With an abundance of gorgeous winter citrus around at the moment, I thought this would be an opportunity to share a delicious Mandarin Marmalade recipe. The trees at the farm are bursting with mandarins (pictured), lemons, grapefruit and oranges. Melbourne Farmer's Markets have some great produce, a lot of which is spray free - chat to the farmers / growers - they're always willing to share information. Buying directly from growers and producers means the continuation of high quality goods, as well as wide variety. Some citrus can be easily grown in relatively small spaces, even in tubs on a balcony.
1 kg mandarins / 800 g white sugar / juice of 2 lemons / 2 cm piece of lemon rind
Boil mandarins whole for approx 50 mins. Drain water and cut into quarters, removing any seeds. Whizz in a food processor until chopped. Put back into the saucepan and add the sugar, lemon juice and rind. Boil gently for about 40 minutes, stirring often.
To test for setting - place a couple of small plates into the freezer. Place a small spoonful of marmalade onto a cold plate. Push a spoon through the middle of the marmalade. If the surface "wrinkles", it has reached setting point. If not, add a few more drops of lemon juice and boil for 5 more minutes. Test again. The lemon juice causes the fruit to release its' own natural pectin. I make all jam and marmalade this way, so that every product is completely free of any artificial ingredients.
When ready, pour the marmalade into sterilised jars, seal and label. This will keep for several months in a cool, dark cupboard. Once opened, store in the fridge - it probably won't last there for too long !
Try this marmalade on fruit toast with ricotta and a pinch of cinnamon.