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Here is the recipe of my “virgin flight” into the territory of dangerous culinary pursuits of cooking orange jam: a deliciously voluptuous, gooey, almost-caramel burnt-copper-orange oozy sticky delight bursting with the taste of winter warmth. Yum! And I have to confess that there are times when a meal consists of a beautiful bread, delicious cheese and this jam ...

Virgin Orange Jam
First attempt a huge success!

Ingredients


  • 6 - 7 large oranges in season (1 kg orange flesh)
  • 750 ml sugar



Chef's hint: This jam is best made in small quantities as it’s gobbled up quickly … It's the kind of delight that is eaten with a little frenetic urge and then sitting back in stillness to savour the moment...

Method


Peel the oranges deeply so that you cut away all white pitch. Discard the peels. They are too bitter to use. Halve the oranges and cut each half into 3 to 4 wedges. Cut away the thick centre pitch (imagine giving a cooking demo and saying that!) that is attached to the straight side of each wedge and as much membrane as you can see. Reserve the pips, pith and membranes. Chop the flesh, fishing out any stray pips, pith and membrane and adding to the reserves. Best is to place the chopping board on a clean tray as this could get juicy …

Place the chopped orange flesh and juice into a thick-bottomed saucepan. Tie the reserved membranes, pith and pips in a clean muslin cloth and pop into the saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until melted and the mixture is cooking.
Reduce heat to medium, skim any fat off the surface and allow the mixture to bubble strongly for 35 – 45 minutes or until it reaches the (very) soft ball stage and has reduced and become an orange-coloured treasure on the verge of turning into a caramel colour.

Remove from heat, fish out the muslin bag and set aside to cool a little. Now pour your burnt copper orange into a clean jar and allow to cool before sealing.

Yields about 450 ml