December 15, 2009

microwave tangerine marmalade

microwave tangerine marmalade

Tangerines and sugar, that's all it takes, add a food processor and a microwave and you have (almost) instant marmalade!

Beginners, if you are intimidated by marmalade this is a great recipe to try. Don’t get me wrong, I adore marmalade, but it is a lot of work. Just thinking about it, all the slicing, peeling and pith removal makes me tired. This time of year we all need a little extra time.
By utilizing the food processor and the microwave, start to finish, you can bang this out in thirty minutes, even faster if you use seedless tangerines and resist the urge to multi-task.
Not as complex or refined as a traditional marmalade, it is fantastic nonetheless, and a great addition to every jammers repertoire. Some might consider it cheaters marmalade, but given the work/outcome ratio it’s a winner in my book.
If you have a few extra tangerines lying around you can whip this up fast and seem like a star.

YEILD: 1pint


  • Use the most flavorful tangerines you can find.
  • Do not double the recipe, the microwave will not like it and you will end up with a giant mess.
  • Use a high-sided microwaveable container as the jam bubbles up. I like to use my 2-quart glass mixer bowl, which I can pour directly into the jars from.
  • After you get the basic technique down feel free to play a bit adding a touch of booze or spices.


  • ¾ lb tangerines, (Satsuma, Clementine or Dancy)
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1-tablespoon rum (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)


Start your hot water bath and prepare your jars and lids.

Peel and seed tangerines (or get seedless) removing and discarding all the white stringy bits from the outside and down the center of the fruit.

Place peel, pulp and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Puree, making sure that all the peel and section skins are reduced to a pulp. It will be quite liquidly.

Pour into a high-sided microwaveable bowl adding rum and nutmeg. Cover tightly with saran wrap that you have pierced a few times to vent.

Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Stir; remove saran wrap and return to microwave for 7 minutes.  Remove, stir and check thickness. At this point, depending on the juiciness of your fruit you may want to return it to the microwave for another 2-3 minutes. It continues thickening as it cools.

Stir again and pour or ladle marmalade into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch headroom and removing any air bubbles. Wipe rims and place lids on screwing on lightly.

Place jars in canner making sure the jars are submerged. Return to a boil and process 5 minutes (timed from the boil) for 4oz jars and 10 minutes for 8oz jars. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before carefully removing jars. Place jars on towels or a cutting board to cool. Label and enjoy. 

December 10, 2009



They say February is the longest month, but for me, it was November. My sincerest apologies for not posting in so long, but the last six weeks have been craaaazy. I will do my best to make up for it in the coming weeks. 
I have much to report on including a fantastic canning event I did at MEND (Meet Every Need with Dignity) with talented fellow canner Kevin West from Saving the Season, and the fabulous folks from Food Forward, but more on that later.
Below is my recipe for Thai Flavored Canned Asian Pears. Kevin sampled them at the MEND event and convinced me that it was post-worthy. Sometimes we need to borrow others taste buds, our own being confused or overwhelmed. Both Kevin and my daughter Isabel said it reminded them of lychee.
My desire for a crisp canned pear led me to develop this recipe. Asian pears don’t have a ton of flavor, but what they lack in taste they make up for in texture. I can’t think of another fruit that is simultaneously crisp and juicy. They retain that quality when canned and their delicate taste makes them the perfect foil for any number of flavors you want to impose on them. The thai trio of lemon grass, ginger and lime are a perfectly complement the pears.
The technique is the same as basic canned pears; peel and core, cook briefly in a simple syrup and can. Asian pears do not have sufficient acid so they require the addition of citric acid or bottled lemon juice to the jars before canning.
This makes a lovely light dessert served with sorbet or on its own. It’s a simple recipe with a big WOW factor.


4 quarts
  • 1-gallon cool water
  • 1-teaspoon citric acid or lemon juice (for water to prevent browning)
  • 8-10 lb firm Asian Pears
  • 21/2cups sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 1/4” thick slices of peeled fresh ginger root
  • 2 stalks lemon grass trimmed, lightly smashed and cut into 3-4” pieces
  • 4 kafir lime leaves or 4 large pieces lime peel (with as little pith as possible)
  • 8 tablespoons (2 per quart jar) bottled lemon juice or 2 teaspoons  (1/2 teaspoon per quart) citric acid

1.  Start your hot water bath canner and prepare your jars and lids.
2. Mix the water and citric acid or lemon juice together in a large bowl. Peel, quarter and core the pears (I use a melon baller) and place them in the water mixture to prevent browning.
3. Meanwhile in a large saucepan combine the sugar, water, ginger and kafir leaves or lime peel. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low.
4.  Place pears in a single layer (you may have to do two batches) in syrup. Cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes until fruit is heated through.

5. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to prepared jars. Using tongs or a slotted spoon pack pears into jars as snugly as possible (the fruit shrinks while cooking). Fill to the top squeezing in extra fruit if possible.

6. Divide ginger slices, lemon grass and  kafir evenly between jars. Cover the pears with the sugar syrup leaving 1/2-inch headroom. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims and place lids on screwing on lightly.
7. Place jars in canner covering with more hot water to submerge the jars by at least a full inch. Bring to a boil and process quarts for 25 minutes (timed from the boil). Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before carefully removing jars. Place jars on towels or a cutting board to cool.