Monday, December 5, 2011

Satsuma Season

Despite our dry spring and dry summer, our satsuma trees are loaded with sweet fruit.  These perfect small mandarin oranges have thin peels and hardly any seeds.  The cute boxes of Clementine oranges imported from Spain we see in our grocery stores right now cannot hold a candle to these juicy, ripe babies.  The kids helped their Daddy pick a wheelbarrow load, and it did not even make a dent in our crop.
 This happened to be a colder day here in Alabama, but we're back to wearing t-shirts today.
So what to do with extra satsumas?  Make a satsuma cake, for one. 
And of course, make marmalade.  Alton Brown's recipe turned out to be a good one, and it doesn't even require fruit pectin, so I didn't have to make a special trip to the store.  I--uhh--lightly browned the first batch, so I made a make-up recipe the next day to prove to myself that I could indeed tend a boiling pot.

Start with satsumas and one lemon.  I used my mini food processor to slice them, peels and all.
 Boil them with water for a long time.  This was an easy simmer that I stirred every ten minutes.
Add sugar and work out the lumps.
Boil again, watching carefully with a candy thermometer.  I used the suggested cold plate method for testing the thickness of the marmalade, since I didn't want flopped satsuma syrup like I've made in the past--with pectin.  Stick a saucer in the freezer until it is well chilled, then drop a teaspoon of marmalade on it.  Give it a minute, then tip the saucer to see if it's runny or ready.  Work on a Rubik's cube while standing in front of the stove.  It's good for both sides of your brain!
And in the secondary or tertiary meantime, prepare your jars.  I tucked in sprigs of rosemary and cinnamon sticks, hoping for a flavor infusion.
 Seal jars with a 10-minute water bath. 
Mmmm!!!  Write "English muffins" on the grocery list, and make a cup of tea.  Give the unsolved Rubik's cube to the kids.


Jodi said...

My mouth is watering, Joyce! That sealed jar looks delightful. :) We make do with honey for our english muffins. But that marmalade sounds super yummy.

Deb said...

I'm having a moment of envy here. Just a moment. Ok. It's over. My child eats satsumas like candy but they are most definitely not growing in our backyard.

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy!!!

Grandma Ruby said...

We're still enjoying the satsumas you sent home with us. But don't think I'll try making marmalade. Just bring us a jar sometime! Love the way you make use of your treefuls of fruit!