Did you know that oranges are high in naturally-occurring pectin, which is the gelling agent added to thicken jams? That is why traditional marmalades do not usually contain pectin, which some argue are not the best for you. Well, we decided to create an Asian-inspired version with mandarin oranges left over from Lunar New Year and added some ginger to give it a little kick. What we got was a sweet and tart marmalade with lots of peels! You can choose to make this wholesome homemade marmalade with other types of oranges and omit the ginger if you don’t like the heat!
(Yields about 1 litre)
500g mandarin oranges
20g fresh ginger (optional)
1 kg raw sugar
- Cut oranges and lemons into quarters. Remove the peel and as much white pith as you can, then slice peels into thin strips.
- Place peels into a large bowl, then squeeze the remaining fruits with your hands over a strainer to extract as much juice as possible. Add to the juice another 2 litres of water.
- Place leftover pulp and seeds into a muslin bag (cheese cloth). Tie the bag up and immerse it in the liquid. Leave overnight in the refrigerator in order to extract as much natural pectin as possible.
- The next day, transfer everything into a very large pot (at least twice the volume of its contents to prevent boiling over). If using, peel and cut ginger into very fine strips, then add ginger shreds in.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 60 minutes until the peels are soft and translucent and the liquid has boiled down by half.
- Remove the muslin bag and squeeze it to extract all the juice and pectin from it.
- Add sugar to the juice and peels and bring to a hard boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Skim off any white foam or pips that may float to the surface to ensure a clear finish.
- Boil until the mixture reaches a temperature of 105oC/220oF, about 15-20 minutes. Then turn the heat off and let it cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
- Ladle into sterilized jars. Chill to set and enjoy with toast anytime!