As we head into the festive season why not make up a batch of preserved clementines to use in your cooking? It’s an easy win as they’re the perfect thing to add to a warming tagine or stew, and particularly great for a leftover turkey curry! You can use them in desserts too.
Basically, a preserved clementine is a clementine that has been pickled in sea salt and its own juices (and a couple of other spices too). It really intensifies the flavour and gives the most amazing kick of citrus.
Here’s how to make them:
- Take 8-10 clementines (you could use satsumas or small oranges)
- Make two cuts in the top of each orange (forming a cross), cutting about a third of the way down. Then turn it upside down and do the same at the bottom, making two more cuts and cutting a third of the way through. You should be left with an orange that has almost been quartered.
- Pack the cuts with sea salt (it’s really important to use real sea salt – being Cornish we’d obviously recommend Cornish Sea Salt flakes, but you could use Maldon quite happily!)
- Wedge a few cardamom pods and star anise into the cuts and rub in some ground cinnamon.
- Push the filled oranges into a large, sterilised kilner jar and press them in well. Try and pack the jar out as much as possible with extra sea salt.
- Cut a small piece of baking parchment and place on top of the jar before sealing.
- Leave for at least 2 weeks in your store cupboard before you use them. A month is better.
When it comes to using the preserved clementines you can add the peel (with pith) to marinades, stews & sauces for an amazing citrus flavour. The flesh will be really quite salty, so either discard this, or if you want to use it then you can blitz and purée the whole clementine with a little sugar syrup, passing the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the bits. This syrupy mixture is delicious folded through yoghurt.