Thursday, January 9, 2014

tangerine marmalade with cardamom and vanilla

Pahoa Village was once known for its tangerines. Most of the orchards have disappeared, but half a dozen 70 year old trees surround our little house. They produce copious quanities of delicious fruit, most of which tragically goes to waste. Our morning fresh-squeezed juice accounts for some, but our tangerine wine trials from last year didn't yield great results. After learning that most of the nutrition of citrus is in its peel, I decided to try marmalade again.

I based this recipe on this Epicurious tangerine vanilla marmalade recipe, decreasing the sugar and adding my favorite spice: cardamom.

This country-style marmalade celebrates the bitter flavors of the citrus peel, combining them with the sweet spices of vanilla bean and cardamom seeds. We happened to have some plain shortbread received as a holiday gift. The marmalade was an amazing complement when served with hot tea. We found that it is also wonderful in crepes.


2 lbs tangerines
0-4 cups tangerine juice(or substitute water)
1 lemon (I used a meyer lemon)
2.5 cups sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1 vanilla bean
12 green cardamom pods
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

tangerines from our 70-year-old trees

Quarter and slice cross-wise 2 pounds tangerines (about 6-8 of ours) and 1 lemon. Collect in a large bowl. I found that lightly squeezing the juice from the quarters and into the bowl before slicing allowed me to collect more of the juice. Otherwise, it is lost to the cutting board and counter. You can use everything except the seeds, but I also cut off a bit of rind at the ends for aesthetic reasons. Add about 4 cups liquid to cover the slices. I used 2 cups tangerine juice and 2 cups water. The recipe I was working from said to use water, but the suggestion by a commenter to use juice was irresistible to me. Let soak for a day, covered, at room temperature.

tangerine and lemon slices ready to soak overnight

 The next day, transfer slices and liquid to a pot. Add the seeds of a vanilla bean. You can also let the bean simmer, too. I cut the bean lengthwise and crosswise, ending up with 4 pieces. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the vanilla seeds and prevent sticking at the bottom of the pot. Keep watch for any seeds that might have slipped in and remove them.

tangerine slices simmering with vanilla bean

Remove from heat and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Use more or less than 2.5 cups sugar to taste. Simmer another 1 hour 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and more frequently as the time elapses. During this time, prepare canning accessories - jars, lids, etc. Also, remove cardamom seeds from the pods and grind.

crushed cardamom seeds

 About 10 minutes before the time ends, add the crushed cardamom. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom because I love that flavor! Stir in.

10 minutes before ladling to jars, cardamom added

At the end of the time, remove pot from heat, remove vanilla bean pieces, stir, and ladle into jars. This recipe yielded almost exactly 5 1-cup jars for me. Either can the jars to store at room temperature or allow the jars to cool then refrigerate.

tangerine marmalade with bits of cardamom seeds and vanilla seeds

I love the vanilla and cardamom flavors in this marmalade. It made a wonderful gift for family over the holidays. Two weeks later, my mom already asked for a refill.

tangerine marmalade with vanilla and cardamom