32 orange/tangerine trees is a lot of citrus – there are hundreds of fruits on each tree! Oranges keep fairly well in the fridge, possibly up to a month, tangerines not so well. I will need to come up with lots of ingenious ways to preserve all this fruit but my first thought was to make some marmalade. The tangerines were the first to ripen in early December so time to experiment with tangerine marmalade.
I’m a lazy marmalade maker, just slicing the whole fruit thinly and throwing them in a pan, but even that takes a lot of time! I used about 5 kilos of tangerines.
I simmered the fruit in a little water for about an hour to soften the peels, you can just go away and leave it to do it’s thing, just checking on it every so often to make sure the water hasn’t boiled away. Some people soak their peels overnight in water to help the softening process, but that would require being organised, so I don’t do that…
When the peels were softer (not mushy, al dente – I want to taste those rinds in my marmalade) I added in 2kgs of raw sugar – because that’s all I had (refer to note above about not being organised!) and the juice of half a lemon, and once the sugar had dissolved, turned it up to a rapid boil. On reflection, I should have made a smaller batch because it took blooming ages to reduce and set- about 90 minutes. I poured into sterilised jars and left it overnight to cool.
When I checked the next morning, it hadn’t actually set, it must have been wishful thinking on my part the previous night as I was thoroughly bored with the process by them time I’d jarred up.
That evening after work, it all went back in the pan for another 30 minutes, all the jars had to be washed and sterilised again, thereby doubling up the workload (and washing up!)
However, the end result was worth it, a tangy thick marmalade and the rinds have just enough bite to them, a great result. For my next batch I’ll add cardamon pods to the tangerines, taking them out before I add the sugar.