Winter Sunshine in a Jar

I have a confession.  It seems I have a mini obsession with tangerines these days. I would like to say that it’s just because they are the fruit that is trending at the moment, or because they are good for you { lots of Vitamin C! }, but honestly it’s the color.  I can’t help it, that color just gets me every time. But I am happy to say I am in good company…when I typed in ‘tangerine’ into the Etsy treasury search, over 4,000 results came back with the word tangerine in the tittle, tag or description.

Last week my Treasury Thursday was all about the tangerine and I shared a recipe for “Honey Tangerine Marmalade“.  Since then, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind, so I tried the recipe on my day off a few days ago. It was surprisingly easy and exceedingly good. And so, I wanted to share it with you…

The ingredients are simple, few and inexpensive:

  • 5 honey tangerines [or any tangerine will work]
  • 1 1/2 cups of orange juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and pulped {instructions below if this is new to you}
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

The first step is to zest the the tangerines, and set the zest aside for now.

Then, cut the tangerines into segments, removing the skin and membrane and any seeds.

The recipe didn’t call for it, but I decided to add in even more orange, and included the fruit of a blood orange. The color is just amazing!

Next, take two regular lemons and press the juice into a dish, and also set aside.

This is one of those recipes where you have to get everything ready ahead of time and have it set up to go into the cooking pot all at once.

Take your time and enjoy the process, and remember to clean as you go!

The last step of preparation is to split and pulp the vanilla bean pod.  Using a sharp paring knife, slice the pod down one side, open it up with the knife and scrape the seeds and pulp off the inside of the pod; that’s what you will use for the recipe. You will also use the pod during the cooking process, so don’t toss it yet!

Did ya know: vanilla is the most widely used flavoring in pastries, confections, and other desserts.  It is the second most expensive spice in the world, next to saffron.

In fact, vanilla has quite a story.

This is what  the pulp  that you will scrape from inside the bean pod looks like.  It smells wonderful!
Now, it’s time to combine all the ingredients on the stove. You will need a medium size pot for the cooking process.
Add the ingredients one by one; vanilla bean pulp and pod, the sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, dried cranberries, tangerine { and blood orange! } segments, and the zest of the tangerines.
Place over medium/high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it comes to a full, rolling boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately 20-40 minutes.  The aroma while it is cooking is heavenly!  The recipe states a simmer time of 20 minutes, but it took me closer to 40 to get the consistency of marmalade.  Just keep an eye on it; it should be slightly thickened. I suggest that you test very small portions as you go. Once it cools, you can tell if it is thickening.
{ And, you can sneak some tastes along the way – YUM }
Once the marmalade has reached the right consistency, remove the vanilla bean pod, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Before it cools too much, transfer the marmalade goodness to a glass container. I used these little spice jars { purchased from Cost Plus/World Market }.
The recipe makes enough to fill three of these jars and just a bit extra for eating now!  { about 1 1/2 cups }
Once it cools down a bit, you have to try it.  O.M.G.oodness!
I toasted a whole grain English muffin, put a bit of butter and then slathered {yes, I said slathered!} on that honey tangerine marmalade, poured myself a juice glass of tangerine juice {disclaimer: you were fully warned about the tangerine obsession}
It was so yummolicious, I had to share with a couple of my best girls.
So I fixed it up in the cute little glass jars; included a small jelly spoon and made up a tag and tied it on with some tangerine twine. I know, I know.
And, since by now you know you just have to try this, I included the downloadable free printable PDF of the marmalade labels for you to print when you make the marmalade for your best girls. Or boys.
I backed the tag with some citrus themed card-stock paper, punched a small eyelet and looped the tangerine twine that I purchased from one of my ♥ Esty shops {buttonsandbows4u} and there you have it, winter sunshine in a jar! Refrigerate.
This would make a great hostess gift with some gourmet muffin/scone mix; as well as a nice option or addition to holiday goodies since the fruit is in season in the winter months.
{ enjoy! }

2 thoughts on “Winter Sunshine in a Jar

  1. I truly enjoy reading your blog posts. You so so very creative! AND the pictures are amazing! I will have to “attempt” to make this yummolicious Honey Tangerine Marmalade!! 🙂


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