Sunday, August 30, 2009


one little orangette at sunset

The orangette is a beautiful thing. This past weekend I made a platter of them and most people agreed.

There are, of course, those with an aversion to oranges--Ahem J.

It is a fairly intense treat. Although one slowly savored orangette per evening is enough for me, most people did not agree. I watched several individuals quietly return to the orangette platter again and again, each one of them slipping a fresh orangette (or two, or three) into their mouth during every visit.

I was happy to see the candies disappear, pleased the guests were enjoying what I'd prepared for them. Suddenly it occurred to me that I hadn't photographed even one of these lovely little confections and the sun was quickly sinking. I'm a big fan of natural light, so I grabbed my camera, snatched one orangette from the platter, placed it on a teensy dish, and headed outside.

It had been a beautiful day and I knew that each time I looked back at this image I'd be able to return to this place and time. No pressure. I worked quickly, the sun vanishing, as one of my friends cheered me on yes, yes, I like the blue! I did the best I could. It was done.

I loved that I was able to indulge in the bitter sweetness of this particular orangette and save it forever.

I searched for orangette and candied orange peel recipes and found quite an array. I loosely followed this one. If you'd like to prepare a platter of your own, you'll need the following:

  • 4 large oranges
  • 3 cups of sugar for the syrup (This is what I used and our guests seemed quite pleased, but I found the orangettes to be very sweet, perhaps too sweet. I think I might take the amount of sugar as low as 1 cup next time and see what happens. I'm the type that cuts way back on sugar in preserves and cakes too.)
  • 1 additional cup of sugar for coating the orange peels
  • 8 ounces of extra dark chocolate--70% cacao
  • lots of water
  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • large stock pot
  • medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan
  • baking rack
  • cookie sheet
  • wax paper
  • airtight container
Cut off the top and bottom of each orange (the North and South Poles). Cut just far enough into the orange to reveal the flesh.

Score the peel to create 6 sections
(longitude lines) and ease your fingers beneath the first section of the peel, beginning at the top (North Pole) and gently working your way to the bottom (South Pole). Continue with the additional 5 sections of peel. Repeat with remaining 3 oranges. Save the peeled oranges and eat them later (or now).

Slice all of the peels lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips and toss them into a large stock pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, drain off all water and repeat process 2 more times.

Pour 1 cup water into a medium sauce pan and add 3 cups sugar. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the orange peels and simmer for 3o minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. (Don't abandon your peels at this've worked too hard.)

Set a baking rack inside a cookie sheet and remove all peels from the pan with a slotted spoon and arrange on rack so they are not touching. Save the remaining syrup in a Mason jar and refrigerate for later use. (I added a little bit to a glass of sparking water and it was nice).

Once the peels have cooled down and dried a bit you can toss them in a bowl of sugar.
(I coated all of my peels, but I might try 1/2 without sugar coating next time.) I saved the remaining sugar too.

Place all sugared peels back on the rack and let dry completely, about 5-6 hours. Once dry you can dip in tempered chocolate. I used Method 1, sans thermometer, and it flopped. Perhaps I need to find my candy thermometer...I know I have one somewhere. Dip each orangette 1/2 way into tempered
(or simply melted in my case) chocolate and shake off excess. Place dipped orangettes on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and let the chocolate set in refrigerator. Store set orangettes in an airtight container or serve and watch them vanish.

Since my tempering was unsuccessful, the chocolate on my orangettes began to get a little soft after only a short while on the platter. Oh well... No one seemed to mind.

#33 -- check!


  1. You did a beautiful job of taking the photo of the orangette. I loved the story accompanying it with recipe. Such a wonderful post!

  2. Alexandria- Thank you. I bet Madeline and her friends would like them : )

  3. Wow, tempered chocolate. I haven't done that. And I have a whole TREE full of oranges, with the most delicious flesh and rinds. Next year, not only am I making orangettes, I'm going to give you a sack of the best oranges you've ever tasted. (Springtime or early summer. I hope we meet by then.)
    YES on cutting back the sugar, by the way.

  4. Cookiecrumb- A sack of homegrown oranges? Yes! I'll be looking forward to it.

  5. OK, keep reminding me. We'll do a meet-up at one of the farmers markets or something apropos. 2010 (though we're allowed to meet sooner).

  6. Oooohhhh yum...thanks for sharing the recipe =)

  7. cookiecrumb- Oh, don't worry. I won't let you off the hook now!
    ; )

  8. these delightful little tidbits look amazing.. checked out the recipe and don't think I would have the patients to put them together..
    next time you whip up a batch I would love it if a few of them somehow made their way to my front door... ha ha

  9. Kiss my Spatula, Thank you!

    Melva, I wish I would have sent some to you! They did require quite a bit of patience, so it might be a while before I give them another go. When I do decide to get serious about orange peel again, I'll send some your way.

  10. oh yes, perferct gift for the holidays...or just to accompany afternoon tea!!!

  11. Amelia- Thank you for your note. I just might make some more orangettes for the holidays and save a few for myself, for afternoon tea.

  12. Ii would make this....but only for me. I would put the ornage strips in my pot of redwine and pears...and all mulling spices. I would bring them out...all ruby and red and follow the rest of the recipe then I would hide and eat it all up!!!!!!!!!!! all by myself

  13. Kitchen Butterfly,
    I love the idea of a ruby red version! I just might have to try it.