Oranges are an overlooked and under appreciated delicious fruit. They have travelled in arduous conditions across hundreds of miles in order to be peeled and eaten. And in this process half of this wonderful fruit is discarded, thrown away to end up rotting in amongst mouldy remnants of yesterdays dinner.
Since finding this recipe in my lovely new book Sweet Things I have found it very difficult not to horde all my orange peels in a jam jar in order to turn them all into Orangettes but unfortunately, as I am supposed to be studying for my final year essays, I have restricted myself to only making Orangettes 3 times this week.
As you may know there is a lot of vitamin C to be found in the skin of the orange which is great for fighting off winter colds. So not only are you thriftily using up all your fruit you are also fighting off illness. So far this seems to be a win-win situation.
To make Orangettes, either for yourself or as a very kind gift to give to someone else, you will need:
– an Orange (more than one is preferable but I normally only eat one orange at a time)
– 120g caster sugar
– a cinnamon stick ( I think a teaspoon of ground cinnamon would also work)
– 80g Dark chocolate
In my book the recipe also specifies 1/2 a vanilla pod, 6 cardamom pods, 1/2 teaspoon of pink peppercorns, 1 star anise and finely chopped pistachios/edible gold leaf but seeing as I am just a humble student and not Delia Smith I have made do without. Instead I added a bit of vanilla essence and a tiny bit of Amaretto.
1. Having cut the orange into segments, with a sharp knife peel off the skin from each of your segments. Slice the skin into strips. Eat the flesh.
2. Place the sliced peels into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then drain. Repeat this process twice more – the blanching removes any lingering bitterness and softens the skins. Drain once more and set aside.
3. To make the syrup tip the sugar into a heavy based pan and add 120ml of water. This is the point where you would add your pot pourri of spices. Place on medium heat to slowly dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. Once the syrup has formed add the orange peels and leave to boil very slowly for about 40 minutes until the peels become soft and translucent and almost all the syrup has been absorbed. During the last 10 minutes the syrup gets very thick so be careful it doesn’t burn.
4. Remove the peels from the pan one at a time and place on a piece of baking parchment. Leave on the paper overnight to dry, after which they should be candied and not sticky. At this point they should be stored in an airtight box.
5. Once your Orangettes are candied they are ready to be dipped in chocolate. Melt your dark chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water.
Stir until all the chocolate has melted and it is lovely and smooth. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before dipping the orangettes into the melted chocolate. My recipe says dip one end but I think the more chocolate the better so I went all out and covered them completely.
Leave to dry on the baking parchment until the chocolate has set.
At this point I also sprinkled a tiny bit of salt onto the dark chocolate because it makes the chocolate taste better but this isn’t crucial so feel free to omit it if you would rather.
Unfortunately at the moment I am completely out of edible gold leaf, I do however have some edible gold paint so I painted my Orangettes with this instead. Who doesn’t love gold food?
These were surprisingly easy to make and tasted really yummy so I would definitely recommend making them. They make a nice gift and although they are covered in chocolate they are still essentially oranges so actually not too unhealthy if you think about it..
And they’re gold.
These will last for about 2 or 3 weeks (probably longer) and are appreciated by both male and female recipients.