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Mandarin Orange Jam

44 comments /

Okay.  I'm going to admit something.  Out loud.  Right now.  I prefer mandarin oranges from a tin.  I don't say that about many things.  As a matter of fact, I can't really think of anything else I can say that about at the moment.  Maybe it's just that I can never find a juicy mandarin here in Michiana (surprise, surprise).  The ones in the tin are so sweet and they never have any of that pesky pith clinging to them.  Soooo...when I mistakenly picked up a little net sack of mandarins thinking they were clementines, imagine my dismay.  But, the kids didn't seem to mind, they've been peeling them left and right.  Now that the sack has dwindled down to just a few, I decided to try a making a jam from them.  If nothing else, the bright, cheery, orange in a shiny glass jar will lift everybody's spirits.

I adapted this from the original recipe in the fact that I only took the colorful zest from the orange and left the pith out.  It can be thick and wrangly, bitter and pretty unpleasant if left in the jam.  I followed the recommendation of leaving a few whole sections behind to stir in for texture at the end of the cooking time.  The lighter color was a pretty contrast and I liked some of the bigger chunks, but since they weren't really cooked down, it turned the final product a tiny bit watery.  But really, it was still pretty thick and spreadable, so I think it's okay to keep this step in or just forget it (personal preferance).

Try spread on thick, hearty toast with butter or use to make a coating for some roasted pork along with mustard and some rosemary or sage and some breadcrumbs.  Either way, I was right.  The color alone brought a smile to our faces.
Mandarin Orange Jam
adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros
yield: ~1 cup

4 Mandarin oranges
1⅓ c. sugar
1 c. water

Wash each mandarin orange in warm water.  Remove the just the zest (leave the bitter white pith behind) from 2 of the oranges using either a zest that makes long, thin strips or a vegetable peeler (then slice or dice the zest).  Place zest in a heavy-bottomed pot with sugar and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Allow to cook for 20 minutes or until liquid is beginning to look a bit syrupy and peel is well-glazed.

Meanwhile, peel the oranges and separate the segments.  If yours is particularly juicy and falling apart, set in a colander over a bowl to catch any juices.
After the 20 minutes is up, add all but a small handful* of the orange segments to the pot and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer again and allow to cook for 30-40 minutes, or until thick and "jammy"; stir often to keep from sticking.  Test on a plate if you wish by dropping a small spoonful of the jam onto it and seeing if it sits in a blob without running.  Toss in the reserved orange segments during the last five minutes of cooking time.

Transfer to sterilized jars and process for canning (will keep 10-12 months this way) or keep in the fridge.

*Alternately, just add in all of the orange segments.  I do think adding some towards the end makes it a bit runny.  It is a nice texture variation, though.
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44 comments

  1. I love the color, I love mandarins, I love jam, I love your recipe, I love your new header: Thanks Heather

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  2. That jam is knock out gorgeous!  It makes for an awesome header too:)

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  3. Your jam turned out beautiful and you're idea to coat some pork with it, Yum!

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  4. You are too dear!  I think this looks delicious!

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  5. Loving this..I have tons of citrus hanging around my kitchen, perfect on a thick slice of toast!!

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  6. LivinginthekitchenwithpuppiesDecember 22, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Oh wow, that looks wonderful! I love tinned mandarin oranges - they remind me of my grandma who used to make them in orange jello for me. I still crave it if I am sick.
    Love your homemade jar of mandarin jam!

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  7. This jam looks great - jam on toast is seriously one of my weaknesses! Love your new header too. 

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  8. It brought a smile to my face! It's beautiful! I love your pictures and your new look!

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  9. this is just GORGEOUS!  and it has my mouth totally watering.  love it!

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  10. What a gorgeous creation Heather. My husband is a jam fanatic, actually his whole family is. Maybe I'll make this for them while we're in San Diego visiting. A little in law brownie points!

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  11. That is a beautiful jar of jam! I have not made any jam in ages and looking at yours is really making me craving for some homemade jam! I love the canned mandarins too! Love it over ice cream! :)

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  12. Wouldn't this be a lovely holiday gift? What a great jam. I just made some cinnamon bread that would go perfectly with this. Thank you for sharing with me! I hope you are having a great week and I wish you a wonderful weekend!

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  13. Thanks Tina!  I really wanted a comment form with a "reply" option, that's why I changed it up.  Glad to hear you like it...I do, too :) Oh, and by the way...can I wanted to laugh when you said "get stuffed" in your post today.  You go girl ;P

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  14. I like the comment format here.  V nice :-)
    The jam is a good choice for the orange theme.  I had thought of carrots and squash but - cool! 

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  15. So very pretty...and I would love to have this on any number of things in the morning and otherwise.  Great choice for orange!! :-)

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  16. Velva-Tomatoes on the VineDecember 22, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Your mandarin jam is awesome.

    I admit that I like mandarin oranges from the can too but enjoy fresh whenever possible.

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  17. Talk about starting your morning with sunshine! This is the way!

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  18. Beautiful pics!  It looks  amazing!

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  19. I agree - getting the pitch off is kind of a pain! But worth it for this pretty jam, methinks. 

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  20. Such a pretty color and I love how great it looks in the jar with the raffia tied around. It would be a perfect holiday gift too. ;-)

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  21. OMG! I love, love, LOVE mandarin oranges!  I imagine this would taste great on toasted bolillo slices. :)  Will definitely be trying this soon! :) 

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  22. ThemadscientistskitchenDecember 22, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Bookmarked. will make it this season.
    I wish I could have my breakfast now instead of dinner. Toast and jam........wow.Hosting
    an event which I am calling Back to our Roots

    Also hosting for Nov’11 Veggie Food for the Month_Raw Banana.  Please do send me your entries.

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  23. I don't think I've ever had mandarin oranges from anything but a tin.  Your Jam looks beautiful.  Great photo Heather.

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  24. I also prefer canned apricots to fresh!

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  25. hey there!
    my mum makes mandarin jam every year and I had taken some to Goa last year. I like hers which is the same recipe as yours, only thing is she leaves the skin, which as u mentioned might be a bit unplesant. gorgeous pictures!

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  26. The Café Sucré FarineDecember 22, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    This sounds lovely and perfect for toast in the morning. I could also see using it in savory sauces to go with grilled meat or poultry - thanks!

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  27. Wow, Heather, that looks so good. My first thought was to make some to give as Christmas gifts to neighbors. I'll probably pair it with a dark fruit bread. Thanks for the idea.

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  29. My Jam Loving Kids are all coming home for Thanksgiving, and I have no orange jam yet- thanks! :)

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  30. Gotta like what you like! This is beautiful - what a great gift this would make.

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  31. Umm HELLO gorgeous new banner! How are YOU today, hot stuff?

    The jam sounds super tasty also...a great use for those pesky mandarins!

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  32. Mmmm... qué rico!! debe de estar delicioso, me gusta mucho la mandarina y así debe de estar más rica!! en un panecito mmm...!!
    Saludos yg racias

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  33. I did the same thing and picked up mandarins not clementines....this is a really super way not to feel like I'm wasting fruit. You're a goodie, Thanks, Oma Linda

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  34. A wonderful post, Heather! You photos are so beautiful and Fall inspired.  Love the idea of mandarin jam.  I'm going to have to save this one for a rainy day!

    xoxo,
    Tammy

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  35. josé manuel martín fernándezDecember 22, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Que delicia de mermelada, con una buena tostada.

    Saludos

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  36.  I'd love that jam on a slice of challah with lots of butter, yummyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

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  37. Seriously jam looks irresistible..

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  38. No shame in preferring the tinned variety! Sometimes we can't help the things we love, and tinned mandarins are just so darn convenient! I personally prefer the fresh ones but that by no means indicates I don't have guilty pleasures of my own :)

    I'd love to make this vibrant jam for my mother, who is the ultimate of citrus jam fans! Liking the new look, too. Congrats!

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  39. Oooo, I love the sound of this jam! Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

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  40. I was unaware how simple making jams and jellies is...I don't know why I thought it would be complicated.  I recently made my first jelly with my sister, we made pomegranate jelly and she usually gets juice from the pomegranates in her yard but this time her husband just picked up some juice from the store.  It was fun, but she said it wasn't setting right, there was a lot of foam for some reason.  I still think it tastes wonderful though, and I am eager to start making my own, my first will be your mandarin orange, or maybe strawberry!  What about mandarin orange and strawberry jam?

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  41. Hi, Just had a quick question for you. I must have done something wrong, great flavor, but my mandarin jam came out too loose. Anything I can do? Rebatch , thicken it up somehow?
    Baffled in Boynton

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  42. @Sue- Hello. Eek, I'm sorry to hear that. In all honesty, I'm no jam expert. I would probably just cook it down more...but I can't be sure. Maybe add some pectin!? Sorry to sound so ignorant on the fact, but my jam-making is experimental and few and far between. =(

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