I have come to believe that there are marmalade people and then there is the rest of the world. I have always planted myself squarely with the rest of the world, but The husband is a marmalade person and I have therefore, slowly, come to admire its charms.
It’s so easy to love a nice spoonful of strawberry jam on your toast; I’ve always preferred peach or apricot, but over the last year or so I’ve come to appreciate the complexity of a good marmalade. OK, that last sentence isn’t entirely true. It’s sort of true in that I’ve decided that I really like the contrast of the sweet/bitter flavors characteristic of a good marmalade, but actually finding a good marmalade hasn’t been all that easy. They all seem to be way too heavy on the pectin, making them much too stiff, and all that pectin seems to mute the citrus falvors.
What to do? How ‘bout making your own? Now, if you’re a marmalade person, this is the way to go. You get to control how much peel you add, how sweet to make it, and how thick it should be. You also get to decide what kind of fruit you use… oranges, mandarines, tangerines, clementines or all of the above. How great is that?!?
And honestly, people, it couldn’t be any easier than this. Basically, we’re talking about 2 ingredients (3 if you include the water), and the hardest thing you’re going to have to do is slice up your tangerines. I love this!
And yes, I did love this marmalade. I trimmed off some of the peel on the ends of the tangerines, but if you’re a real marmalade aficionado, you may want to keep as much of the peel in there as you can. I mean, that’s what gives marmalade its personality and this is a chance to really let it shine. And it's amazingly good on those yogurt biscuits. Here’s the recipe…
Recipe from Everyday Food magazine
3 pounds tangerines (about 18), unpeeled, washed, ends trimmed, and cut crosswise into thin slices
4 cups sugar
1. Place a small plate in freezer. In a large pot, bring tangerines and 6 cups water to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium and cook at a rapid simmer until tangerine peels are tender, 20 minutes.
2. Add sugar, increase heat to medium-high, and stir until sugar dissolves and returns to a boil. Cook, stirring often until mixture is thick and darkens slightly, 40 to 45 minutes (reduce the heat a bit if your mixutre is boiling too vigorously to avoid burning) . To test for doneness, drop a spoonful on frozen plate and freeze 2 minutes. Marmalade is done if it has a slight film that wrinkles when pushed with a finger. If it spreads out and thins immediately, continue cooking. Transfer marmalade to airtight containers, cover, and let cool completely.
To store, refrigerate for up to a month, or freeze up to 6 months.