Oranges are at their peak in the cold weather, and candied orange slices are a wonderfully delicious way to enjoy these glorious winter treats.
I love eating seasonally. I get quite excited anticipating the enjoyment of fresh fruit and vegetables that haven’t been in their prime for a few months, and I love to find ways to extend the lives of those that are at their peak. At the moment, here in Australia, it’s winter – and that means citrus. My lemon tree is groaning with fruit and I’ve been furiously preserving lemons in salt, to enjoy in 6 weeks time in tagines, casseroles and salads.
Last week I turned my attention to oranges – candied orange slices to be precise.
South Australia is a premier citrus growing region, in fact – despite our water problems – we are the third largest national producer growing around 200,000 tonnes annually, with most coming from the Riverland. Citrus fruits are the biggest fresh fruit export for South Australia and many come from family operations.
Navel oranges are gloriously sweet, and never better than at this time of year – and I had a big bag of them that I wanted to make the most of. I’d already made orange cake and put some zest into a beef casserole (yes, that’s a thing – a very delicious thing), before I remembered just how fabulous candied orange slices are.
These candied orange slices take almost no effort, just a wee bit of time, but are well worth the wait. You can just use the rind and candy that, but I love the whole slices, and they do look pretty special. Use them to decorate your baking or, along with chocolate, they make a nice addition to a sweets platter. Or you can do what I do – wait until no one is looking and just eat them. I’m pretty sure they count as a fruit serve. 🙂
Candied Orange Slices
- 3-4 Navel oranges
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup caster sugar extra - for dredging
- Wash oranges and slice thinly, discarding the ends. A mandolin is the best tool to get consistent slices, but do use the guard to protect your fingers!
- Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan, bring to the boil and let bubble for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Carefully add orange slices - enough so that all are covered by the syrup, return to the boil, then reduce heat to a good simmer.
- Cook slowly, for 45-60 minutes, until the fruit and pith is virtually transparent. Try not to move them about too much in the pot or they will break up.
- When cooked, turn off heat and cool in the syrup.
- When cold, carefully lift the slices one by one, and place on racks, over a tray to catch the drips. Place in a dry airy spot and leave until no longer completely sticky to the touch, but still a little pliable. Mine took about 2 days, but that will vary depending on your kitchen climate.
- When dry, dredge in the extra sugar. Store in separated layers, in a container in the fridge - where they should last for at least a month.