I’ve had a love affair with chocolate since my first taste as a little girl, but I never liked candied fruits. Ugh … the jelly-like feel, the faded fake taste of anonymous fruits and, in later years, the waste of calories from all the sugar sprinkled over them.
Something happened to my taste buds after I turned 40. As a middle aged fogey, I started to crave candied orange peels, lemon peels and candied orange slices. Especially in winter – maybe a signal from my body that I needed more sunshine and vitamins!
A new adventure was born! Along with my Paris excursions to study and discover the best chocolate opera cakes and macarons in Paris, winter means new detective trips to discover the tastiest candied oranges and orange peels. I’ve tried them high and low, from Pierre Hermé and Marcolini to single producers. But whatever I tried, they were too sweet and had lost most of the tart flavor. I finally discovered a “close but not quite” in Provence last year and it inspired me to dig deeper.
Thanks to the internet, I looked up recipes to make them myself. After six tries, I’m almost there! Here's my recipe and technique that makes deliciously tart candied orange slices. It still needs work because the finished product is a little sticky – but I don’t want to roll them in sugar. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them in the comments!
Candied Orange Slices
- Put whole oranges in a saucepan with cold water.
- Bring to boil; boil for 2 minutes
- Throw out water, add and bring to boil again.
- Cool oranges in cold water and slice into 1 cm rounds slices (thick)
- For every cup of water add ½ -to 3/4 of sugar. Most recipes call for one to one ratio, but I prefer them more tart… and that’s the reason I find store-bought ones overwhelmed by sugar.
- Simmer orange slices for about 30- 40 minutes, til the white inside the peel starts to appear slightly transparent.
- Here’s my trick: Remove slices. Let sugar water thicken almost to a caramel.
- Brush this syrup over the oranges, then put in oven at 150 C for 30 – 40 minutes at low heat.
- It makes a much chewier orange slice, which has been a hit with friends after lunch or dinner in the middle of winter.
- You can roll in sugar so they aren’t sticky, but I leave them somewhat sticky and shiny.
- Dip them partially in dark chocolate (or entirely for chocolate lovers!) for a lovely sweet treat after dinner. This has led to some fun and very creative kitchen experiments!
These candied orange slices freeze beautifully, which means you can simply take them out as needed whenever you might need a tart and sweet taste during the autumn and winter. Enjoy … and have fun!