In a previous post, I talked about growing more citrus in my garden and how pleased I was to have about 20 navel oranges and 20 satsuma mandarins on my trees this year. Oranges are wonderful fruit to have in the middle of winter when there isn’t much else around, and they are full of vitamin C and other nutrients. They are great to enjoy whether you peel the skin off in a spiral, cut them into quarters or squeeze them for juice.
I thought I’d share a few other ways to enjoy them too:
4 cups sugar
3 cups water
100g dark chocolate, melted
Cut the oranges into quarters and carefully peel off the skin. Cut the peels into thin strips (4 or 5 per quarter). Put into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain, then repeat and drain again. Heat the sugar and water, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the peel and simmer gently until tender (about 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 100C on fanbake and line an oven tray with baking paper. Remove peel from the syrup with a slotted spoon and arrange in a single layer on the oven tray. Sprinkle with extra sugar and cook until dry (about 1.5 hours). Allow to cool and then dip into melted chocolate. Allow to set on a rack.
They will keep for weeks in an airtight container (if they get a chance).
With the oranges that you have peeled you can experiment with which liqueur you think they are best marinated in. I tried Grand Marnier and Limoncello but I can’t decide which was best – I might have to try again. They are great for a special dessert that doesn’t take much effort but tastes delicious. Serve with some creme fraiche or yoghurt and sprinkle with chocolate. Or have with crepes and salted caramel sauce.
You can also dry citrus using a dehydrator. These can be added into a casserole or dessert, or dipped in chocolate and eaten as is. The dried slices make great decorations on all sorts of things – for food but also in bath oils or herbal bath bags.
Spiced Orange Pomander Balls
Pomanders have been used since the middle ages for perfuming and sometimes in witchcraft. Modern pomanders are made by studding a fruit (usually an orange) with whole cloves and letting it dry. These pomanders can last several years and can be used for perfuming and freshening the air and also for keeping drawers of clothing and linens fresh, pleasant-smelling, and moth-free. They are easy and fun to make. Can be used as Christmas decorations.