Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is it worth it?


While I was peeling and de-seeding (is that a word?)yet another batch of Tangerines to make my now famous spiced Tangerine Marmalade as requested by friends and family, I kept thinking boy this is a lot of work, is it worth it? I have to admit the stuff smells pretty darn good when its simmering but when I burned my fingers while filling my jelly jars and realized that I had spent two hours of my morning to yield 6 small jars I again had to again question my sanity.

The answer came to me later, after I had cleaned up the mess and the jars had cooled down. I fixed myself a couple of pieces of toast and spread them with the fresh warm marmalade, after the first bite felt that sense of satisfaction that only comes as the result of things made by your own two hands and decided that yes, it is definitely worth it.

The recipe is pretty simple:
12-14 tangerines peeled and seeds removed, pureed in a food processor, blender or in my case my Magic Bullet.
In a large dutch oven style pan add the pureed tangerines and 6 cups of sugar. I have made with 3 cups Splenda and 3 cups of sugar to reduce the sugar in the past but I did not think it made as thick of a jelly besides you really only use a small amount at a time as a spread.
To this mixture I add a dash of Cinnamon, a dash of Cloves and a dash of Nutmeg all to your preference.
Bring the entire mix to a boil, reduce heat slightly and continue at a slow boil for a bout 1/2 hour, till it forms a sheeting on a metal spoon. The recipe says 220 degrees but I could never get it to that temp. and it still turned out perfect.
Remove from heat and immediately spoon into jelly jars, screw lids in place and turn upside down to seal, it continues to thicken as it cools.
The first time I made a batch I got impatient and thought the stuff was more of a syrup then a marmalade but when it really cooled it was the perfect consistency for spreading.