We have an over-stock of mandarin oranges this Chinese New Year. That's why I've been looking for ways, besides treating them as snacks in between meals, to gradually reducing the stock. I tried to sneak them into my German Cookies, butter cake, and chiffon cake. However, these methods are inefficient. Finally, I decided to turn them into jam, or more appropriately - marmalade 🍊.
Abracadabra ♒ I successfully reduced 5 🍊 into 1 small cup of yummy mandarin orange jam with inconspicuous bitterness 😁
Yield: 270g jam
As mandarin oranges came in different sizes, I think it's more accurate to measure in terms of the weight of the juice, peel, and flesh collected from the oranges.
The amount of sugar needed is about 30% of the total juice collected.
Whole oranges weigh between 140g to 210g each
Ingredients5 assorted size Mandarin oranges
25ml lemon juice
80g raw sugar
20g rock sugar
2 pandan leaves, optional
Directions1.Wash Mandarin oranges with Fruit & Veggie Wash. As the orange peel would be used, it's safer to do a thorough cleaning of the skin 😉
2. Remove the orange skin and seeds. Cut orange segments into halves. Avoid breaking the seeds as this is the big culprit to the bitterness of the jam.
Keep the trimmed parts and seeds for extracting pectin later.
3. I keep about 60g of the orange flesh (about 1/2 an orange) and cut into smaller portions.
This step is optional. I prefer to see some orange chunks in the final product instead of entirely smooth jelly.
4. Remove the whitish pith under the peel. This helps to reduce the bitterness of the jam.
Cut about 30g of the peel into julienned strips. This is about the peel taken from 1 1/2 oranges. You can increase the quantity of the peel if you like.
Pour hot water over the julienned peel and soak for about 20 minutes to reduce the bitterness. Drain away the water and keep the julienned peel.
5. Extract the orange juice either by using a garlic press like me, or blend them in a food processor.
As I prefer a more "crystal-clear" jam, so I try not to include too much white membrane from the orange segments into the juice. If you use a food processor, which is a hundred times faster, the jam would be more cloudy.
After extracted the juice, keep the orange membrane residue in a bowl together with the seeds.
I collected about 320g of orange juice in total from the oranges.
6. Pour about 120ml of water to the orange membrane residue and seeds collected from Step 2 & 5. Mix well and heat at low temperature in a pot for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stop heating when you see gelling liquid formed. This is the pectin of the orange.
Use a sieve to filter out the pectin extract. Pectin is the gelling agent in the jam besides the sugar.
7. Pour orange juice, pectin extract, lemon juice, orange peels, raw sugar, rock sugar and pandan leaves into a pot. Heat at low temperature in the beginning. After the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and bring the mixture into a boil. Boiling helps to evaporate away the water faster. Stir the mixture every few minutes.
Orange juice and pectin extract,
cut orange flesh,
julienne orange peel,
raw sugar and rock sugar,
and pandan leaves.
Bring to a boil and stir with a wooden spoon every few minutes. Keep a watchful eye when the mixture is boiling.
8. When the mixture starts to thicken, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer. Stir occasionally.
When the stirring wooden spoon can leave a clear trail behind, the mixture is about ready. The mixture will thicken further after it has cooled down.
If the mixture or jam is too hard after cooling down, add a little hot water to soften it.
9. Transfer the hot jam to a sterilized glass container.
I prefer to keep the jam in the fridge after it has cooled to room temperature.
My first mandarin orange jam
My grave mistake - cutting the mandarin oranges into halves, and halving those bitter seeds too. My first cup of jam had an awkward sweet and bitter taste.
I got a bitter taste orange pectin extract as a result 😣