December means citrus around here – lots and lots of citrus. Two of my neighbors have trees that they can’t keep up with, so we’re eating tangerines and oranges hand over fist.
When I ran across a recipe for tangerine syrup over on the hip girl’s guide to homemaking, I wondered if it was something we’d use. (I’m famous for going all gung-ho and canning a bunch of stuff that seems like a good idea, but in retrospect is just not something my family will eat – hello, mint jelly!) The list of possible uses that the hip girl included with her recipe sold me. Add it to sparkling water for a citrus-y soda! Make a marinade! Sweeten granola! How could I not try it?
The recipe was really very simple and easy to do. Since this was the only canning project I had going on, I processed the small jars in my stock pot, rather than heating up my big canner. The cute little jar you see up above was not processed; it will go into the fridge for my neighbor.
Hip girl suggests using 3 cups of tangerine juice, or up to 4-5 cups juice for a slightly less sweet, more zingy syrup. I used four cups of juice and my kids both thought the syrup was too sweet. Even when we added some to a glass of Perrier, they felt like the sugar overpowered the juice flavor. I’ll definitely make it again, but next time I’ll try five cups of juice. Or perhaps I’ll start with more juice (eight cups?) and reduce it down before I add it to the sugar, for a really intense flavor.
Do you have a favorite way to preserve citrus? I’m all ears!