Did you know….. that from ancient times Clementines have been called the crown jewels of the mandarin family? Amongst their distinguishing characteristics is a peel that is easily pulled from the flesh. Sometimes called ‘zipper skinned’, such fruits were once referred to as kid-glove oranges, because it was said that a lady could eat the fruit without soiling her hands. Easy to peel, easy to eat, we all love these little darlings at Christmas time.
Keep your eyes peeled for the new seasons’ clementines in greengrocers and supermarkets. Choose them tight skinned and fragrant to make this gorgeous marmalade for Christmas time.
CLEMENTINE MARMALADE with COINTREAU
This light fruity marmalade will be a real hit on the Christmas breakfast table. Infused with the clear citrus tones of cointreau it’ll be delicious spread on crusty toast or buttery croissants. OR, and for a change, spread over trifle sponges and top with a cardamom infused custard for a festive trifle
Tangerines are thin-skinned and contain much less pectin than traditional Seville or marmalade oranges do. The addition of some Bramley apple, or other sharp cooking apples, will add natural pectin to help give your marmalade a lovely fruity set.
Makes approx 8 x 340g jars
1.5 litres water
100ml lemon juice
200g grated Bramley apple
1.5kg granulated sugar
50-100ml Cointreau (optional)
Wash the Clementines and remove the little buttons from the top. Cut in half around the middle, remove any pips if there are any and then finely slice the fruit (you could do this in a food processor). Place the sliced fruit and pulp in a lidded saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until the skin has softened.
Transfer to an open preserving pan, add the grated apple and the lemon juice and bring slowly to the boil. Once boiling, add the sugar stirring until it has been fully dissolved. Cook rapidly until setting point has been reached about 10-12 minutes. When setting point has been reached remove from heat and add the Cointreau if using.
Pour into warm sterile jars and fill to the brim. Seal immediately with twist on lids.