Tangerine and Vanilla Marmalade

Makes about 8 cups

2 1/4 pounds tangerines (about 6)

1 lemon

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and halved

6 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1. Place the tangerines and lemon in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan; add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes, or until the peels are tender when pierced with a fork.

2. Lift out the fruit, reserving the cooking water. Quarter the fruit, reserving the seeds. Pull the peels away from the cooked fruit, and slice finely. Using your fingers, pull out the membranes that separate each section of fruit. Place seeds and membranes on a 12-inch square of double-thickness cheesecloth. Gather up the corners, and tie them shut with kitchen string.

3. Place the cheesecloth bag, the peels and fruit pulp in a large mixing bowl. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean, and add the bean pod. Add the reserved cooking water, cover and let stand overnight to develop the flavors and further soften the peels.

4. Sterilize your canning jars and lids.

5. Place the tangerine mixture in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the sugar gradually, stirring, until dissolved. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring frequently, until a candy thermometer reads 220 degrees, the peels are tender and a teaspoon of the marmalade, dropped on a cold plate and placed in the freezer for 5 minutes, wrinkles when pressed with a finger. This may take 15 minutes to an hour.


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6. Skim off any scum. Remove cheesecloth bag and vanilla bean pod. Let stand in the saucepan for 5 minutes before ladling into hot, sterilized canning jars. Seal. Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.

-- Elizabeth Field, "Marmalade" (Running Press, $18, 192 pages)