or scroll for handy tips and a little nostalgia.
This is an easy Mandarin Jam Recipe (or Mandarin Marmalade) that will come in very handy when mandarins are in abundance.
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.
Today, though, we’re making Mandarin Jam!
This jam will brighten up your breakfast time.
Whether you prefer toast, croissants or crumpets, homemade Mandarin Jam is the perfect accompaniment – and I can certainly vouch for the croissant and jam option!
Mandarin Marmalade: the recipe
I started with Nana Ling’s original Mandarin Jam recipe dated July 1941, but have updated it quite significantly.
So please keep scrolling right until the end to find the recipe card with the updated ingredient list and instructions.
The original recipe contains 9 cups of sugar. Whoa!
But after checking other recipes, I discovered the fruit to sugar ratio was correct.
I did, however, cut down all of the quantities to so the recipe makes one large jar of jam.
If you have heaps of mandarins and want to make more, just multiply the recipe accordingly.
So, ready to jam?
You’ll need the following to make up this Mandarin Marmalade:
- about 4-5 mandarins
- 1/2 lemon
- jam setting sugar.
Keep scrolling to the end of the post for exact quantities.
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.
This recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of chopped mandarin, which is roughly 4-5 mandarins.
Here, I’ve used Imperial mandarins since they were readily available.
Jam making tips and tricks
First you’ll need to prepare your jam jar or jars.
Sterilise jam jars by placing in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle and allowing to air dry.
The next step is to chop your fruit.
Remove loose pith as you go along with seeds. Rest assured that any stray seeds will float to the top during boiling and can be removed.
You then add the water and boil for just 10 minutes.
Next, add the sugar.
We use jam setting sugar in this recipe as it makes the whole process so much easier.
Stir a little to dissolve the sugar and then bring to the boil again. Within 15-20 minutes your jam will be ready.
Working out when the jam has jellied can be tricky. If you’re new to the process, check out my post on how to tell when jam is set for some detailed instructions on getting it right.
And also remember to keep scrolling past Nana Ling’s original recipe to find the tested and updated ingredient list and instructions.
Love jams and marmalades?
Check out the strawberry, fig, lemon, rosella, peach and tomato jam recipes, too!
Nana Ling’s Mandarin Jam recipe
Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version in the recipe card below.
- 2 1/2 cups mandarin (peeled and roughly chopped and seeded) (about 4-5 mandarins)
- 1/2 lemon (peeled, chopped and seeded)
- 2 cups water
- 500 grams jam setting sugar
- Peel mandarins, removing loose pith.
- Chop mandarins roughly (breaking up segments into 4 or 5 pieces), removing any seeds. You can also remove any stray seeds later as they float to the top during boiling.
- Place chopped mandarins into saucepan and add the lemon (also peeled, chopped and seeded).
- Add water and place over heat. Bring to the boil and continue to boil uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Add the sugar and continue to boil until the mixture jellies. This should take about 15-25 minutes, depending on the fruit and temperature. When ready, the mixture will start to thicken a little, turn a pale golden colour and will "grab" just slightly to the bottom of the saucepan when you stir the mixture.
- Remember to use jam setting sugar!
- Pour hot jam into a large sterilised jar. Seal with the lid and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate and enjoy for up to one month.
Monday 1st of May 2023
I have just picked hundreds of Mandarins if I double receipt by 5 for that quantity of jars should I be cooking longer or adding more water, new at this 😀
Monday 1st of May 2023
Hi Elizabeth! I'd recommend making a single batch first just to get familiar with the recipe. I wouldn't suggest x5 the recipe, but perhaps x2 (all ingredients) once you've cooked the first batch and know what the jam should look like etc as you may need to adjust cooking time. Jam making can be tricky as it depends so much on the fruit. Good luck!
Friday 2nd of December 2022
Hi Libby, your mandarin jam recipe is lovely! I have tried it last year and just now again. Although I’ve had to adjust measures in European measurements! I’m in Spain! I can’t get on with cups! I also find that there is too much water and have reduced it slightly. I always find it difficult to know when the jam is ready. I now find that with mandarines it is ready when still quite ‘liquidy’, so I just boil it for some 25 minutes once the sugar goes in. Once the jam cools down it thickens up. It’s a great recipe and I love it! I also have fig trees, so always do lots of fig jam or fig and mango jam too! Thank you very much!
Friday 2nd of December 2022
Hello from Australia Solange :) So glad you found my recipe. It is extremely hard to have a precise recipe for jam as the fruit varies so much. Glad it was helpful despite having to make a few adjustments. Happy jamming :)
Sunday 31st of July 2022
Hi Libby, I just found your recipe when I googled mandarin marmalade. I noticed that the skin isn't used, have you tried it with the skin? Can it be done?
Thursday 4th of August 2022
Hi Marianne - yes, am sure this would be great and I'd like to try it myself. My Mandarin Cake uses the skin in the recipe. Happy cooking!
Monday 20th of June 2022
Hey I took a look at a few jam recipes and I think you have too much water in your recipe. 2 cups is far too much for the amount of fruit you have. Other jams like strawberry jam asks for 1/2 cup of water with 1.5 kg of strawberries. I've used the 2 cup of water and it's far too much. 1. 5 hours so far on boil and it's still reducing. I will try this recipe again with a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water next time as I've put in 3 cups of mandarins. Tastes amazing though I'm at the final stages of it reducing. Another tip is you can buy sugar cheap and then buy the pectin sugar separately it saves a bunch compared to buying the jam sugar packets . I have used Jamsetta which is 50/50 white sugar and pectin.
Tuesday 21st of June 2022
Thanks for the feedback, Simon! This is one I'll be re-visiting in the next few weeks and re-cooking, so will take your comments on board during the process. Happy cooking!
Samuel Oladipo Ibitoye
Thursday 10th of March 2022
Tuesday 15th of March 2022
Thanks! Enjoy :)