Meyers and mandarins

I skimmed through a blog posting a while back on a way to preserve mandarin oranges, peel and all, and turn them into something that looked like the perfect end to a heavy holiday season meal. But of course I didn’t bookmark it, so it was back to Google to search through a surprisingly large number of recipes for candied satsuma orange peel, and surprisingly few for the fruits themselves. I rejected one recipe that drew parallels between home-canned mandarin orange segments and the commercial ones I remember embedded in an orange jelly (jello) when I was growing up, and I rejected another because there seemed to be too much focus on red wine, and not enough on oranges.

But then I found a post from the wonderfully named Thyme on my side blog which was probably the recipe I coveted right at the start. She calls her clementines candied — I think syruped might be a better moniker — but what’s a word or two between friends. I was out of vanilla beans, so chose ginger and cardamon as my flavorings. I used mostly organic fruit — fewer chemicals and preservatives, I hope. Here is what I did.

Clementine oranges in ginger syrup

1,5kg organic clementines, washed and sliced very thin, peel and all (throw away the ends, which are all peel, and no fruit)
1/2 cup chopped up crystalized ginger
2 cups water
3-1/2 cups sugar
a few green cardamon pods

Heat the sugar, water and spices gently until the sugar has dissolved, then add the fruit and simmer until the oranges are tender — it took about 12 minutes.

Bottle in sterilized jars, packing the fruit in first and then covering with syrup to within 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Water bath for 15 minutes (for 500 ml jars).

It made 3 jars, and there was enough syrup left over that I chopped up four Meyer lemons and boiled them up, which left me with one small jar of lemons in syrup, and half a jar of leftover syrup.

The oranges will go on cake, or on icecream. But like Lacey, I’m as stoked about the leftovers as I ever was about the jar. My half jar of syrup is bitingly tart, but gloriously tasty, with a lemon-orange taste and a gentle hint of ginger.

Now where did I put that recipe for lemon ginger thyme cake, and can I throw this on the top as a syrup?

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