My favorite orange jam
Every year around January/February, our home smells like oranges. Lots and lots of oranges. Everywhere you look, there are oranges, oranges, and more oranges. Greek oranges, to be precise.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet a guy who often travels to Greece, and few times during the season, he comes back with boxes of oranges that are at their peak of perfect ripeness, juiciness, sweetness, and so, so fragrant. They are everything you want oranges to be. And that is the time of the year when I make this jam, which I learned to make some time ago (inspired by an Italian monastery recipe). It is just perfect and too good to be true. The classic version would use vanilla, but the tonka bean is just something so, so special. I love it. Everyone loves it – my friends, my slice of cheese, my croissant, my roast, pancakes, and so much more. This year I also married them with cardamom, rose petals, and vanilla, and let me tell you something – it is perfect. So, just go on and try it. Because it's worth every single spoon you eat. Every one.
1.1 kg oranges
800 ml water
200 g organic or homegrown oranges
750 g white sugar
250 g Demerara sugar
1 tsp cardamom seeds
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 tsp of dried rose petals
Orange tonka bean
1.3 kg organic or homegrown oranges
800 ml water
650 g white sugar
350 g Demerara sugar
1 - 2 tonka beans (or you can use 1 juicy, big vanilla bean)
Wash the oranges. Cut off the green part (where the stem is), and put the oranges in a blender. Blend until almost like a puree, but still with some pieces of orange rind.
Transfer to a large, deep pot and add water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add both sugars. Bring to the boil again, then lower the heat and simmer very slowly, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes until it starts to get just a bit sticky. It will still look a bit too “runny”, but it will set after some time. Pour into sterilized jars, seal, and set on a worktop until cool.
PS. I sterilize the jars very simply. Wash with soapy water and then heat in 150 degree oven for 15 minutes. For the lids – I put them in water, boil for 2 minutes, and then also heat in the oven. I keep the jars in the fridge (I have separate fridge for my preserves, as we don't have a cold cellar and I just feel much safer if they are in the fridge).
Recipe and photos by Signe Meirane