Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spiced Orange Slices in Honey Syrup

I almost wish I didn't make these, as they are so good it might be difficult to practise good portion control. I suppose you could make them less indulgent by spooning it over good yoghurt, but I think we all know that would be pointless because there is no such thing as good yoghurt. Yoghurt is the devil.

The recipe is simple enough to do, but I will caution you to keep an eye of the slices as they simmer because if they come to a boil, or really anything beyond the gentlest simmer, they will fall apart. You want slices of orange, not peels that used to have orange sections in them. Gentle simmer, OK?

From the Ball Blue Book:

2 1/4 pounds of oranges (about 4 large)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups honey
1 lemon, juiced
3 sticks cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice

Sterilize jars. The recipe said it would make three half pint jars, but that sounded wrong based on the volume of oranges. I ended up with five and a half pints! It always pays to prepare some extra jars as you never know how much variation there can be.

Heat (but do not boil) lids. Wash screw bands.

Wash oranges and drain. I scrubbed the hell out of mine, but that's your call. Slice oranges discarding ands and seeds. Cut slices in half. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Simmer gently until tender (about an hour).

Drain slices carefully (don't just dump the pot into a colander, but remove them with a slotted spoon. The slices are delicate at this point). Combine sugar, honey and lemon juice in the large pot. Stir to dissolve sugar and heat over medium. Bring it slowly to a boil, but keep an eye on it as honey is notorious for boiling over suddenly. Lower heat to a simmer, add slices of orange (gently) and tie spices in a spice bag. Add the spice bag to the pot and simmer forty minutes. Gently.

Remove spice bag. Pack hot oranges into hot, sterilised jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim with a damp cloth and fir with heated lids. Screw bands fingertip tight (you don't need to use all your strength for that) and place in a boiling water canner. Process 10 minutes (adjusting time for your altitude) and after ten minutes kill the heat, remove the lid and let cool down 5 minutes before removing to a heat-proof surface. After 12-24 hours, check for seals.

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