This is a really yummy jam or compote – it’s a combination of the two really. It’s lovely combined with sweet mincemeat in puff pastry trees and also delicious served with cheese! It could also be used as an insert in an entremets mousse layer cake or in a montblanc cake for example. Boiling the fruit first in water helps reduce the bitterness in the skin but the jam still has a little bitterness and tang to it, which actually is nice especially combined with other food but also eaten with a spoon! This jam’s perfect if you’re avoiding refined sugars or very sweet shop-bought preserves and when you just want loads of fruit in there! 🙂
The jam’s not difficult to make and the ingredients are simple and healthy: fruit and maple syrup. There’s no need to buy pectin. The vanilla’s optional but I’ve found I really love it in jam. I’m sure other spices could be really nice too.
You can use honey or sugar instead of maple syrup. With maple syrup the jam’s naturally vegan and the small quantity of butter in the mincemeat could easily be replaced with vegan margarine or butter. The quantities are pretty flexible. The ones in this recipe worked nicely for me but please feel free to adapt, making the jam more or less sweet depending on your fruit and to suit your tastes.
Plan to be around 3-4 hours at home but there isn’t much work except chopping and stirring a bit more often towards the end so it doesn’t burn.
- 450-500g/16-18oz fresh whole mandarins or clementines
- 80g/4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste (100g/5 tbsp if you prefer a sweeter jam), or honey/sugar if you prefer
- 1/2 vanilla pod, sliced in half horizontally with the seeds scraped out and included (optional)
- Boil the whole fruit in a lot of water for 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours to eliminate the bitterness. The more you boil, the less bitter.
- Drain and allow to cool a little.
- Slice off the hard stem base then chop finely.
- Place in a heavy based pan, add the vanilla and cook on low-medium heat for 30 minutes (stir occasionally).
- Pour in the maple syrup, stir and cook 30 minutes more. Stir often so it doesn’t burn or stick. Taste and see if you’d like more maple syrup in the jam (it’s great if the jam’s a bit tart).
- When the jam has a nice sticky consistency remove from heat and allow to cool before using.
It can be stored in airtight tupperware in the fridge up to a week or wrap tightly in plastic film and freeze up to 2 months.
Yum yum! Enjoy your tasty mandarin or clementine jam and have fun finding lots of things to eat with it! 🙂