Cranberry Cheese Crostini & Tangerine Marmalade
Here is something wonderful to do with your clementines and pixies — make tangerine marmalade. If you’ve never quite managed to fall in love with the bitter-sweet contrast of the chunkier orange marmalades, you may find this one wins you over. It’s a brilliant shade of orange, extremely fragrant, and softer than most marmalades. It tastes like the very essence of an intensely sweet and tangy tangerine. And we cut the peels into the thinnest slivers, so there’s just a hint of their bright, bitter notes. Tangerine marmalade is uncommonly pleasant. We’d eat it in great, heaping spoonfuls if it wasn’t so good on food.
For this recipe, we spread the marmalade on toasted baguette crostini with a thick layer of creamy ricotta, fresh cranberries, and a chiffonade of mint. The milky, fresh cheese is a lovely companion for the sweet marmalade, and the cranberries are its perfect, tart foil. In the test kitchen, people were surprised by how much the mint added — its cool, leafy sweetness pulls all the flavors in the app together.
The whole thing is so scrumptious, some of us pondered making it for a light dessert, but really it’s most at home on a platter of holiday appetizers. It’s very colorful and festive, and people will love a crispy, crunchy, creamy, sweet bite as they wait for dinner to roll out. Serve them with glasses of bubbly, like J Brut Rosé from J Vineyards — its tiny bubbles and vibrant, sweet-tart fruits will be just the thing.
Our tip: Make a double batch of the marmalade. Your guests will be delighted to take a jar home with them, and you may want to keep one around for holiday brunches and afternoon toast snacks.
Cranberry Cheese Crostini
Servings: 10 to 12
1 large baguette, sliced on the bias about ½-inch thick
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Flake salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped Gelson’s organic mint, plus more for garnish
½ cup tangerine marmalade (recipe below)
¼ cup sliced fresh cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Place the baguette slices on a sheet pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the baguette slices and sprinkle them with flake salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted and golden, but still tender on the inside.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil, ricotta cheese, white wine vinegar, and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the baguette slices from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes.
Top the baguette slices with the ricotta mixture and a dollop of tangerine marmalade.
Sprinkle with sliced cranberries and mint, and serve.
Servings: 4 Cups
8 to 10 tangerines
3 cups water
2 oz liquid fruit pectin
2 ½ cups sugar
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin of the tangerines. Finely julienne the peels.
Using a sharp knife, trim all of the white pith from the tangerines. Seed and remove the connective membranes. Quarter the tangerines. You should have about 2 cups.
In a small pot, combine the julienned skins and 1 cup of the water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Drain off the water. Repeat this step with fresh water and drain again. Note: this step helps to remove some of the bitterness from the peel.
In the same pot, combine the blanched skins and quartered tangerines with the remaining cup of water. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, gently mashing the fruit with the back of a fork.
Stir in the sugar and bring to a hard, rolling boil for 2 minutes. Note: The boil here is really important. You want it to boil even as you’re stirring.
Rapidly stir in the pectin and continue to boil for 1 minute.
Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe glass jar. Cool the mixture to warm before putting the lid on the jar. The tangerine marmalade will keep in the refrigerator for up to 60 days.