24 May 2012

Candied orange slices

We've been really lucky with navel oranges this spring - juicy, sweet, seedless, and very ... well ... full-bodied-orange-y. We've consumed close to 30 pounds in less than 4 weeks (I kid you not), effortlessly: mostly just sliced into segments (Chinese-restaurant style, perfect for making orange smiley faces). I also turned some into candied orange slices.

These are so simple to prepare, and do not have the bitterness that sometimes occurs with citrus rind. They can be eaten as is, or sliced and laid on toast as a sort of marmalade, or diced and mixed into cupcakes, or laid atop a simple cake to pretty it up in both looks and flavour, or baked into French brioche pastries called craquelines - I'll tell you more about craquelines next time, so stay tuned.
candied orange slices

Candied Orange Slices
Adapted from Flour

The original recipe calls for 2 navel oranges, but when I tried it the first time I found that there was too much syrup. Now I either make it with 4 navel oranges, or halve the syrup for 2 oranges.

Slice the stem and blossom ends off, then slice (cross-section) into 1/4" rounds
  4 navel oranges
In a medium nonreactive saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat:
  3 cups (600 g) sugar
  4 cups (960 g) water

Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves.

Reduce the heat to very low, and slip the orange slices into the sugar syrup. Allow this to simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring gently every once in a while to distribute the orange slices.

You'll know the candied orange slices are done when they are translucent and the syrup is thick (consistency similar to that of maple syrup). If you bite into a slice, the rind will be completely soft and sweet, but the slice will not be falling apart. 

Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to cool completely. They can be refrigerated in their syrup, in a covered container, for 2 weeks (or even a bit more). 

The syrup can be used on waffles or pancakes, or used as a sweetener in tea or lemonade. I bet a small amount of it could be added to some salad dressings as well.



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