Mandarin oranges are my favorite citrus. When adding fruit to a meal, I reach for a can of mandarin oranges more often than the other canned fruit.
When I was raising my girls in Alaska, the best thing at Christmas was being able to get fresh mandarin oranges. We would plow through a whole case, in a flash!
With the empty shelves of the pandemic, one thing we had a hard time finding was store brand mandarin oranges. Occasionally there were name brand cans, but they were priced and extra dollar a can over the store brand. I was really glad I had a supply of them that carried me through much of that period. Now that I can occasionally get the store brand, the price of course has increased dramatically because of the inflation we are now experiencing.
Imagine my delight to come across several You Tube videos about home canning mandarin oranges, or Cuties! In all my years of canning, I never came across a recipe for canning citrus.
The planets aligned this weekend when I found mandarin oranges on sale. Not a great price, but still worth testing the canning waters.
I bought a three-pound bag and, with Oscar’s help, turned them into canned mandarin oranges in less than an hour.
Canned Mandarin Oranges
While Oscar peeled the mandarins, I started heating a gallon of water in my smallest canning pot, washed the jars and put them in a 200 degree F oven to keep warm, and made a light syrup of 6 cups of water to 1 1/2 cups of sugar.
You can pack them in plain water, but some commenters indicated the oranges would lose their flavor when packed in water.
As we broke them into segments (you can pack them whole, but I like segments), we picked off any strings and excess pith. If you skip this step, you apparently will end up with bitter oranges.
I’m not sure how, but we did a good job refraining from eating them as we prepared them!
I removed each jar from the oven individually and filled them with oranges and the syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. I used a chopstick to remove bubbles and settle everything nicely in the jar.
Then it was just a matter of wiping the rims, putting on the lid and ring and putting them in the pan.
This was brought to a boil and processed for 10 minutes (at my altitude). I was able to do most of the clean up during that time.
Aren’t they beautiful?
I got three full pints and the fourth was about 2/3 full. This was a nice quick project and the cost, even though the oranges were kind of expensive, was still less than buying the store brand at the grocery store.
I look forward to next winter when they are in season and I can, hopefully, get them at a great price.
👍👍👍👍yea for you! I usually don’t like the canned ones because they are too sweet but I do love the cuties and can go thru a bag in short order!
Sent from my iPhone