Well this week I was able to pick up some mandarin oranges, sometimes called clementines.
As a kid my mom would make this great orange walnut and creme dessert for the holidays. Its nice to say I now have oranges on hand if I ever want to make that.
These are also great for orange sauce for chicken, orange frosting for cookies and cup cakes, and assorted other recipe's which derive the flavor from citrus.
Like the title says, this is a great beginner one. Super easy, and the final product is great.
Step 1: Select your fruit. I will note here that this recipe works for any type of citrus, oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, etc.
Step 2: Peel peel peel.....
Step 3: section or cut. Once the outer peel is removed along with as much of the white pith between the peel and the fruit, you have a choice to make. You can either sectionalize the fruit like I did, or you can cut it in half revealing the middle area where the seeds are and then pick them out. The only think I would recommend against is putting the whole orange in the jar. Any other way you can conjure up is probably going to be ok.
Step 4: This is where you will prepare your syrup. I prefer light syrup most closely reflecting natural orange juice. It is made of 6 and 1/2 cups water and 3/4 cup sugar (This is for 4 quarts or 9 pints). you mix and bring to a simmer. If you want less or more sugar, just add or subtract. For a full 7 quart load use 10.5 cups water and 1 and 1/4 cups sugar.
Step 5: After simmering the syrup, fill the jars leaving at least 1/2 head space.Step 6: Set them in your water bath, and start the timer once the water starts to boil. You will want to let the jars remain in boiling water for 10 minutes if you are at sea level, and unless you live on mount Everest or Kilimanjaro, 15 min for people not living at sea level altitude.