Yes, we are South Australian based and believe that nowhere else, can mandarins be found in such abundance. Even if you can’t pillage a neighbor’s tree [sunset is early when they are in season], they are so abundant, so cheap and so easy to use, it is hard to understand why they don’t appear on more menus.

So easy to peel we dry the peel and juice the segments and freeze the juice in recipe quantities. Additionally, we make glacémandarin slices and whole glacémandarins. The slices are used throughout the year for dessert garnishes and the glacémandarins There is of course the marvellous gluten free mandarin cake so stolen by every cook in the world without the decency to acknowledge its author the very esteemed Claudia Roden A New Book of Middle Eastern Food, first published in 1976. This book as far as we know has never been out of print since this time and remains a brilliant reference for the food of the Middle Eastern kitchen.

For a really fabulous beef cheek dish using mandarin peel and juice…click here

The cheeks are great with any kind of starch but we particularly love simple steamed Chinese buns heavily embellished with chopped spring onions. Just remember you can’t make good Chinese buns with bread flour and soft/low gluten flour can be found at most Chinese grocers.

Glacé Mandarin Slices

makes about 50 slices and approximately 500ml mandarin syrup
10 minutes preparation, 4 hours cooking time basically unattended

12 unwaxed mandarins, thinly sliced pips removed
1kg caster sugar
1kg water
2 cinnamon sticks, optional
12 juniper berries, lightly crushed, optional

Put the sugar and water into a heavy based stainless steel pot or sauté pan and place it on high heat. bring to the boil stirring until the sugar is lifted from the bottom and completely dissolved. Turn the heat down to the lowest point. Add the spice if you are using it, and then add the mandarin slices one at a time pushing them under the syrup.

Cook without any movement at the lowest possible point of heat until they are translucent. Store in the syrup or drain them on a rack and store between silicon sheets.

tips — the slices are gorgeous with just about anything from cake to duck to chocolate praline ice cream. We use the syrup as a sugar substitute in ice cream and also love to return some of the glacé fruit to the churned ice cream. Equally good is a little of the syrup added to poultry glaze and finished with a little vinegar to cut back on the sweetness.

Using the mandarin syrup

Make a terrific mandarin ice cream by substituting the sugar in your vanilla ice cream recipe with the syrup and add 20g of powdered and sieved dried mandarin peel…for our vanilla ice cream recipe click herewe still leave the vanilla beans in the recipe.

Day four…..still two to three days to complete

Glacé Whole Mandarins

To do this successfully you need to be able to pick the mandarins with scissors and leave 10-15mm stem and a few attached leaves is a bonus for your cheese plates.

Sterilise a stainless steel skewer and pierce the mandarins through twice [meaning 4 holes in the peel]. Weigh the mandarins, and then weigh the same weight of sugar and double the weight of water into an appropriately sized stainless steel pot with a fitting lid.

Put the sugar and water onto induction 1000W and 100°C and stirring bring to the boil…cooking only long enough to dissolve the sugar and then turn the heat off. When the sugar solution is cooled add the prepared mandarins and stir them over so they are coated with the solution.

Twice a day @ 800W and 100°C until they come to simmer….immediately turn off the heat.

If you have an induction hotplate with a timer like the New Wave induction plate use 800W and 80°C and let it switch itself off.

When you have a mix of sizes start removing the mandarins are glacéd. This should be about after four days depending on size. Always us a sterilised slotted spoon to remove them and store in sterilised jars or take away containers. Provided you have properly sterilised your containers there should be no need to keep them refrigerated until you open the jars/packages.

Alternately the mandarins can be drained, of course, reserving the syrup and dehydrated.

Storing the dried peel and juice

It does save space to powder the peel but we do love adding chunks of peel into dishes with everything from the beef cheeks to our spiced duck yet to be shared. We store the dried peel with a 50g silica gel sachet tucked inside.

a tip you may have a lot of peel to process; seal rather than vac them hard and refrigerate so they can be easily put into the dehydrator. As for the juice we vac at 600g and freeze….a beautiful sorbet recipe will follow.