MANDARIN MARMALADE (Without Pectin + Tips)

This mandarin marmalade is spiced with cinnamon and has a unique, bittersweet flavor! The hint of brandy adds a balance to the sweet and tangy fruit. It’s great on toast for breakfast or over Greek yogurt!

Mandarin Marmalade


I love making jams and marmalades when the fruit is in season! That way I have different jams and marmalades all throughout the year!

My neighbors gave me a huge bag of mandarins from their organic citrus farm in Sparta, which is in the Peloponnese. Sparta is well-known for its citrus fruit, so I couldn’t wait to make this marmalade!

Mandarin Marmalade

I have to be upfront with you – this is not a very quick recipe and it tends to be a bit messy, BUT, believe me, it’s easy and totally worth it!

Like all my jams and marmalades, this recipe does not use commercial pectin. I always avoid it because you need a lot of sugar when using pectin, sometimes up to 80%  more! So I avoid commercial pectin like the plague!

This marmalade is made with only 5 ingredients, each with its own purpose and importance.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Mandarins: I used seedless mandarins for this recipe, but you could use tangerines or clementines.

Sugar: I always use regular, granulated sugar because it dissolves easily. You could use dark brown sugar as long as you don’t mind the marmalade turning dark in color.

Cinnamon Sticks: They really give an amazing mild flavor.

Lemon Juice: It has lots of pectin, which is needed to thicken the marmalade naturally.

Brandy or Cognac: This pairs well with citrus fruit and cinnamon! I really love the combination!

2 small plates: I always put 2 small plates in the refrigerator when I start making the marmalade. They are needed to test if the marmalade has set.

Mandarin Marmalade

How to make Mandarin Marmalade in 4 Steps:

STEP 1: PREP THE MANDARINS AND LEMON JUICE

Juice 2 lemons and set aside. Wash the mandarins well and pat dry. Juice half of them and set the juice aside. Put the peels in a heavy pot. Peel the remaining mandarins, discard the pith, and put all the peels in the pot. Chop the fruit into small pieces, removing any seeds. If you don’t like chunky pieces of fruit in the marmalade, you can put the fruit in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

STEP 2: PREP THE PEELS TO REMOVE THE BITTERNESS

Cover the peels in the pot with water. Boil for about 15 minutes and then drain the water. Stack a few peels one on top of the other, and cut into strips, as thick as you like. Put them back into the pot.

STEP 3: MAKE THE MARMALADE (OR PREP IT FOR THE NEXT DAY)

Add the fruit, the lemon juice and mandarin juice to the pot with the peels. Weigh this mixture and add the same amount of sugar (for example, if the fruit mixture weighs 1 kilo (2.2 pounds), add 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of sugar). Add the cinnamon sticks.

(Note: At this point, if you’re pressed for time, you could cover the pot now, put it in the refrigerator overnight, and continue making the marmalade the next day.)

Put the pot on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then turn up the heat to high and bring to a rapid boil, uncovered. Remove any foam from the top. Stir often to prevent the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

STEP 4: TEST THE MARMALADE AND SEAL

After about 30-35 minutes, take the pot off the heat to test if the marmalade has set. The mixture will have reduced and become thick. Spoon some of the mixture onto a cold plate and put it back into the refrigerator for about 1-2 minutes. Then take it back out and push the mixture with the back of a teaspoon. If it crinkles while you’re pushing, the marmalade is set. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then stir in the cognac/brandy. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving about 1 cm (1/2 inch) headspace. Clean the rim of the jars with damp paper towels and seal.

For a simple method of testing the marmalade, check out the photo tutorial in this post .

It’s what I use to test all my jams and marmalades.

TIPS FOR MAKING MARMALADE

1 Use sterilized jars and utensils.

2 Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before bringing everything to a rolling boil.

3 While you’re testing the marmalade to see if it has set, take the pot off the heat or you might overcook it and make it too thick and dry.

4 Allow about 1 cm (1/2 inch) headspace when filling the jars.

I hope you enjoy this mandarin marmalade!

~Voula

Let me know how this mandarin marmalade turns out for you in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

MANDARIN MARMALADE (Without Pectin + Tips)

This mandarin marmalade is spiced with cinnamon and has a unique, bittersweet flavor! The hint of brandy adds a balance to the sweet and tangy fruit. It’s great on toast for breakfast or over Greek yogurt!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: mandarin, marmalade, tips, without pectin
Servings: 2 kilos (4.4 lbs)

Ingredients

  • 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) mandarins/tangerines/clementines
  • about 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) sugar (depending on the weight of the fruit mixture)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac (optional)

Instructions

  • Put 2 small plates in the refrigerator (they'll be needed to test if the marmalade has set).

PREP THE MANDARINS AND LEMON JUICE

  • Juice 2 lemons and set aside.
  • Wash the mandarins well and pat dry. Juice half of them and set the juice aside.
  • Put the peels in a heavy pot.
  • Peel the remaining mandarins, discard the pith, and put all the peels in the pot.
  • Chop the fruit into small pieces, removing any seeds. If you don’t like chunky pieces of fruit in the marmalade, you can put the fruit in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

PREP THE PEELS TO REMOVE THE BITTERNESS

  • Cover the peels in the pot with water. Boil for about 15 minutes and then drain the water.
  • Stack a few peels one on top of the other, and cut into strips. Put them back into the pot.

MAKE THE MARMALADE (OR PREP IT FOR THE NEXT DAY)

  • Add the fruit, the lemon juice and mandarin juice to the pot with the peels.
  • Weigh this mixture and add the same amount of sugar (for example, if the fruit mixture weighs 1 kilo (2.2 pounds), add 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of sugar).
  • Add the cinnamon sticks.

(NOTE: At this point, if you're pressed for time, you could cover the pot now, put it in the refrigerator overnight, and continue making the marmalade the next day.)

  • Put the pot on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then turn up the heat to high and bring to a rapid boil, uncovered.
  • Remove any foam from the top. Stir often to prevent the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

TEST THE MARMALADE AND SEAL

  • After about 30-35 minutes, take the pot off the heat to test if the marmalade has set. The mixture will have reduced and become thick. Spoon some of the mixture onto a cold plate and put it back into the refrigerator for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Then take it back out and push the mixture with the back of a teaspoon. If it crinkles while you’re pushing, the marmalade is set.
  • Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then stir in the brandy or cognac.
  • Pour into sterilized jars, leaving about 1 cm (1/2 inch) headspace. Clean the rim of the jars with damp paper towels and seal.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

The marmalade will thicken a bit as it cools.
© Pastry Wishes
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