up a crate of clementines and a few lemons (you need the lemons because they’re rich in pectin—the stuff that makes jams set). I had sugar and jars at home.
Basically, just peel the clementines, quarter them, and slice the quarters crosswise, exposing the compartments of juice. Put the pieces aside in a bowl (if there are seeds, take them out). Make sure to scrape all of the juices from your cutting board into the bowl with the cut clementines.
Do the same thing with your lemons. The lemons are slightly harder to peel, and have many more seeds. Remove the seeds, but be sure to save them. Dump the sliced lemons and any extra juice from the cutting board into the bowl with the clementines.
Now this next step seems really tedious, but it’s actually not too tricky. The lemon seeds are a really great sources of pectin, so I didn’t want to throw them away. But, I didn’t want lemon seeds in my marmalade. So I untied a tea bag and emptied it of its tea. I refilled the now-empty-tea-bag with the lemon seeds. Tie it back up with the string and throw it in a pot with the fruit and water. It will steep and emit the pectin, and you can remove it later.
When the water/fruit mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and allow it to bubble for 20 minutes. You want the clementines and lemons to break down. Then, add your sugar and remove the tea bag of seeds. Once it comes back to a boil, allow it to boil away gently for another 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While you’re working on this, make sure you have a plate in the freezer for testing the marmalade later.
After the sugar has boiled with the fruit for 35 minutes, take the plate out of the freezer and spoon a teaspoon onto it. Put it back in the freezer for 2 minutes to allow the marmalade to cool. Take it out, and run your finger through it. If it wrinkles in a jelly/jam/marmalade-like fashion, you’re all set. Pour the marmalade into the jars. If it is still loose and runny, allow it to cook for 5 more minutes.
You can eat the marmalade on toast, scones, croissants, biscuits – whatever your carb-item-of-choice happens to be! This would also make a great Christmas present for those marmalade-fanatics in your life.
- 12 clementines
- 2 lemons
- 4 cups of water
- 4 cups of sugar
Fills 5 half-pint jars