Where we live in Australia, it's citrus season. When I drive along our country roads I see trees laden with bright orange and yellow fruit - in parks, paddocks, beside shops and in backyards. What a bounty!
Our most successful citrus trees so far, on the farm, are two different varieties of mandarins. Our children eat lots of mandarins, especially the loose-skin variety - easy to peel and sweet! We also juice mandarins and make ice-blocks from the juice. And still there are more on the tree! Here are some of our favourite recipes...
Mandarin Jam (about 3 jars)
3 cups water
Wipe mandarins with a damp cloth, cut them in half horizontally then in
half again. Using fingers remove seeds and discard them. Peel away skin
and reserve the skins of 4 mandarins. Using a sharp knife cut skin into
fine slivers. Place mandarin pulp in food processor, process until pulp
is chopped (few seconds). Place pulp in a large pan, add rind, sugar and
water – mix well. Mixture should be about 5cm deep in the pan. Stir jam
over medium heat until shugar has dissolved, increase heat slightly,
boil gently, uncovered without stirring for around 50 mins. Check
occasionally during last 10 mins of cooking to make sure mixture isn’t
burning on the bottom. Test to see if jam will jell on a cold saucer.
Remove scum from surface, pour jam into hot sterilised jars. Seal when
cold. Label and store or give as a gift.
Mandarin Muffins (18)
1 cup mandarin pieces, deseeded
1 cup mandarin juice
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour +
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup rapidura sugar
1 egg, beaten
250ml natural yoghurt
1/2 cup macadamia oil
1/2 cup nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Jucie
the mandarins. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder,
bicarb, salt, sugar. In another bowl, comine egg, yoghurt, juice, oil.
Stir nuts and mandarin pieces through dry ingredients, then add the
liquid mixture. Stir only until moistened. Fill lined muffin cups until
2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes. Ready when spring back to the touch.
Mandarin syrup (Cordial)
1.5kg sugar (I’ve used white or raw)
450ml mandarin juice (or orange, grapefruit, lemon etc)
few strips rind
Bring the sugar and water to the boil – when it starts to thicken
slightly, add the juice and peel. Simmer 5 minutes. Strain well into a
jug. Pour into sterilised bottles. Seal and label. To serve, mix with
chilled water or soda water. Nice as a mixer for cocktails. To enchance
flavour, add mandarin (or lemon) juice icecubes to drink – YUM.
To Freeze Mandarins:
Peel, de-seed and freeze in a syrup for use in cooking at a later date.
Syrup may be useful as liquid measure in some recipes as well.
Remove pith and freeze sections as a cool treat.