Over Christmas I kept meaning to buy a box of clementines, but the Satsumas kept coming in our CSA box, so we were fully stocked on citrus to eat out of hand. But when I stopped in at Trader Joe’s this weekend, the clementines just looked so pretty, so I bought a 2 lb. bag and thought, I’ll make marmalade. Well, refrigerator marmalade. These little guys were sweet, so I knew they’d be fantastic.
I sliced about half of them and peeled the rest so I wouldn’t have too much rind. In retrospect, I should have just sliced all of them and sliced them really thinly. The rinds didn’t break down as much as I anticipated, so I have some fairly big chunks in my marmalade. Let your preference be your guide, but I’d say go for a 1/8 to a 1/4-inch slices. My love of ginger is starting to be well-documented here, so a 1/2 c. of finely chopped crystallized ginger also went into the mix.
The refrigerator marmalade has about 4 cups of sugar in it, so it’s really sweet. There’s no doubt about that. But it took on an almost honeyed quality and the ginger pops a bit more when you spread it on a buttermilk biscuit, which we did this morning. Next time, I’ll dial back the sugar and I might actually use half brown sugar to see if that honeyed, caramelized flavor can be drawn out without drastically changing the color.
This recipe doesn’t call for pectin, and you shouldn’t need it, as citrus is higher in pectin naturally. If for some reason it doesn’t set, you’ll still have a nice clementine syrup.