Mandarin Orange Jam

I’ve been on a citrus kick lately.  But Husband isn’t a fan.  And I struggle to finish a package of oranges or the like before they start to go off.  The solution of course is to buy them individually, but that costs more.  Not to mention that my favorite citrus are seasonal.

In the meantime, I belong to a couple different canning/preserving groups on Facebook, and people were talking about doing marmalades, and mixed fruit jams and jellies.  So I had a thought.  Poked around at a couple orange jelly recipes, but wasn’t entirely enthused with what I was seeing.  So, armed with the knowledge that oranges are nicely acidic and so I can basically do whatever I want so long as I don’t add anything low acid, I went to the store for oranges.

8 large mandarin oranges

1 cup of commercial orange juice.

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

a splash of lemon juice

4 tablespoons of Ball’s low/no sugar pectin

Sliced the ends off of the oranges, deep enough that I saw flesh and not white skin.  Peeled them, and then used a sharp knife to slice off the white pith/skin.  Broke them open, sliced off the interior pith (that white pith can be bitter, you really want as much of it as physically possible removed).  Cut them into chunks, removed any particularly loose skin pieces but wasn’t OCD about it.  Used a potato masher to break up the chunks a bit.  Eyeballed the mass in the sauce pan, and added 1 cup of juice.  Next time I’ll just buy a couple more oranges instead, but it works for now.

Added the rest of the ingredients.  Brought to a strong boil for 1 minute per pectin instructions.  Jarred up (this made exactly six 1/2 pint jars), and water bath processed for 10 minutes.

I licked my stirring spoon while the mixture was heating and the vanilla came through nicely, but I can’t taste it at all in the finished jam.  In retrospect I should have added it at the end of the boil instead of before, and I might add a bit more too next time.  Also, store bought juice has always had a slightly odd undertaste to it, and that come through in the jam.  But otherwise I’m delighted with how this turned out.  Its a nice loose set jam, not overly sweet, and I totally ate the first jar with a spoon the next morning.

I’ll be buying a bunch more mandarin oranges this week so I can do a couple more batches!

4 Comments

  1. Ping from bogie:

    I’ve been on a citrus kick myself. But I take several to work with me so munch on them during the day so can get thru them before they go bad. Coincidentally, they are having a health challenge at work to have 5+ servings of fruit / vegies a day. What with my morning banana, the citrus, salads and carrots, I easily meet that goal. At the end of 6 weeks, if I make that goal (and a couple others) work will put some money in my HSA. Easy – peasy money as far as I’m concerned.

    • Ping from Ruth:

      unfortunately my job isn’t such that I can do snacks easily. Oh I can run back to the break room when its slow and grab a bite, but not anything thats going to take time.

  2. Ping from fredex:

    seeing this reminds me: last winter I saw a recipe for an orange cake. made with (I think it was six) clementines (mandarins) boiled in water til ready to fall apart. uses almond meal instead of flour. it was wonderfully delicious, I’ll have to make another one some day soon. I can post recipe if anyone wants to see it.

  3. Ping from Howard:

    I grew up with an orange grove for a back yard. The only real drawback to that is that I cannot stand 99% of the store bought orange juice. The only one I have found that I consider drinkable is Simply Juice.