from tree to jar

I am very lucky to have an orange tree in my back courtyard and a miniature naartjie tree in my front yard, so at this time of year there is an abundance of citrus fruit in my house.

I love the idea of preserving and transforming something that is in season and fresh, into something quite different and carrying it forward into the future months.

I stumbled upon this recipe in the July issue of Food & Home Entertaining magazine, and decided to throw in a few oranges and a few miniature naartjies. I also added a few kumquats to test (and were fabulous) so may just do something similar with the bag of those that I have.  Or make an interesting jam.

How to make these:

  • Rinse and wash enough small oranges or naartjies to fill a 1 litre jar
  • in a pot, boil 500gm of sugar with 500ml of water (2 cups) allowing the liquid to simmer for a few minutes
  • add 2 cinnamon sticks and about 8 star anise pods.
  • with a toothpick, prick each of the oranges multiple times and place in the pot, put the lid on and simmer for an hour
  • scoop the oranges out and into the sterilised jar and carry on boiling the liquid until it thickens and reduces by roughly half (10 odd minutes)
  • add1/2 – 1 cup of brandy (I found 1/2 a cup was adequate) and allow the liquid to cool to room temp before pouring it into the jar with the oranges.  I used a very good quality Brandy: Van Ry’s 10 year old
  • the recipe says soak for a week before serving them with ice cream or custard

I may leave them a bit longer and see how they turn out. As I’m not a very big fan of marmalade on its own, I’m thinking that these could be fantastic roughly chopped and baked into a cake or hot brandy pudding or made into an ice cream.

I loved the smell of the cinnamon and the liquorice star anise wafting through my house as these simmered away with the oranges.  So warm and comforting.

syrupy and sweet preserved oranges with cinnamon and anise
the bowl of beautiful oranges and miniature naartjies before being transformed

Other recipes for preserves that I have:

10 minute strawberry jam




  1. Hi Sam this is my 2nd attemot in leaving a message! Your pics are beautiful and I just looove this post!

  2. oh sam i can smell and feel your home. your writing is so layered and lovely…keep going word warrior, and your photos are brilliant. loving being back on your blog xx

  3. I’m so jealous you have an orange tree in your yard! I wish I had one. Beautiful photos, and a great recipe! We just launched our all new and February is oranges month. If you’d like to link up your recipe, we’d love to have you

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