Sep 16, 2013

D168: Mandarin Jam

I bought a pack of 'school' mandarins - the type that are good for school lunches because they're low on pips and easy to peel.  Well, I should've returned this pack coz they were more like large cumquats. Bleh.

Once I had 10 left I wanted to try this Mandarin Jam recipe from Erica Makes of Mildura.  Her instructions are terribly simple, which was lovely for my shabby short term memory.  I still put the sugar in too soon but it didn't matter in the end.  And, you'd think for a recipe that's pretty much "peel, cook till soft, add sugar, cook till gooey" it would be so quick and easy. Well, it should've been but these mandarins were rubbish to peel. They were tight, thin skinned and left masses of pith on the segments. Took half an hour and two buckled thumbnails. 

In 'things I changed': the recipe doesn't mention chopping the segments, but I cut them all in half.  I wish I'd cut them into smaller pieces - the sort of size I'd like to have on my toast.

At the 20min mark I did a gel test by pouring a tsp of the jam onto a chilled plate.  If it wrinkles when you tilt the plate it's ready, and I didn't get that till a little over 25mins of gentle bubbling.  I was also getting concerned about the colour and smell.  All the fruit had become translucent and it had a gorgeous glassy golden-orange look about it, but it also felt very close to singeing. I think some flavours can be complimented with a bit of burning, but not this.  I probably could've taken it off the heat at the second gel test, around 20mins, and it still would've set to a reasonable consistency.

Anyway, right now I don't care if it doesn't have a perfect mandarin taste - I certainly wasn't starting with a perfect product - it looks gorgeous!

Next day brekky test:
It's reeeeally well set!  But still yum, like spreadable jelly babies!

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