Few fruits shout “CHRISTMAS” like clementines do. Actually, they’re a bit more subtle than that, aren’t they? They’re more likely to sneak up beside you and quietly sing a Christmas carol into your ear. If you’re planning to do a bit of baking over the festive season, chances are you’ll use a clementine or two. There’s just something about the sweet, gently perfumed flavour of the clementine that’s guaranteed to make you think you’re hearing sleigh bells in the distance.
- 600g clementines
- 500g sugar (I like golden granulated sugar, it lends a lovely caramel flavour to the syrup)
- 300ml water
- 1tbsp liquid glucose
- Remove the ends of each clementine and slice them fairly thinly. ¼ cm thick is about right, but don’t fret too much about it - thicker slices will just need to simmer for longer.
- Put the sugar and water into a large saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the syrup to a simmer.
- Add the liquid glucose and stir gently to dissolve.
- Add the clementine slices and bring the mixture back to a gentle simmer.
- Leave to simmer for about 2 hours, until the clementine peel is tender. Don’t let it boil or you’ll end up with caramelised clementines!
- When the clementines are tender either:
- Spoon into sterilised jars. OR Drain* the clementine slices and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Put your oven on its lowest setting (mine was at 80°C) and leave the slices in there to dry out for a couple of hours.
*Save the syrup, though, it’s now deliciously citrusy. I make mulling syrup with mine. Just add a cinnamon stick, two cloves, 3 cardamon pods, a star anise, an Indonesian long peppercorn and 200ml apple juice and leave to simmer until it’s reduced by half. Strain and decant into a bottle.