Well it’s December! Christmas is less than a month away, the wish book is out and kids are taking notes, baking is in the air, logs are on fires, and Christmas specialty items are hitting the stores.
One of my favourite is Mandarine Oranges. Fragrant and sweet and so easy to peel. My kids just love getting these in lunches, and for snacks, and mom is often picking up peels all over the house.
So what to do with these peels, they got to have some use right?
Mandarine orange peels have a different flavour than the common orange and less bitter pith making them perfect for creating orange syrups and infusions. I found that infusing mandarines peels into syrup created a nice punchy citrus flavour, more appropriate for drinks where a citrus instead of pure orange taste is required.
Taking this to the next level, I wanted to see how much a mandarine infusion would add to a pumpkin shake creation – instead of using my standby of orange juice. The idea was to mix fresh pumpkin puree, cinnamon and honey syrups and mandarine flavour with ice-cream to create a unique shake. Because of all the other sweet ingredients, I hoped to use a water infusion instead of a syrup for my orange ingredient.
My first try was to create a tea of mandarine peels with hot water, and use this as an ingredient in the recipe. While the resulting shake was indeed tasty (my youngest sucked it down happily, my eldest claimed she is not a pumpkin pie or pumpkin anything fan), the mandarine was lost in the mix.
Next I tried simmering the mandarines in water instead of steeping them. Then lastly tried blending water and the peels in a processor, simmering and then straining to get the strongest flavour possible.
Pumpkin Mandarine Shake
- 2 oz pumpkin purée
- 1 oz cinnamon syrup
- 1 oz honey syrup (1:1 hot water to honey)
- 2 oz mandarin infusion
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream
- Whipping cream
Blend all ingredients but whipping cream in a blender and then top with whipped cream.
This is a tasty recipe but needs more orange flavour. Even with the blended infusion, the orange is very subtle. I used homemade pumpkin puree, made from boiled up pumpkins saved from halloween, and there is quite a bit of liquid in the puree. If you use canned pumpkin, you may want to add a bit of liquid to the mix, or reduce the pumpkin down to 1 oz since it is more concentrated. Also the pumpkin is not spiced, so watch that you use plain puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
Mandarine Infusion Recipe
Mandarine peels from three oranges
1 cup boiling water
Either make a tea of the mandarines and water. Or simmer chopped peels and water for 5 minutes then let steep for 10 minutes, strain and cool. Or for most concentrated version blend water and mandarine peels in blender then simmer 5 minutes and strain immediately (this version is a bit more bitter).
Kid-o-metre 3/5 one of two kids likes this in my family
Taste: 3/5 a work in progress
Ingredient finding: 4/5 seasonal recipe