These are something that many Cypriot and Greek people have in their fridge and offer to visitors with a glass of ice-cold water or a coffee. They are eaten straight off the spoon and some people like to then stir their syrupy spoon into their glass of water. You can preserve almost any small fruits with this recipe: baby clementines, tiny eggplants (aubergines), green walnuts, bergamo or figs and keep them in the fridge. These are normally extremely sweet — I have used slightly less sugar but you can add more if you prefer.
Rinse the oranges in warm water. Peel off the skin with a good potato peeler, trying not to press too hard so that you leave behind the white pith and remove only the outer orange peel. Do this lengthways or around the circumference, whichever way works best for you. If lengthways, you should get six or seven strips. Around the circumference you should get about three long strips: halve these so you have pieces about
Boil the orange peel in water for about 15 minutes until softened, then drain. Roll up each piece of peel fairly tightly and thread onto a length of cotton with a needle, as if you were stringing a necklace together (this will help the peel hold its shape in the syrup).
Put the sugar in a saucepan with
The syrup should have thickened during cooking, if not cook it for slightly longer. Pour the syrup over the peel (it should just cover it). When cool, refrigerate, ensuring the peel is covered by the syrup, and use within a month.
Pit the cherries carefully with a thin pitter and then rinse them. Put the sugar, lemon juice and
Continue boiling the syrup for about 10 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Strain through muslin over the cherries and seal the jar when cool. The cherries should always be covered by syrup. These are normally served straight from the fridge, with a spoon and small plate and a glass of iced water to cut through their beautiful over-sweetness. Use within a month.
The green plums look nice served whole, so leave the stones in and spit them out as you go. If you would prefer them to be pitted beforehand, make a small slit and remove the stone.
Rinse the plums. Put the sugar, orange rind, juice and bay leaf in a saucepan with about
Remove from the heat (the plums must not be too soft). Using a slotted spoon, spoon the plums into a suitable preserving jar. Leave the syrup to boil for about 12–15 minutes until it has reduced by about two-thirds. Pour over the plums and seal when cool. The plums should always be covered by syrup. Keep in the fridge and use within a month.
If you are using dried figs, soak them in warm water for at least a couple of hours, then drain.
Put the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean and
Put the figs into a suitable preserving jar. Let the syrup cool and then pour it over the figs in the jar. Pour the rum or brandy over the top. Top with a circle of greaseproof paper (or a preserving paper disc), pushing down on the figs to keep them submerged in the syrup, and seal the jars tightly. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within a month. These are particularly delicious served with thick cream.
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