Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bottling Clementines/Mandarins

I have been playing again - its becoming an addictive habit, but so far I am well pleased with this experiment so far, all that needs to be done is for me to report back on the taste.

I have had three baskets worth of Clementines for £3 from the Veg shop and peaches and oranges have always been a bit of a grey area for me as there is a lot of fiddling to do to get them processed.  With peaches it is getting them skinned with the oranges it is getting rid of all the pith and making the oranges look really edible.  This time round I am playing with Clementines.

I decided to process the sugar syrup first - I did this at 8 oz for 2 pints of water - not a heavy syrup but a light one and made up 8 pints worth and left it to cool.  This will be boiled up again before use.  I have done things  this way as I have a lot of fruit to process and wanted to make sure that I had enough syrup for the bulk bottling session.

Anyway here it goes:

I peeled each clementine individually.  {don't throw the peel away as I have another use for this i.e. the Citrus Cleaner

I then set to work with an extremely sharp pointed knife.  I started by defining the ribs of the orange and by using the tip of the knife to remove the membrane that covers the whole of the orange.  Let the knife do the work, but use a gentle scraping motion to work all the way round the orange.  Some of the oranges will fall to pieces others will remain whole still use them.  However if the orange has segments that have dried out do not use these.

This is the time consuming part working the oranges. I sat for a good two hours determined to get as much pith off them as I could.  Not for the faint hearted.   I placed them all into a casserole dish until they were all worked which was several cups of tea later.  I think they have come up pretty well and it has given me some ideas for some other projects as well.

 When this part has been achieved, boil up a kettle and sterilise the bottles and tops with the boiling water but putting the hot water into the jar with a tablespoon in to stop the pot cracking. Do each jar like this - I will cover sterilisation in full under a separate post.  Then drain the jar and start adding the whole oranges and the odd segments if you have them.  I used a pair of chefs tongs to place the whole Clementines in place filling the jar to the top.

I then boiled up some of the syrup until boiling and then added it to each respective jar making sure the fruit is submerged otherwise this will spoil the finish of the fruit (However if you think this is to be the case you can put some clean greaseproof paper which has been folded or crumpled into a pack and place this in the top of the jar between the lid and the fruit and this will help keep the fruit submerged).  Add a squeeze of lemon juice to each jar - helps to keep the acidity level in the jar correct so as to stop any nasties.  You really cannot be too clean when processing fruit like this.

Put on the seals and screw tops straight away tighten and loosen half a turn. Place in a deep stock pot or similar processing vessel. I always make sure there is a towel in the bottom of the pan to stop any of the bottles breaking over high heat - its sacrilege after going to a that trouble to actually lose a jar or jars. Pop in the jars and fill up with hot water to completely immerse the jar if at all possible but otherwise up to the neck.

I thought it would be a nice treat to serve a whole clementine with some home made ice cream at Christmas as a simple pudding that is if I get them out of the jar intact.  I am also going to do some with Grand Marnier in the syrup.  Serve a whole orange with some vanilla and some tangerine ice cream/sorbet.

The Clementines were processed by the Quick Hot Water bath method.  Please see instructions here Always follow the general instructions and then follow the appropriate processing time for the relevant fruit, strength of liquid and pack and also size of jar.  It all plays its part.  These were processed bringing the water to the boil and then processing for 30 minutes standard processing time.  After which they were allowed to cool overnight

They are not difficult to do but they do take some time and patience.  It is a little daunting to start with but if you follow the basic instructions for the quick water bath processing, and then the instructions for the particular fruit (times vary quite a bit between the different fruits it is just not one processing time).  You also have to take into account the processing procedures for the type of bottle you are using.  I have used Kilner jars.

Bottling is not difficult as long as you follow the instructions and keep everything sterile.

1 comment:

  1. They look lovely in the glass bottles. Well done.



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