Make breakfast extra special with homemade jam. Whether you prefer toast, croissants or crumpets, this Mandarin Jam is the perfect accompaniment. (I can certainly vouch for the croissant and Mandarin Jam option!)
The original Mandarin Jam recipe is dated July 1941 and contains 9 cups of sugar. Whoa! But after checking other recipes, I discovered the fruit to sugar ratio was correct. I did, however, halve all the quantities because 9 cups of sugar sounded like an awful lot of jam. I still ended up with 3 medium jars of jam after halving the quantities.
So, ready to jam?
Mandarin Jam: tips for getting it right
Sterilise jam jars by placing in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle and allowing to air dry.
This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of mandarin, which is roughly 5-6 medium mandarins. I used Imperial mandarins since they are readily available and have very few seeds.
The trickiest part is working out if the jam has jellied. Check out my blog post on how to tell if your jam has set to make the whole process super simple.
Have some Jamsetta on hand. If your jam fails to jelly, this will give it a helping hand. (Alternatively, use special jam-setting sugar that you can purchase at the supermarket to make the process a lot more predictable.)
Which mandarins make the best jam?
All mandarins will make lovely jam, but those that are easy to peel with less seeds will make the process so much easier.
If you’re planning to make jam, these two varieties are good options:
- Sumo: seedless, sweet, large and easy to peel
- Imperial: few seeds, easy to peel and readily available.
More mandarin ideas
When mandarins come into season, they sure make their presence known. I often see many trees around the neighbourhood, loaded with fruit (that sometimes goes uneaten) and there’s an abundance of affordable fruit in supermarkets.
Mandarins are so easy to eat, with their perfect packaging and pull-apart segments, that they often are thought of as a lunch box food only.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy mandarins in cooking, both sweet and savoury, and the skin can even be dried and used to infuse flavour in dishes. Here’s a great article from SBS Food about using mandarins in cooking.
Today, though, we’re making mandarin jam! So please keep scrolling for the original recipe and then the tested and tweaked recipe.
Nana Ling’s Mandarin Jam recipe
Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.
- 1 1/2 cups mandarin (finely sliced)
- 1/2 lemon
- 6 cups water
- 4 1/2 cups caster sugar (or jam-setting sugar if you believe life and cooking should be much simpler than it is)
- 1 tablespoon Jamsetta (if using caster sugar and if required)
- Peel mandarins.
- Remove any seeds and as much pith as possible.
- Chop mandarins and add peeled and chopped lemon.
- Cover with water and boil uncovered for 1 hour.
- Add sugar and continue to boil until mixture jellies.
- If it hasn't jellied after 1/2 hour, add one tablespoon of Jamsetta and boil for a further 5 minutes. This should do the trick! Alternatively, use jam-setting sugar rather than caster sugar and the whole process should take less than 15 minutes.
- Ladle hot jam into sterilised jars, put the lids on jars and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate and enjoy for up to one month.