tropical tangerine jam

When life gives you tangerines, well… I mean that’s not really so bitter as life giving you lemons, but when it’s this many tangerines, you’ve gotta do something with it!  So, you see, I’m now mother of a beautiful, ridiculously fertile tangerine tree in my backyard.  It’s boreth many fruit.

tangerines-in-bowltangerine-jam-platedAnd now I’m literally climbing in the tree every morning with an attempt to eat/do something with its really really sweet gifts and it’s just too much for me + my, like, 5 friends to eat raw.

OK, I have more than 5 friends, but we’re all super busy.  Apparently too busy to eat tangerines off of my tree every day.  So I wanted to find a way to preserve them, and this is a recipe I’ve been wanting to share with you guys for a long time now!  Back-to-my-days-in-France long time!


tangerines-on-grassMy mother-in-law is a great cook, I guess it’s because she’s French, but that’s horrible to label people and I think she’s just actually a good cook.  Every time I’ve visited her with my hubby in the south of France where she lives (Biarritz to be exact!) she’s had a version of this prepared for “le petit déjeuner”, or breakfast.  Normally she’ll do a variation, adding more apple, some raisins, etc, but I decided that since I really want the bulk of this jam to be using up the tangerines exponentially sprinkling my lawn, that I’d keep it down to just two fruit ingredients.

It’s a really simple recipe for a orange-flavored jam that doesn’t taste bitter, at all, like orange marmalade.  I love it.  The secret in this is hers: you add banana to it!  It adds a subtle creaminess and sweetness that rounds out the acidity of the fruit.  I recommend cooking it at a very low temperature for about 4 hours to get the most out of the fruit, but you can get away with 30 minutes for something less long-lasting.

The trick to preserving it is by canning it hot in a mason jar and flipping it over to let the hot air rush out before any oxygenation occurs.  That’s what makes food go bad — contact with oxygen.  So, once you’ve bottled it correctly you can keep it in the fridge for up to a few months!  Once you open it I recommend consuming within 5 days.


Enjoy!!  And Happy Spring.

tropical tangerine jam

Serves 20
Prep time 15 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Breakfast, Condiment, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot


  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 8 cups peeled and roughly diced tangerines (Oranges work, too. Make sure you remove the seeds for either.)
  • 2 Large bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Step 1 In a large pot with a fitted lid, heat agave nectar over medium heat. Once it has come up to bubble, let cook for 30 seconds and just the second you see it start to change color (or after 1 minute, whichever comes first) add 1/2 of your tangerines. This will deglaze the caramel and cool it down. Coat all of the tangerines with the caramel mixture, stir in sea salt, then add remainder of the tangerines. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Slice your bananas directly into the mixture to avoid browning in thin slices. Stir a few times, cover with a lid, then reduce heat to low.
Step 2 Simmer, covered for at least 3 minutes, ideally 4 hours, to really infuse the flavors and bring out the natural sugars. I recommend checking on it every 30 minutes to make sure nothing is burning and give it a little stir to bring up the sugars from the bottom. If it's drying out, add 1/2 cup water at a time after a few hours.
Step 3 To preserve, transfer, while hot, to a mason jar with a fitted lid. Fill almost completely full, put on the lid while hot, and then flip upside down. This will permit the oxygen to rush out the sides and suck it out of the jar, which is how it still stay good in the fridge for several months. Keep in the fridge, as this is more of a "fresh" fruit jam, and after opening consume within 5 days.

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