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Spiced Preserved Tangerines

What is a tangerine?, we have to ask ourselves nowadays: the word seems to apply to a whole variety of species. I have made this particular preserve with one called Suntina (from Israel), and with another variety called Mineola. Both of them make a remarkably good preserve for serving with cold ham, tongue, goose and game. Gently heated, this also makes a splendid accompaniment to roast duck or venison.

 
 
 Spiced Preserved Tangerines

  Makes an 18 fl oz (500 ml) jar

Ingredients
 approximately 1½ lb (700 g) small tangerine-type oranges
 8 fl oz (225 ml) white wine vinegar
 8 oz (225 g) soft light brown sugar
 2 inch (5 cm) cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
 1 level teaspoon whole cloves
 2 blades mace
 ¾ level teaspoon mixed pepper berries
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Equipment
You will also need an 18 fl oz (500 ml) jar, sterilised as described above.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas

Method

First of all wash the oranges and wipe them dry, then slice them thinly into ¼ inch (5 mm) thick round slices (you'll have to discard the end pieces, which are just peel).

Place them in a saucepan with 1 pint (570 ml) water, bring them up to simmering point and simmer very gently for about 45 minutes or until the oranges are quite tender.

Now drain them in a large sieve fitted over a bowl (so you can reserve all the cooking liquid).

Next return the cooking liquid to the saucepan along with the wine vinegar, sugar and spices.

Boil the mixture rapidly for about 10 minutes and, after that, return the orange slices to the pan and this time simmer gently for a further 20 minutes or until the slices look translucent.

Transfer the orange slices to the warmed sterilised jar (see below), then once again boil the syrup until it has reduced to about 10 fl oz (275 ml).

Now pour the warm syrup, including the spices, on to the oranges, but don't seal the jar because any leftover syrup can be added after 24 hours, by which time the oranges will have absorbed some of the syrup.

Seal and label, and store for at least a month before eating (but not more than 3 months).

NOTE: To sterilise the jar, wash it thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse and heat in a moderate oven for 5 minutes.

 

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