Sweet, tangy and festive, this orange conserve with hints of vanilla and rum is the perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones. To sterilise glass jars, wash with hot, soapy water and rinse clean. Dry them in the oven for 1 hour at gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C.
Put the fruit in a large pan and cover with 1.8 ltr (3 pt) water. Leave to soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Bring the fruit and water to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1-2 hours, until the peel is tender and the liquid has reduced.
Add the sugar, vanilla pods and seeds to the pan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then leave to bubble briskly for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture reaches a setting point of 105oC on a sugar thermometer.
To test the setting point without a thermometer, remove the pan from the heat and spread a teaspoonful of the mixture on a chilled plate; allow to cool slightly. The conserve is ready if it wrinkles when pushed with your finger. (If it needs a little longer, return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil. Continue testing every 5 minutes or so, until ready.)
Leave the conserve to cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the rum.
Divide the hot conserve between the sterilised jars (see tip, below) and seal. When the jars are cool enough to handle, decorate with a sticky label.
See more Christmas edible gift recipes