It's Clementine season! A cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin, many people refer to them as tangerines but they are a different variety, entirely. With a thin, tender skin, these almost-seedless beauties are a delight to peel and eat. Don't pass these up at the store - the season is almost over!
I wanted to do something with these other than just peel and eat them (although I've done my share of that, too!) and found a recipe for Clementine-Brandy Marmalade. Marmalade may be an acquired taste and as a child, I remember disliking it. Orange marmalade seemed to have a bitter taste and I didn't like the texture of the peels. Maybe I was too used to eating grape jelly - a staple in the 50's for making PB&J's.
This recipe uses about 10 Clementines, which made three, eight-ounce jars. First step is peeling them and removing the white pith. I used a carrot peeler and it did a pretty good job of getting only the outer layer of skin.
The next step is rather labor-intensive. The Clementine segments are separated all the white membranes must be removed. By the time I peeled these, separated them and removed the membrane, I was done for the day!
I put the boiled and drained peel and the prepared fruit into plastic bags overnight. The next day I cut up the fruit, added it to a pan with sugar, lemon juice, water, brandy, and the cooked peel. This mixture was boiled until it reached a temperature of 220F, which took 35-40 minutes.
All that was left to do then was to fill the jars and process in a water bath. This stuff is candy in a jar! It's sweet and sticky with none of the bitterness I remembered marmalade having when I was young(er). It's great on toast and I think it would be a wonderful glaze for chicken or pork, too.
Because this was a fair amount of work, I was tempted to rename it "Once in a Lifetime Marmalade", but I'll definitely make this again. Next time I'll double the recipe and use four-ounce jars... perfect for gift-giving!
I found this recipe here, but you can PRINT RECIPE HERE.