Orange segments in syrup / Πορτοκαλί Γλυκό

A colourful Greek winter preserve using the whole orange, they taste delicious and make fantastic gifts.
The orange glyko looks gorgeous and is nice to eat on its own or with ice cream or cream, also excellent for decorating cakes and trifles.
You need thin skinned oranges; Valencia are the best as they have fine skins (peel) and only a few seeds.

5-6 (1kilo) small oranges
1 kilo sugar
600-700 ml water
1 cinnamon stick
Few whole cloves
2 star anise
Few rose geranium leaves (fkioli optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
Few drops of vanilla extract

Wash fruit and pat dry, them grate them lightly on a fine grater to remove zest and bitterness.
Cut top and bottom of each orange, place them in a preserve pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil gently for 10 minutes, drain, them discard the water. Cover with fresh water and bring to the boil again, repeat this process 3 times.
Drain the oranges and place on a tea towel for a couple of hours to drain and go cold.
When cold, cut the oranges into 4-6 segments, depending how big you like them. With scissors, cut the white pith from each segment.
Place sugar, water and spices in the preserve pan and bring to a simmering point, stirring from time to time until the sugar dissolves.
Gently place the oranges in the syrup, bring to the boil and boil for 20 minutes, then remove from heat. Allow to stand in the syrup overnight.
The next day, place back on the heat and bring to the boil for about 20-25 minutes, skimming any froth from the top. Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla extract and check if the syrup has set.
Place orange segments in sterilised jars and cover with the syrup, close the jars, label and keep in a dark place. They should keep for a year.

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