Are you completely hooked on good extra virgin olive oil? Are you addicted to the lush fruitiness of mandarins? Do you use olive oil for almost everything, also as a substitute for butter? Well then we have a wonderful combination in stock for you: self-made mandarin jam on fresh white bread with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil as a base. This combination is a symphony for your taste buds. It starts with the intense fruity mandarin aroma, followed by a sweet sensation with a pleasant bitterness that comes from the mandarin peel. Finally, the full-bodied taste of the olive oil and the fresh bread enters the crescendo and rounds off the symphony. You don’t need to be an aficionado of mandarins or good olive oil to enjoy this rare but simple treat. Just try the recipe below and think of the sun of Sicily that is captured in the sweetness of the mandarins and the fruitiness of the olive oil. It works!
- 1 kilo untreated or organic mandarins
- 600 g caster sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 4 jars for storing the marmalade
- Peel the mandarins, try to keep the inside of the mandarin whole.
- Put the mandarin peel in a deep cooking pot, cover it slightly with water and let it come to the boil. Let it cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse it with cold water. Repeat this step one more time. This process diminishes the bitter taste of the mandarin peel.
- Half the insides of mandarins and remove the pips with a fork.
- Combine the peel and mandarin parts in the cooking pot and add the lemon juice. Use the blender to make a smooth purée.
- Put the pot on the stove on medium heat, add the sugar and let it cook for about 45 minutes.
- The marmalade is ready when it has thickened. To test it put a spoonful of marmalade on a cold plate. If it doesn’t run off it has the right consistency.
- When the marmalade is still warm, ladle it in the sterilized jars and fill it up for 90%. Close the lid tightly immediately and let it rest upside down on a flat surface so they are vacuum sealed. After 20 minutes turn the jars and let them rest for cooling. Your marmalade is ready for use.
- It is important to sterilize jars to prevent mould forming. Make sure that your glass jars have an airtight lid and are free from cracks or chips. Remove old labels, wash in hot soapy water, rinse and sterilize.
- For sterilizing on your stove: Place jars and lids in a deep saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring water to the boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Line a (baking) tray with a paper towel. Remove the jars using metal tongs and allow to air dry or dry with a clean paper towel.
Sterilizing the jars in the dishwasher is another easy way: Place jars, lids and rubber seals in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Transfer the jars onto a paper towel-lined tray; the heat will dry them naturally or you can dry them with a paper towel.
Alternatively use the oven for sterilisation: Preheat the oven to 120C. Place jars (upright) and lids (separately) on an oven tray and heat in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and fill immediately with the marmalade.
- If the lid after cooling the marmalade still makes a clicking sound when you press it, no vacuum was created. In this case the marmalade should be stored in the fridge and be consumed within a week. Otherwise you can store it for several months.