Orange spoon sweet, as good as marmalade

We are entering spoon-sweet territory again

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We are well into April and spring has certainly hit Athens. Budding neratzi trees flower all over the place, the temperatures hit mid-20 C. It is the season you leave the home with a coat in the morning and come back half roasted in a t-shirt later in the afternoon. I am also saying goodbye to the wonderful winter citrus fruit, oranges.

Head straight to the recipe.
There is something extremely gratifying in the golden fruit: from the ceremonious peeling of oranges, to the refreshing aroma that hits your nostrils once the first bit peel is off, to the small bites into its juicy flesh. This year I drunk more orange juice that I could imagine and nibbled on more orange slices than an army. It’s time to preserve it to make it last a little longer.

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I was dreaming of Oxford tangy marmalade, my UK supplies have of course run out long ago. Mum got mingled in my kitchen on this one. Whilst I was thinking of taking up the best orange marmalade project ever, UK style, she jumped in. You are going to sit there, start chopping all these oranges in thin slices…frown of disapproval. we can do it better and of course produced a recipe, whole fruit, fuss free quintessential Greek spoon sweet technique.

And although this culinary adversity between UK and Greece can go on forever I claim to have no favourites but what I love is mum’s super practical way to orange jam – or spoon sweet – because of course it is jam the Greek way.

Here is what she did.

Ingredients (yields approx. 1 kg of spoon sweet)

  • 8 large oranges, unwaxed suitable for eating (navel)
  • 1kg of sugar
  • 1 lemon for its juice

Other utensils

  • 1 large pot
  • strainer
  • sterilised jars

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What to do:

  1. Rinse the oranges and lightly grate the outside layer, the same way you would to get the orange zest.
  2. Place the oranges whole in a large pot with lots of water, bring to the boil and let them boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Discard this water and let the fruit to cool
  4. Once the oranges are cool enough to handle, slice in 8 wedges and remove the pith.
  5. Back in the pot, add the orange wedges with the sugar, there is enough moisture from the oranges no need to add extra water.
  6. Bring to the boil, boil for 10 minutes and remove from the hob.
  7. The oranges will need to sit for 24 hours.
  8. The next day bring back to the boil, add the juice of a medium lemon, boil for 10 minutes and your orange spoon sweet is ready.
  9. Place in sterilised vases.
    To sterilise your jars: preheat your oven to 150 ºC and pop them in for 20 minutes, just as you would for any other spoon sweet or jam.

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You can very easily spread this on a slice of warm toast too. Enjoy!

from Athens with love,

Eugenia

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