Week #1 Of The 52 Weeks, 52 Jams Challenge: Tangerine Jam
My friend Billy gave me eight pounds of tangerines and four pounds of lemons off his backyard tree. Since I’m not a huge fan of marmalade, I decided to try and make a citrus jam instead.
32 ounces of tangerine juice
4 cups of granulated cane sugar
juice of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons of tangerine zest
1 cinnamon stick
Regency Spice Bags or cheese cloth
Using a zester, remove only the outer layer of the tangerine peels. Juice the tangerines, setting aside the pith and the seeds. In a non-reactive pot add the tangerine and lemon juices, sugar, and cinnamon.
Put the pith and the seeds into a cloth spice bag or wrap and tie with Natural Cheese Cloth and kitchen twine. (The pith and seeds contain pectin which will allow the jam to jell. You may substitute fruit pectin for this step if you want a firmer jam). Add the bag to the pot with the other ingredients.
Bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until ingredients begin to jell, stirring constantly. Remove the spice bag containing the pith and the seeds, and the cinnamon stick.
Pour the hot jam into hot, sterilized glass jars. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove processed jars from canner and allow to cool overnight.
Unfortunately, eight pounds of tangerines cook down to just TEN 4 ounce jelly jars. Now I know why people make marmalade–you get a lot more preserved citrus if you use the peel too and not just the juice.
On the upside, the tangerine jam is insanely delicious. My boyfriend has already eaten his way through half the jars, and asked me to make a second batch using tangerine juice from Trader Joe’s…a scratch cooking cheat that I’m actually considering.
While the tangerine jam is yummy on bread, its bright flavor deserves better. The ultimate use for this tangerine jam is as an ice cream topping. Combine this jam with homemade vanilla ice cream for the greatest Creamsicle ever.