MANDARIN AND STAR ANISE JAM
Mandarins are appearing in the markets and shops. They are the best snacking fruit and make a great jam. Star anise is a classic flavour combination with mandarin. Spread this bright jam on your toast, use in cakes, or add some soy sauce and ginger and make sticky chicken wings tonight!
**Note: this jam is a softer, runnier set than your average jam so don't be disheartened if you don't get a firm set, or use a pectin stock if you are after a firmer set.
Makes 4 -5 x 300 ml jars
1.5 kg mandarins
3 star anise
1 kg castor sugar
1-2 lemons juiced and zested (depending on how tangy you like your jam)
Peel all the mandarins. Cut in half through the segments and remove the pips – this is the only time consuming part of this jam making. If you get sick of it, a few pips are all right. They hold a lot of pectin in them which will make your jam set and you can just pick them off your toast.
Break up the mandarins into small chunks and put into a jam pot. Add water until the fruit is just covered. Start with 1.5L, but you may need to add more as you go, up to 2.5L. Add in the star anise, put over medium heat and let simmer slowly until mandarin segments are soft and breaking down and the liquid has reduced by a third, about 40-45 minutes.
Add in the lemon juice and the sugar. Stir to dissolve.
Once all the sugar has dissolves, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until setting point is reached, about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Once setting point is reached**, remove from the heat and let the jam sit for 5 minutes.
Pour jam into hot sterilised jars, wipe rim and seal.
We like to put a star anise in the top of each jar.
Store in a cool dark place for up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 2 months.