Preserving food – like making jam or pickling veggies – sounds like it’s going to be really difficult. But sometimes it isn’t! Especially if you stick to small batches of produce…
Fresh from the garden: mandarines, lemon
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Billy Law on atablefortwo.com.au
Makes: about 500ml
What to do:
- Peel mandarines carefully, trying to keeping peels in one piece if possible. Then cut half of the peels into thin strips (julienne strips) – as thin as possible – and set aside.
- Remove as much of the white pith as possible and set aside.
- Gently cut the mandarines in half crosswise, remove the seeds and set aside too. Use a clean muslin cloth or new piece of Chux, wrap the seeds and pith together tightly.
- Juice the half lemon.
- Add mandarines, peel strips, the parcel of pith and seeds, lemon juice, sugar and water into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce heat down to medium and let it bubble away for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until set point is reached.
- Set point testing: Put a saucer in the freezer and chill it. Take it out when ready to test, add a dollop of jam onto saucer. Draw a line on the jam with a knife, if it wrinkles, then the jam is ready. If not, keep boiling the mixture for another 10 minutes and test again.
- Once ready, remove the parcel and discard the pith and seeds. Pour the marmalade into hot sterilised jars. Seal 15 mins later, or when the jars are cool enough to handle.
- How to sterilise jars: Preheat oven to 160C. Wash jar with warm water and a spot of dish washing liquid, drain, leave on a baking tray right side up and put in the oven. Let it sterilise for at least 20 minutes. Time it well so you take the jars out of the oven when your marmalade is ready. DO NOT add cold food into the hot jar, or vice versa as it will shatter. Seal the jar when it’s cool enough to handle.
Notes: What does preserving mean? What is pith? What is the set point?