Clementines are small, easy to peel, sweeter than tart, with few if any seeds; they provide needed vitamin C throughout the winter, when they are in season and readily available.
Some say that the clementine was developed early in the 20th century by Father Clement Rodier, a French missionary, in the garden of his orphanage in Misserghin, Algeria. Cardamom plays an important role in Algerian sweets; paired with star anise in gingery honey syrup this recipe produces a romantic aroma. Leftover syrup is a wonderful base for fruit salads, a sweetener for smoothies, or as a saucy reduction for pork or chicken.
Usually available from December through February, canning these and other deletable citrus delicacies makes them available throughout the year.
CLEMENTINES IN HONEY- SPICE SYRUP
Variations: Substitute 1-1/2 lb. seedless thin-skinned oranges, such as Valencia or Tangerines. Blood Oranges or grapefruit with their tart flavor also blend well with this spiced syrup.
½ Cup Honey
2 Cups Water
¼ cup thinly sliced peeled Ginger
4 Green Cardamom pods 2 whole Star Anise
5 whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 and 1/2 lbs. firm Clementines (5 to 7) or other citrus, peeled and segmented
DIRECTIONS Tie Cloves, Cardamom Pods, Star Anise and Cinnamon Stick into a cheesecloth or muslin bag (I call this Spice Garni). In a 4-quart saucepan, bring the water, Honey, Ginger, and Spice Garni to a boil over high heat, boil 3 minutes to concentrate the flavors. Let rest for several minutes. Remove Spice Garni from saucepan.
In the meantime, gently pack the slices into canning jars.
Ladle hot syrup (evenly distributing the ginger bits) into the jars over the slices leaving ½ inch head space; discard any excess syrup.
Process in a Hot Water bath for 10 minutes. Rest on shelf for at least one month before serving. Refrigerate after opening.
If you would like to skip the Hot Water Bath and make a batch to keep in the refrigerator for several months bring the water, Honey, Ginger, and Spice Garni to a boil over high heat.
Remove from stovetop, gently slip in Clementine segments, return to boil. Boil gently for 2 minutes.
Remove pan from stovetop, using slotted spoon pack segments into jars.
Return syrup to stovetop; boil 3 minutes to concentrate the flavors.
Remember that this is a small batch process so you should end up with three half-pint jars to enjoy.
Remove Spice Garni from saucepan. Ladle liquid into jars. Cap, cool, refridgerate, enjoy!
If you would like to store on the pantry shelf for up to a year, following the guidelines for safe Hot Water Bath Canning and process for 10 minutes. Store on cool, dark shelf.
There are many ways to use these preserved Clementines. One of my favorites is baking a Honey Spice Pound Cake. Dense and sweet you can customize by adding other dried fruits.