I had a large bag of impulse-bought clementines to use up — they didn’t taste that great raw, but they turned out to make a very good jam. I’m calling it jam rather than marmalade because you don’t get a clear syrup with small strips of peel suspended in it; instead it has a thicker, more jammy texture, but still with the tang of marmalade thanks to the peel. It’s also a lot less work than marmalade.
I adapted this from a recipe on French cookery site Cuisine Actuelle. I liked the idea of keeping the peel on some of the fruit and peeling the rest. I didn’t though think it was a good idea to simply halve the unpeeled clementines — you’d end up with massive pieces of peel in the jam, hardly toast-friendly.
This amount will make about two to three 375 g jars. I wouldn’t make a much larger quantity than this, as it’s always difficult to get a set with a large volume. It’s best to choose clementines with as few pips as possible.
About 2 kg untreated clementines
About 1 kg granulated sugar
Optional: a vanilla pod
Put a saucer in the fridge to chill. Select seven or eight of the smallest clementines and put them whole and unpeeled in a large pan of boiling water. Boil for five minutes, then drain and leave to cool a bit. Meanwhile peel the remaining fruit and separate into segments. Remove any loose bits of white pith, but there’s no need to go overboard trying to get rid of every last scrap. Slice or roughly chop the whole clementines, trying to catch as much juice as possible.
Now weigh all your fruit (segments and chopped) and weigh out the same weight of sugar. Put the sugar in a pan with a small glass of water and heat gently to dissolve. Then add the fruit (and split vanilla pod if using) and simmer on a low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. While it’s cooking, fish out any pips you spot floating to the top. Meanwhile, sterilise your jars (I do this by putting them in a low oven for 10 minutes or so, and boil the lids in a pan).
Once everything is good and mushy, raise the heat and boil for a set, stirring frequently. It will probably take about 10-15 minutes depending on how juicy your clementines were. I was surprised how firmly mine set with the “wrinkle test” on a saucer — I’d actually have preferred it a little less set, so test early and often by dropping a tiny amount on the cold saucer and pushing with your finger.
Once set, if you think the chunks are still a bit big, use a stick blender to puree it a bit before pouring into jars and sealing.