The flavour of mandarins is found in many places within Asian cuisine, and it has both sweet and savoury applications. In winter, Australia experiences an absolute glut of citrus, so it’s nice to have a few recipes on hand to help you catch and store the sun’s energy in preserves while the fruit is in abundance.
You can try your hand at this deliciously simple mandarin marmalade, which makes an excellent gift and a scrumptious way to see through the cold dark winters. Or you can make a refreshing cordial with them by adapting this recipe. They make an excellent infused booze for Christmas (basically just combine a bit of mandarin, sugar in either brandy or vodka and let sit for 3-4 months before straining), but if you’re after something more unique to serve with curries, roast dinners or even to jazz up a simple cheese sandwich, this chutney is the way to go.
500g apples (foraged apples are great, or Granny Smith)
¾ cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, apricots, figs, cranberries – they’d all work)
2 cups brown sugar
1tbsp pure salt
1tbsp ground ginger
1tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2tsp ground allspice
1/2-1 tsp crushed chilli (more if you like a hot chutney)
250-300ml vinegar (malt, brown or apple cider are preferable for flavour)
- Wash fruit well in warm water
- Peel mandarins and chop segments into bite-size pieces
- Finely chop the peel
- Peel, core and dice apple and onion
- Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to the boil
- Simmer for a couple of hours on low, until mixture is thick and most excess liquid has evaporated
- Spoon into hot sterilised jars and seal while hot
Store in a cool dark cupboard for potentially years before opening, then in the fridge once you’ve cracked the jar. Like most chutneys and vinegar-based preserves, this benefits from being stored for 1-2 months before opening so the flavours can mellow and develop.
* You could make this recipe using oranges, grapefruits, lemons or cumquats too.
* It’s preferable to use pure salt for preserving, as the additives in regular table salt can affect the taste and appearance of many preserves. Pure salt is salt that has no additives. Lake, sea, kosher, ‘pickling’, rock: they’re all pure. When measuring by volume rather than weight, make sure to use granulated salt though, otherwise the ratios will be off.
You may also like some of these citrus and chutney recipes…