Fun with mandarin oranges
Posted: 19 January 2008 01:34 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Jim and I are always happy when the mandarin oranges start coming into our local natural foods co-op. We buy a box at a time and feast on them. I hated to see the lovely (and organic) peels going to waste, so I started collecting them and candying them. After a while I got tired of that, so I ground up the peel finely with some brandy. I plan to let it sit for about a month, then strain it, sweeten it and have homemade orange cordial. Then I decided to can up some mandarin orange segments in a brandied syrup, so we could taste them later on when they’re no longer in season.

Notes for next year: the peels keep their color better if blanched quickly in boiling water, then “shocked” in cold water. (I think I got this idea out of the “Passion for Chocolate” book that Rose translated.)

First picture:
back left - box with some of the Satsuma mandarin oranges on top.
back right - peels soaking in cold water. I then cut away the white pith before candying.
middle, leftt - container of finished candied peel.
middle - jar of leftover syrup from candying and canning the segments. (I wasn’t sure how much to make for canning. As you can see, I ended up with way too much.)
slightly right of middle - one of the jars of canned mandarin segments.
middle, right - jar of ground-up peel in brandy
front - bowl of mandarin segments and plate of candied peel

Second picture:
closeup of candied peel and mandarin segments

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Posted: 19 January 2008 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Looks fantastic!  I use Rose’s trick of adding a bit of grenadine to enhance the color.

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Posted: 19 January 2008 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the tip, Matthew. I may try that with my home-made “mandarino” as it seems to be turning out more yellow than orange.

I didn’t know exactly what “grenadine” was, but a quick trip to wikipedia cleared that up. Somehow I ended up on the entry for “limoncello” (does anybody else read dictionaries and encycopedias for fun? wink ) and discovered that Italians also make a similar drink from mandarin oranges, called “mandarino.” So I guess that is what I am making!

By the way, the mandarin oranges I used came from Johansen Ranch in California. They have a Web site, but it looks like they don’t sell retail, only wholesale. Here are a couple of links with some information on the farm. Interesting stories!

http://www.newseasonsmarket.com/dynamicContent.aspx?loc=115&subloc=1&menuId=229&mc=1151

http://www.foodcoop.coop/index.php?page=johansen_ranch

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Posted: 20 January 2008 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What a great idea!

I hate wasting anything. 

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