Meyer Mandarin Marmalade

Ah, New England: I’m so sorry. That one was a heartbreaker. In those last, crucial seconds, being one of those who remember it well, I kept saying, “Flutie did it!,” while Tai looked on pityingly, saying, “game over.” Ah, well. Until next year. New York: congratulations. It was a brilliant win. Time to do what you do best: celebrate!

Whether you are mourning or celebrating today, or just trying to get on with your Monday after last night’s commercial viewing, it’s hard to go wrong with this sunny, bright, floral marmalade (because nothing says football-postgame like marmalade, no?). Bright, sweet Meyer lemons and tangy, floral Satsuma Mandarin oranges combine to make a delicious marmalade: a bit sweet, a bit bitter, a bit floral. More like a traditional marmalade than I have made before, this one will brighten your day without any help from chiles and tequila.

So, get your hands on some gorgeous yellow jewels, some bumpy, sweet Mandarins, and whip up a batch of this marmalade. Crack a celebratory jar with your favorite Giants’ fan, or commiserate over marm & toast with the Pats fans in your life. In citrus season, everybody wins.

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Meyer Mandarin Marmalade

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb Meyer lemons, preferably organic
  • 1 lb Mandarin oranges, preferably organic (I used Satsumas; clementines or tangerines would also work)
  • filtered water
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 and 3/4 lb (3 and 1/2 cups) sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)

METHODS

  1. Day 1. Scrub fruit well. Slice fruit into quarters, remove the middle, pithy seam and seeds. Slice orange quarters in half again lengthwise, then slice each section cross-wise into thin strips, transferring fruit to a large measuring cup as you go, trying to capture all of the juice. Transfer sliced fruit to a wide stockpot or preserving pan. Add an equal volume of filtered water. Add salt, cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat-safe bowl, cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Day 2. In your wide-bottomed stockpot, bring fruit mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Return to bowl, cover, then store refrigerated overnight.
  3. Day 3. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  4. Bring fruit mixture to a boil over high heat. Add sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Allow to boil vigorously, stirring minimally, until the marmalade reaches the set point: 220 degrees F on an accurate thermometer (or 8 degrees above the temperature of boiling water); this may take anywhere from 30 – 45 minutes. Allow to boil at 220 degrees for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow marmalade to cool slightly for 2 – 3 minutes. Skim foam, push down fruit pieces, and ladle hot marmalade into hot jars to 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Yields about 5 and 1/2 cups.

OPTIONS

  1. This marmalade is on the sweeter side; the thin-skinned Meyer & Mandarins needed a bit more sugar to achieve a set. Adding the juice and zest of 1 lemon would temper the sweetness some, if you like your marmalades more tangy than sweet.

STORE

Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year.

SEASON

Winter.

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19 comments

    • It’s like a different fruit entirely from what I had last year. I’m *still* hoarding the last two.. I’m thinking Meyeritas are in order. Because we all know my love of fruit + tequila….

  1. not only does this look like the perfect (un)classic marmalade. your photos are gorgeous! i love the new header photo too.

    i threw a lot of my citrus in jars for my favorite pickles ’cause i had to dash outta town, now i’m thinking, hmmm…should i be calling up the lemon ladies when i get back home?

    • You do – especially when you see the Meyer & champagne marm I have coming up next. Fan-tas-tic. Also: according to their FB page, Lemon Ladies just took a 225-lb order from Japan! So you might want to snap to…

  2. This marmalade is beautiful, Kaela, and I love the simplicity of the method. I’m thinking of doing something similar today, and I have a couple of questions about how this went for you. Did you find that you could mix the fruit and use the same initial simmering time because both the Meyers and the mandarins are thin skinned? I have Meyers (of course) and a fairly soft-skinned lime, but I still don’t know that I can cook them together without ending up with one fruit too soft and one too firm. Also, was the pinch of salt at the simmering phase for bitterness, flavor, or both? And I’m with Tigz on the header photo. Good stuff.

  3. Thanks, Shae! You know, I have to admit, I didn’t even think about the final texture of the marm, and whether or not the two skins were compatible to similar cooking methods. But I do think that, while Mandarin skin is not as soft as Meyer lemon, they are closer in texture than say a thick-skinned grapefruit and a Meyer. If that were the combo, I might cook the grapefruit for a day, then add the Meyer in on the second day, then cook it all together on the third.

    That said, I sort of like the idea of a softer piece of peel mixed in with some firmer peel; given that my typical less-sugar marm is lots of peel and very little syrup/jelly, I like the idea of some variations in peel texture within the same preserve. I honestly didn’t pay much attention when I was tasting this one, but I tend to think that the texture of both fruits was pretty similar. I think I would have noticed any big difference.

    As for the salt, I add it to almost every jam/preserve. Just a pinch, but it brings out the flavor of the fruit, just like a pinch of salt in savory foods. It’s completely optional; it has kind of become habit for me. Sometimes I can definitely notice the difference, not in a taste of saltiness, but in a POP of flavor; other times it doesn’t seem to make as much difference. But for marms, I tend to toss it in at the beginning so I don’t forget while it’s boiling away on the stove. :)

    • Thanks for responding so quickly, Kaela. (I’m cutting my fruit right now! The little limes I got are ripe and ready to be used.) If I’m making a mixed fruit marmalade, I almost always cook the fruits separately, but in this case because both are soft skinned — and, honestly, I’m feeling lazy — I’m going to give the one pot method a try. Gonna salt it a little bit, too. Also, I meant to say that I appreciated your tip about adding the juice of a regular lemon to sweeter marmalades. Sometimes one might think, “Why would I want to add lemon to a lemon marm?” but that non-Meyer acid really does add a pop, same as your salt trick. :-)

      • Well, let us know how it goes! I’ve had a lemon-lime-margarita marm in my head (with tequila, of course!) but haven’t quite gotten there yet. Because, everyone needs a dozen different marmalades in the house, natch. ;)

        • And there we go thinking alike again! I’ve had a lemon-lime-margarita marmalade (with salt, tequila, triple sec) loaded in my drafts folder since January 2011. It brought home a blue ribbon from the fair this summer, but I haven’t gotten around to photographing it yet. It’s on my to-do list for this month, but you know how that goes.

  4. Hmmm. I have been sorely behind on the citrus blitz this year. I have made only one marm in the past month. I deliberately have been resisting because I still have marms from last year. I always have them left over. However. However. I just bought some really amazing navels and I was thinking of doing a straight up navel marm. Don’t that sound cute? But seeing this post, and these pictures has me thinking I was way, way wrong in not investing in a boat load of gorgeous citrus. I’ll be kicking myself very shortly…

    • Tai loves it so much that it doesn’t seem to matter how much I make, we go through it. Of course, this year might be a challenge: I made Marm #6 tonight. I think I need a Cintervention.

  5. Joan

    Thank you for adding the link to the Meyer lemon orchard. The box arrived yesterday and the lemons are beautiful. Will start marmalade preparations tomorrow – the limoncello is marinating and lemonade’s done! Hope to try your cranberry/lemon chutney, too. Very impressed – Marm #6?!!! Always lovely posts.

  6. You’re very welcome, Joan. I’ve tried some Meyers from other places and been less than impressed, but have to say that the Lemon Ladies’ Meyers are wonderful. Quite addictive!

    And yes, I think I’m on marm # 8 or 9 now. It’s a sickness: marmaphilia. Alert the media! :)

  7. I just tried this. I’m thinking I didn’t use enough sugar because it doesn’t appear to be setting. It was intended to be a Christmas gift. Perhaps I can package it as a marinade instead of marmalade, lol!

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