Monday, October 29, 2012

Preserving: Freezer Canning Mandarin Oranges

This time of year, you can buy Mandarin oranges for a very reasonable price.  They come in large boxes or bags, so it's hard to eat them fast enough.  That's what happened to us.  We made it through half of the box and decided we needed to do something quick with the rest.

At the condo, so I didn't have my canning equipment.  If you do, there are some excellent videos on YouTube such as the  one by 255sage about canning Mandarin oranges. All I had at the condo was my freezer canning supplies, so I decided to experiment.

First, you need to make sure you use seedless Mandarins. Peel and section removing as much of the bitter white outer flesh because it's bitter. Since mine were pretty ripe, they were harder to section without squeezing out some of the juice out.  Set the orange sections aside.

You can pack the fruit dry, or in water, fruit juice, or a simple syrup made with sugar.  The latter is recommended to preserve the colour and texture.  Sugar does not act as a preservative, so it isn't required. I chose the simple syrup process using a light version.

For the syrup, I used 1 1/2 cups sugar, 5 3/4 cups water, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and brought it to a boil.  I used the hot pack method, so I put the orange sections in the syrup and brought it quickly to a boil. I removed it from the heat and immediately filled my Ball plastic freezer jars.

I left an inch of headroom for expansion during freezing. After cooling, I capped the jars and put them in the freezer.

As with all food preparation, using clean utensils and surfaces is very important.  Once thawed, the Mandarin oranges should be used immediately or refrigerated. We had them in our salad tonight. I also plan to use them in Mom's breakfast fruit medley. Now my investment won't go to waste. -- Margy

p.s. Next time I think I will use the cold pack method with the hot syrup. That way the sections should stay firmer.


  1. I learned something new, did not know you could preserve mandarin oranges.

  2. Hi, Margy! What a wonderful idea!