What to do with mandarin oranges? A while back I ordered a case of mandarin oranges from California Avocados Direct. Surprisingly, I still had some left a couple of weeks ago – quite a few actually. Orange Marmalade seemed like the perfect solution to save some of that juicy goodness!
But before I get to that, let’s talk sugar. Sugar is sugar, right? When you compare one granulated cane sugar to another, that is mostly true. However, not all sugars are equal. I am a big fan of the minimally processed sugars. My go-to is Wholesome Sweeteners organic cane sugar, but there is so much more to explore. Wholesome Sweeteners recently sent me some of their premium sugars to try including the Natural Cane Sugar from Malawi that I chose for this recipe. Let’s take a look:
The organic cane sugar is on the left, and the natural cane sugar is on the right. You can see the deeper color and slightly chunkier texture of the natural cane sugar. A deeper molasses taste is evident in the sugar, although not quite as strong as Sucanat. Because the sugar in a jam shines, and because I use less sugar than in typical jam recipes, this was the perfect choice for my marmalade.
Mandarin Orange Marmalade
12 small mandarin oranges
1 ¼ cups Wholesome Sweeteners Natural Cane Sugar
1 cup water
Wash all of the fruit to remove any oils or waxes.
Peel the oranges. Chop the skins into ½-inch size slices and place them in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Remove any strings or seeds from the fruit and place the fruit in a food processor or blender.
Zest the lemon and combine the zest with the chopped orange peels. Remove and discard the white outer lemon layer. Remove any seeds or strings and place the lemon in the food processor with the oranges.
Add ¼ cup of the sugar to the orange peels and lemon zest. Let it sit to macerate for 30 minutes.
Add the water to the pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer the skins over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
If you are canning, start boiling the jars you plan to use.
Pulse the food processor or blender to chop the fruit to a consistency that is mid-way between a puree and a dice (it will be very juicy). Add the juice and fruit to the pan and bring it to a boil again. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the remaining sugar to the jam, Increase the heat to medium-high and boil, stirring frequently, until the jam is set (and reaches 220 degrees), about 10 minutes.
If you are canning, process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Mandarins are the perfect orange for this marmalade because they peel easily, are super-juicy, and have few seeds. The Wholesome Sweeteners Natural Cane Sugar lends a smooth sweetness with a hint of molasses.
If you want more jam recipes (and instructions on how to process jam in a water bath), be on the lookout for The Allergy-Free Pantry, coming out in September.