One of my husband’s favorite candy is orange slices.
And he doesn’t care if they are Brach’s or some store brand of orange slices, whether they cost $3.00 a package, or 99¢ a package. He likes them all. While in Madrid, on our last part of our Spain trip, we happened upon several confection shops. There were all kinds of cookies and sweets. (See some of the below candy pictures). We had just finished a really nice lunch of gazpacho and a huge plate of paella and we were really wanting something sweet. Or, should I say, I was wanting something sweet so we started window shopping for something that would satisfy our sweet tooth and I’m sure we were drooling all over ourselves by the time we found these oranges.
These are my finished orange quarters.
These beautiful orange sections were staring at us from the window saying “come get us, you will love us”. So, we didn’t want to disappoint the people who worked so hard making all of these delicious treats. I have to say that these were the most delicious, juicy candied oranges I have ever put in my mouth. In Brugge we saw some candies orange slices dipped in chocolate but I have seen those before, but, I have never seen quartered candied oranges before that you could eat the whole thing, peeling and all. And, the only disappointment was when we swallowed the last bite we knew it was –“all gone” as my grandson, Milo would say.
Plate of goodies we purchased. I almost think these oranges were drizzled with honey because they were really juice and almost a little gooey. I love the way they put your treats on the little gold paper plate and this was “to go” and they wrapped the tray with paper and tied with string.
So, before our plane had even taken off for the US, I was already Googling how to make these delicious treats. I found a recipe on Food and Wine’s website and set out trying to make these for my husband. They were a delightful surprise.
Here is something I found while trying to search for the bakery where we had these oranges (and lucky me, all I had to do was refer to the photo I had taken to find the name of the bakery) “La Campana–Only one location at the end of Calle Sierpes near the Plaza del Duque, this is likely the most famous pasteleria. If you do nothing more at least window shop, although their display windows will likely tempt you inside. Not only do they offer some incredible pastries but have some of the best trufas (truffles) you will find in Spain.”
Cooking in syrup. I never said these were going to be quick to make.
Cooking, and cooking, and cooking.
These get put out on cookie sheet to air dry for a day.
Finally, finished and worth every minute it took making these. I will be making these again over the holidays but will use smaller oranges (seedless). I may use these chopped up on a salad or to garnish some type of grilled fish. Yum!
So, I’m preparing the recipe exactly from Food and Wine. I may make adjustments the next time I try these and cook them a little longer. I added some orange extract and I don’t know why but I had it and thought it couldn’t hurt.
Candied Orange Quarters
8 small organic oranges, quartered
5 cups sugar
1/4 c. light Karo Syrup (not dark)
1 tsp. orange extract (optional)
In a large saucepan, cover the oranges with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the oranges to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour off the water.
In the same saucepan, combine 4 cups of the sugar with the corn syrup and 2 cups of fresh water, the orange extract (optional), and bring to a boil over moderately high heat; stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Add the oranges and cook over low heat, stirring once or twice, until they begin to look glassy, about 1 1/2 hours.Raise the heat to high and boil vigorously for 7 minutes; the rinds will begin to look translucent. Remove from the heat and let the oranges cool in the syrup. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the oranges to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the oranges stand uncovered overnight or until tacky to the touch. Reserve the cooking syrup.Bring the syrup to a boil over high heat. Add the oranges and boil for 10 minutes. Let cool completely in the syrup. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the oranges, skin side down, to a rack. Let stand until tacky.
Put the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar in a paper bag, add the oranges and shake until well coated. Dry the oranges on a baking sheet lined with parchment; sugar them again if they still seem moist. Let the oranges stand uncovered overnight or for several days.