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Author Notes: For years, I made passion-fruit curd as gifts. Then a few years back, I got on a marmalade kick after reading about it in John Thorne's book "Mouth Wide Open." This year: the best combination possible! I buy frozen passion-fruit pulp from brands like Goya and La Fe. It comes in 7-ounce packs, which is about 1.5 cups when defrosted. I don't bother with the full canning treatment--I just pack in sterilized half-pint jars, and it lasts in the fridge forever. —zora
Makes 3 cups
tangerines, with the thinnest skin possible
cups passion-fruit pulp
- Wash tangerines well. With a paring knife, trim the very top off each one. Cut three of the tangerines lengthwise into quarters or sixths, depending on size. Trim out the white pith in the center, then cut each piece into very thin slices--you'll have little triangular wedges. (Flick out the seeds as you go.) Put all the slices and collected juice in a 4-cup measuring cup.
- Squeeze the juice from the remaining three tangerines and add it to the measuring cup. Pull any remaining pulp out of the peel and discard. Slice the peel into thin strips and add this to the measuring cup.
- Add the passion-fruit pulp to the measuring cup. This should bring the total mix to between 3.25 and 3.75 cups, depending on the size of your tangerines. Cover the measuring cup and let sit at room temperature overnight to soften the peel.
- The next day, sterilize your jars and lids--boil for a good ten minutes. Stick a small plate in the freezer to chill–this is what you'll use to test whether the marmalade has jelled.
- Assess the amount of the mix in the measuring cup. Add a bit less sugar. For instance, if you have 3.75 cups of juice and peel, add about 3 cups of sugar. Adjust to your taste, but a 1:1 sugar:juice ratio is probably the max you'll want.
- Pour the juice, peel and sugar into a nonreactive saucepan. Set the mixture to boil over medium heat. After about 5 minutes of boiling, dab a small amount of liquid on the chilled plate. Wait a couple of seconds, then tilt the plate--If the liquid runs, the marmalade isn’t ready. If it holds and looks even a bit viscous, take the pan off the heat. (For me, this takes about 8 minutes, but it depends on all kinds of factors—pan size, amount of sugar, etc. And if you increase the yield of the recipe, it will take longer.)
- Let the marmalade cool a bit, then pour into sterilized jars. Don't panic if it doesn't seem thick--it will set as it chills fully.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift