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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Home Canned Clementine Oranges

Living in the northern hemisphere means certain fruits and vegetables simply are not grown locally so must be bought at the grocery store. These include the fruits and vegetables in season from the southern American states as well as tropical and southern hemisphere fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables are imported into Canada from several foreign countries. Even though most of these fruits and vegetables are available year round in Canada the prices fluctuate depending on when they are in season in their home country.

Prep

Clementines (a variety of mandarin oranges) are a normally available in our area from early December to mid January earning them the title of Christmas oranges. They are the smallest (about 2" diameter) of the mandarin oranges. They are easily peeled without squirting juice. Their easily separated segments are seedless. The clementines commonly available here are imported from Morocco, a coastal country in Northern Africa.

Clementines are usually sold in 2.3 kg (5 lb) thin wooden crates covered with plastic mesh to protect them during shipping. Each crate contains about 34 of the sweet, candy like clementines. When they first become available in the stores a crate costs about $5.99 but some stores put them on sale. Yesterday my husband bought a crate for $3.99 so I decided to can a few. Why?
Commercially canned mandarin oranges are sold in 125 ml cans for about $1.49 and they never seem to go on sale. At the sale price the clementines worked out to be 12¢ each. Each 250 ml jar (double the size of store bought) would use about 2 clementines (24¢), a little bit of sugar, lids (8¢) and the electricity (4¢) for processing so 5 - 250 ml jars cost a total of $1.76 compared to the cost of store bought (125 ml x 2 x 5) or $1.49 x 2 x 5 = $14.90 for a total savings of $13.14. The total amount of sugar used for the syrup was 6¢ per cup and was factored into the final cost. I'd say based on the savings this is one home canned product well worth making.

Bottling

The prep work for canning the clementines was very, very easy. The clementines peel very easily and there are no seeds to worry about. I peeled the clementines and removed any of the white pith mainly a bit of stringy white in the core and set aside. The pith needs to be removed as it turns bitter during canning. I simply made a thin syrup using 2 cups organic sugar and 5 cups of water. While that heat to just the boiling point I filled the hot, sterilized jars with clementine segments leaving ½ inch headspace. Then I ladled the hot syrup over the segments leaving ½ inch headspace, wiped the rims and adjusted the two piece lids. The jars were processed in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. If you are over 1,000 feet above sea level use the processing adjustment

Home Canned Clementines

Pictured are the five 250 ml jars fresh from the canner waiting for the ping indicate the jars sealed. You will note that while I did remove any pith I did not remove the membrane surrounding the segments. Some sources indicate the membrane can turn bitter when canned while other sources indicate only the pith turns bitter. I plan on canning another small batch of clementines with the membrane removed then compare the two to see which ones we prefer. I will report back on the comparison.

Aesthetically the clementine segments are pretty in the jars. I do think that removing the membrane will give a pretty product but won't know for sure until I try a batch. I plan to use the home canned clementine segments in fruit based salads, in fruit smoothies and in a couple of poultry dishes.


3 food lovers commented:

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

These sound and look delicious!! I'm loving your new look too!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Tamy! I think the clementines will be a very nice pantry addition. I'm glad you like the new look :)

Grace Gierucki said...

Hello, I was wondering how these ended up turning out??