Microwave Candied Clementines
- In an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish, combine the water, sugar and syrup. Cook for 3 minutes in the microwave oven on maximum intensity to fully dissolve the sugar. Add the clementine slices and continue cooking for about 12 minutes or until they become slightly translucent. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until completely chilled. Drain.
- In a saucepan off the heat, combine the sugar with the flour and cornstarch. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Stir in the milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously while scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat.
- Strain the custard through a sieve into a bowl, if needed. Add the marmalade. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream. Let cool and refrigerate for 2 hours or until completely chilled. When ready to use the custard, stir with a spatula to soften it.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and molasses with an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat until smooth. At low speed or with a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients. Shape into two discs and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- On a lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out one disc of dough at a time into a ¼-inch (5 mm) thick rectangle. Cut out the dough into ¾-inch (2 cm) wide strips. Place the cookies on the sheets, spacing them evenly. Bake one sheet at a time, for about 12 minutes
or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden brown. Let cool on the sheets. Break into large pieces and set aside.
- In a bowl, whip the cream and sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- At the bottom of a 12-cup (3 litre) glass serving bowl, spread ½ cup (125 ml) of the whipped cream and one-fifth of the crushed cookies. Top with half the marmalade custard. Place 8 to 10 clementine slices against the sides of the bowl and reserve the remaining slices to garnish the trifle. Add one-fifth of the cookies and half of the remaining whipped cream. Continue with one-fifth of the cookies, half the marmalade custard and another fifth of the cookies. Finish with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate for 12 hours. When ready to serve, top with the remaining cookies and clementine slices.
You can use orange marmalade instead of mandarin marmalade, or, if you have a few candied clementine slices left over, simply chop them and add them to the custard.
Short on time? Replace the gingerbread cookies recipe with 5 oz (150 g) of store-bought ginger cookies.