What’s on the Market – Season for Citrus

Happy New Year! My name is Sam and in my column you will find seasonal fruits and vegetables (local if possible), featured every week with recipes, fun facts and pictures.

This week, I’m writing about citrus, more specifically clementines. Considering it’s cold season, mother nature did a pretty good job making vitamin C packed fruits widely available during the coldest time of year (at least for us Illinois-ers). Fruits like oranges and lemons, along with all their related varieties, should be seen in plenty around the grocery stores.

Although citrus fruits are available year round, there’s nothing quite like the sunniness a clementine can bring during the dreary winter months. Sometimes referred to as seedless tangerines, clementines are easy to peel, usually seedless and are less acidic than normal oranges.

To preserve (literally) the bright and sweet flavor of clementines, I made a clementine vanilla marmalade to spread on my morning toast or have as a snack. The recipe, as follows, was adapted from greenkitchenstories.com.

Clementine Vanilla Marmalade – Yields about 2 cups

    • 7 clementines
    • 1/2 cup of clementine juice (I used about 5, but depends on the size)
    • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (adjustable for sweetness)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup honey

In order to remove the bitter taste from the peel you first need to blanch the clementines. Slice the clementines as thin as you can and place them in a pot with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain. Pour more cold water into the pot, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and let clementines cool in the pot.

Chop clementines into small pieces and return to pot. Add juice, honey and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for about 20 minutes or until the temperature gets to about 220 F. If the marmalade gets a little dry while boiling, you can add some orange juice to it. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool before adding to clean jars for storage.

This marmalade is easy to make and will keep for several weeks in the fridge. Now, all you have to do is open up the fridge to enjoy some citrus sweetness!

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