Christmas is apparently coming and I’m preparing for it by candying orange slices. A week long process which involves lots of sugar and takes up a lot of space before it’s finished. It has occurred to me as I drain the oranges, simmer the syrup, and return the oranges (making the kitchen very sticky in the process) that writing Christmas cards would have been a better place to start. Oranges taste better though. As does wine, which is my day job, and this week has had more than its fair share of wine tastings. Wednesdays was (and will remain) the highlight thanks to D'Arenberg wines and some particularly luscious dessert wines which by no coincidence I think will be good with candied oranges.
It all means very little time for reading, so here’s the Orange recipe instead; they aren’t as much trouble as they sound at first and are really worth the effort anyway, especially as they cost a bomb to buy. I’ve seen several versions of candied oranges which take less time, but again the extra effort is worth it as these ones (from a recipe in Acton and Sandler’s ‘Preserved’) are by far the best I’ve tried, and even better every bit as good as the ones a tour guide friend used to bring back for me from Bruges. Just as well as- she’s changed jobs now and Birthday/Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them.
Candied Orange Peel:
10 navel Oranges
1.8 kilos Sugar
200g liquid glucose
Slice the oranges about ½ a cm thick, discarding the ends. Gently simmer the slices for ½ an hour in a large pan, drain and place the slices back in the pan with a kilo of sugar and enough water to cover them entirely. Bring to the boil and simmer for a further ½ hour.
Place a lid on the pan and leave for 24 hours
Remove all the oranges, add a further 200g of sugar to the syrup and simmer until the sugar has dissolved, return the oranges to the pan and leave for a further 24 hours.
Repeat this for the next 3 nights until all the sugar is used.
When the sugar is gone remove the oranges, add the glucose to the syrup, bring to simmering point and put the oranges back in for another 24 hours.