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It’s all about clementines at Christmas

It’s all about clementines at Christmas



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Zingy, juicy and full of flavour, these joyful seasonal parcels are a welcome sign that Christmas is on its way. At their sweetest and best right now, fill your boots and make the most of clementines while you can. While they make fantastic stocking fillers or the perfect pick-me-up snack, there are so many other delicious things you can do with them – here are a few of our favourites...

SPEEDY BIG-DAY STARTER

If you’re after a luxurious, light and dead-easy starter to kick-start your festive shenanigans, Chipotle-fried fish & clementine bites are a winner. Clementines and fish are great friends, and the fact that you can knock this together in just 40 minutes is a real bonus when you have guests to entertain and the rest of your Christmas dinner to be thinking about. This festive starter is also delicious made with oranges.

PREP-AND-GO PUDS

Get-ahead puds are money in the bank at this time of year, and these seasonal beauties will sit happily in the fridge for several days, ready and waiting to be topped at the last minute. Jazz up your jellies by adding a handful of pomegranate seeds for pretty pops of flavour.

LIVEN UP YOUR LEFTOVERS

Elevate your turkey leftovers to the next level with a warm clementine dressing – simple, seasonal and incredibly versatile, this dish makes a delicious side, or a main in its own right. Served up with a handful of toasted nuts and seeds, dollops of yoghurt and a scattering of pomegranate seeds, this is Christmassy perfection on a plate.

CHRISTMAS DAY BREKKIE

An indulgent croissant-cinnamon bun hybrid, spiced with the season’s most fragrant citrus. Make these the day before and bake in the oven for a lazy Christmas Eve morning. The dough takes a little planning, but you’ll be surprised how simple it really is.

For tonnes of festive inspiration, visit our one-stop-Christmas hub.


The Recipe

Put the Sugar, water and spices in the large pan and heat gently, stirring until all of the sugar is fully dissolved.

Turn off the heat and put the lid on the pan - it's important not to heat the syrup too much at this point, as sugar syrup can be heated hotter than boiling water, which may then cause the fruit to spit dangerously when added.

Prepare the clementines by washing them and picking off the little woody stalk remnants.

Stab the other end of each fruit (the blossom end) twice with a small knife, forming a cross-shaped hole and opening up the inside so the juice can get out and the syrup can get in.

Place the fruits carefully in the syrup, then bring it to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then cover with the lid and cook for an hour.

During this cooking time, return to the pan every ten minutes or so and turn all the the fruits with a spoon, so that they cook evenly in the syrup.

At the end of the hour's simmering, the skins of the clementines should be starting to look a little translucent and the fruit should be fairly soft (don't touch with your fingers though - that syrup is really hot).

Press each fruit against the bottom of the pan with a spoon - this will squeeze some of the juice out, and allow some of the hot syrup to enter - repeat this a couple of times, then turn off the heat.

Lift the clementines out of the pan with a slotted spoon and pack them into sterilised jars.

If you're intending to make the alcoholic version of this recipe, add the spirit to the syrup now, stir it in well, then pour immediately over the fruit in the jars.

If there isn't enough syrup to cover the fruit, make up a little more using the ratio of 100ml of water to 150g of sugar - this is a stronger syrup than this recipe started with, but all that simmering will have reduced the cooking syrup considerably.

Leave for at least 24 hours before using the preserve - the fruit will have darkened and become more translucent as the syrup works on the skins and pulp.

As long as the fruit is immersed in syrup, it will keep like this pretty much indefinitely. Over time, it will change slowly and become more candied in consistency.

So here's one of the preserved clementines as at 24 hours after packing in the jar. It's quite a lot like a strong orange marmalade, except that the fruit is whole, and has an alcoholic kick.

It can be sliced or shredded and used as a dessert topping, or chopped and used as an ingredient in fruit cakes, buns and other recipes. clementines10.jpg

I embedded four of them whole in my Christmas plum pudding on Stir-Up Sunday (Nov 21st, 2010). I'll update this page after we eat the pudding on Christmas Day.

Preserved Clementines

These preserved whole clementines make great gifts for foodie friends - they look really pretty in the jar and have a dozen uses - for example a few shreds of the fruit and a drizzle of the syrup over ordinary ice cream transforms it into a really special dessert, or they can be added to the top of cupcakes and covered with melted chocolate.

Alcoholic Version

An orange-flavoured liqueur - such as Cointreau - can be used in the alcoholic version of the syrup, however this isn't really necessary, as the fruit has plenty of flavour and aroma all of its own.

I used a Spanish herb-infused liqueur for mine - which added a subtle extra dimension to the complexity of flavour.

Comments

Just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe, with the step-by-step pictures and instructions. I made them on the 24th and served them on Christmas day, alongside my lemon posset. Was a big success! Have a huge overload of clementines so am going t 2. On Saturday, January 7, 2012, 09:40 by Kavey Eats


Caramelised clementine tart recipe

A real showstopper, this elegant tart is easy to make and incorporates the season's favourite citrus fruit.

Tip: when blind baking, scrunch up the sheet of parchment first, then unwrap it and line the case &ndash this will make it easier to push into every corner.

Ingredients

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 250 g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 clementine, zest only, finely grated
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 3.5 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 3.5 oz icing sugar
  • 8.8 oz plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 clementine, zest only, finely grated
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 3.5 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 3.5 oz icing sugar
  • 8.8 oz plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 clementine, zest only, finely grated
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 4 clementines, washed and dried
  • 2 lemons, washed and dried
  • 100 g caster sugar, plus 25g for sprinkling
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 170 ml double cream
  • 4 clementines, washed and dried
  • 2 lemons, washed and dried
  • 3.5 oz caster sugar, plus 25g for sprinkling
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 6 fl oz double cream
  • 4 clementines, washed and dried
  • 2 lemons, washed and dried
  • 3.5 oz caster sugar, plus 25g for sprinkling
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 0.7 cup double cream

Details

  • Cuisine: Christmas
  • Recipe Type: Baking
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 75 mins
  • Serves: 8

Step-by-step

  1. To make the pastry, beat the butter and icing sugar together until softened. Stir in the flour, clementine zest and a pinch of salt, then add 2 beaten egg yolks with 2 tbsp water. Mix to a soft dough, being careful not to overwork it. Shape into a disc, then wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a flour-dusted surface until it's the thickness of a coin. Line a 23&ndash25cm (9&ndash10in) loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin with the pastry, patching up any breaks with extra pastry. Prick the base all over then freeze for 30 minutes before trimming the excess pastry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Place the tart tin on a baking sheet and line with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans. Brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg yolk and cook for a further 10&ndash12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Leave to cool.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Finely grate all the citrus zest. Using the clementines first, squeeze enough juice to give 150ml. Whisk in 100g caster sugar, the eggs, cream and zest. Pour into the tart case. Bake for 40&ndash50 minutes, until just set, with a wobble in the centre.
  5. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and leave in the oven to cool completely. Chill for 2&ndash12 hours. Transfer to a serving plate, dust evenly with the remaining 25g sugar, then melt with a cooks&rsquo blow torch until caramelised. Serve immediately. If a blow torch isn&rsquot available, simply serve the tart dusted with icing sugar in place of the caster sugar.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

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Comments

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There’s something about oranges, clementines, and mandarins that always me think of winter and the Christmas holidays.

Perhaps it’s remembering mediterranean holidays and city streets lined with fruit trees covered with oranges that resemble vibrant holiday decorations. Sweet memories in lockdown times.

All these thoughts of clementines inspire me to consider an orange cake to start the holiday celebrations. When a friend sends a recipe for Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake the culinary decision is easy! It’s a great recipe for anyone watching their gluten intake, as it calls for almond flour. I limit the amount of sugar in any cooking I do and so substitute stevia for the sugar in the recipe. (A quick google check suggests the ratio of 8:1 sugar to stevia.) Another adjustment is to make mini cakes rather than a loaf cake. This makes it so easy to have a just a small taste of something sweet to finish a meal.

These mini cakes are moist and have the flavour of orange. I still want more orange flavour and decide an orange syrup is essential! I combine a couple of recipes to make this syrup which is essentially: juice of 4 oranges and 1 lemon, Agave syrup to taste instead of sugar. I simmer that combination and allow it to reduce in volume and add a tablespoon of Grand Marnier – the aromatic cognac and orange liqueur combination – and some candied orange peel. Result: yummy combination of mini clementine cake and orange syrup!


Directions

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
Meringues: Place the egg whites in a large, grease-free bowl and, using the balloon whisk on the Kenwood Chef (or other stand mixer) whisk on number 1. Continue for about 2 minutes, until the whites are foamy, then switch the speed to 3 and carry on whisking for another minute. Now turn the speed to 5 and continue whisking until the egg whites reach the stiff-peak stage.
Step 2 Now, add the sugar on high speed (number 5 on the Kenwood), a little (about a dessert spoon) at a time, until you have a stiff and glossy mixture. Spoon 6 heaped dessert spoons of the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Then, using the back of the spoon or a small palette knife, hollow out the centres. (You need a large baking sheet measuring 16 x 12 in (40 x 30 cm), lined with baking parchment.)
Step 3 Put the meringues in the oven, and then reduce the heat to 140C/Gas Mark 1. Bake them for 30 minutes, before turning off the oven and leaving the meringues to dry out in the warmth of the oven, overnight is best, or until the oven is completely cold.
Step 4 Store the meringues in an airtight tin or freeze them until you need to serve them and then make the clementine and pomegranate compote.
Step 5 Add the clementine segments and the pomegranate seeds to a saucepan, along with the sugar and Cointreau. Bring the pan to the boil and then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Step 6 Spoon some thick cream into each mini pavlova and then spoon over the clementine and pomegranate compote.

Mini Clementine and Pomegranate Pavlovas

Clementine & Brandy Fruit Pudding


Recipe Summary

  • 4 clementines
  • ½ cup water, or as needed
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (such as Betty Crocker®)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 2 (16 ounce) containers chocolate fudge frosting
  • 1 clementine, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clementine, peeled and segmented, or more to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9-inch round cake pans.

Finely grate zest from 2 clementines and set aside. Juice all 4 clementines into a measuring cup add enough water to reach 1 cup.

Pour clementine juice into a large bowl. Add zest, cake mix, eggs, oil, orange extract, vanilla extract, salt, and red food coloring. Blend with an electric mixer until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide batter into greased cake pans and smooth the top.

Bake cakes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 24 to 29 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes more.

Transfer cakes to a flat surface. Carefully trim the tops of the cakes with a sharp knife to level them cut each layer in half horizontally. Transfer one cake layer to a serving plate and spread with 1/2 cup of the frosting top with another cake layer and 1/2 cup of frosting. Scatter chopped clementine over the frosting. Stack and frost third and fourth cake layers. Arrange clementine wedges around the perimeter of the top layer.


Ingredients

  1. Wash and peel clementines, reserving peel from three clementines. Set aside reserved peel and cut all clementines, first in half and then quarter halves. Put clementine pieces in a large non-aluminum pot. Do not use an aluminum pan as it can react with citrus. A cast iron dutch oven is ideal.
  2. Peel both lemons reserving seeds. Cut lemon same as clementines and add diced lemon flesh to pot with clementines. Dice reserved clementine peel into small (1/4-inch) pieces and add to the pot. Add sugar and water and turn stove on to medium-high.

While the fruit and water are heating up, add reserved lemon seeds to a cheesecloth bag with a tie or place seeds in a piece of cheesecloth that you can tie with kitchen twine. Drop it into the pot. Bring the fruit to a boil, turn heat back to simmer and cook for 60-75 minutes, stirring occasionally until water evaporates and preserves start to thicken. Remove cheesecloth with lemon seeds from pot. If you'd like a smoother consistency preserve, use an immersion blender to pulse the preserves and rind until desired consistency is achieved.

Preserves will gel more as they cool. It's crucial not to overcook preserves and keep a close eye on it during the last 10-20 minutes as they can burn easily.

Puree the rinds and clementine flesh with an emersion blender to create a bitter-sweet dream that's more like jam than marmalade.

Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Kelley Epstein @Mountain Mama Cooks.


Recipe Summary

  • 3/4 pound clementines, unpeeled, thinly sliced crosswise and seeds discarded
  • 3/4 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fine salt
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup warm apple juice

In a food processor, pulse the clementines until coarsely chopped. Add the cranberries and pulse until the clementines are finely chopped and the cranberries are coarsely chopped. Transfer the fruit to a large nonreactive saucepan and stir in the sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Bring just to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Stir the water and apple juice into the fruit in the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately high and boil, stirring occasionally, until the preserves are thickened slightly, about 12 minutes. Test the preserves: Spoon 1 tablespoon onto a chilled plate and refrigerate until it cools to room temperature, about 3 minutes the preserves are ready when thickened slightly and a spoon dragged through them leaves a clear trail. If the preserves are too loose, continue simmering and test every 5 minutes. Let the preserves cool completely, then transfer to glass jars and refrigerate until chilled.


Clementine Cake Recipe and a story from apples to oranges

It was snowing the day I left Brooklyn. Not a soft, delicate snowfall… It was coming down thick and heavy. Wind blowing almost aggressively, as if it were angry. The sky was the color of pewter and rather ominous looking, the dark-bottomed clouds hung heavy filled with snow.

It felt perfectly appropriate, a perfect fit for my mood. I had more emotions than I knew what to do with. I was on the precipice of yet another move, another life-changing event and I had my doubts. I was terrified, but I stiffened my spine and threw my shoulders back.

I had done this more than once in my lifetime and I wasn’t about to back down now. I had lived in New York City for 17 years, anywhere I chose to go would be culture shock… little did I know how true that statement would be.

As I packed my final few boxes into my car and locked my apartment door, my heart felt like it was almost breaking. I had to run back in and say my “final goodbye” to my home. I looked around at that tiny apartment and saw flashes of all of the memories I had made there. Some good, some bad, but memories nonetheless.

The stove where I had made thousands of meals, the living room windows where I sat fixated, watching Sandy blow into town and nearly destroy my neighborhood, the kitchen windowsill where I grew my potted herbs, my bedroom window that let in the sounds of the church bells ringing. The laughter and tears that these walls had witnessed and I was saying my farewell to all of it.

I had a lot of time to think on that 1300 mile drive from New York to Florida. My brain was on overload. I couldn’t quite believe I had actually left. I would no longer wake up to the screeching brakes of NYC buses, honking horns and sirens.

This might seem odd, but I was used to that sound, it was a part of daily life. I wouldn’t walk out of my apartment to see the bagel shops and delis, see people with their shopping carts leaving the grocery store or carting laundry to drop off. Where would I get a decent slice or a good bagel? (the answer is: nowhere)

I arrived in my new home on January 1st. It was planned that way. If I was going to start fresh, it needed to be a symbolic day and moment for me. Beginning this new chapter of my life on the very first day of the new year seemed right.

I needed my new beginning to truly be a “new day”. I had left everything I knew for this chance to start over, start fresh and I wanted it to feel like a clean slate.

What a year it has been. There have been many trials, a few triumphs and lots of in-between. There were days that I felt I had made the biggest mistake of my life, there were days of elation, days I cried my eyes out from loneliness and days I smiled so wide and laughed so hard with new friends that it gave me back pieces of myself I thought I had lost.

“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place…” I don’t know where I saw this, but I held on to those words hoping and praying that it was true.

I have gained so much this past year and I am beyond grateful. A few days ago, the question “who was the most influential person in your life this past year?” was posed to me. I thought about it for a second and replied “Without wanting to sound like a pompous, self-centered ass… Myself”.

If I had given in to my fears, I wouldn’t have moved. Had I not moved, I wouldn’t have met the amazing people I have in my life now. I have the most incredible group of people that I am blessed to call my friends, someone I love with my whole heart and most importantly, I am happy. A happiness that I didn’t have before. This journey from apples to oranges has been quite a ride. My wish for all of you this year: take a chance on yourself, you are worth it.


Make a galette or upside-down cake.

When sliced, clementines have a lovely cross-section, which is why they’re perfect for layering into a round of dough (then simply fold over the sides) to form a galette. Because clementines are smaller than other similar citrus fruits, they should fit snugly in whatever size pastry you decide to make. Likewise, these petite citrus beauties are rather stunning featured in a cake, such as this wow-worthy Clementine Upside-Down Cake. (Alternatively, you could boil and purພ some clementines and add them to a cake batter for a punch of bright flavor, but that is a little more labor-intensive.)


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