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Oranges with Candied Zest

Serves: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 large navel oranges
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling

Candied Orange Zest:

  • Zest strips of 4 navel oranges (reserved from above)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Procedures:

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel away wide strips of zest (without the bitter white pith) from the oranges and set aside for candying. Cut both ends from each orange, just to the flesh. Set the orange upright on a cutting board and use the knife to cut away the remaining peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit. Try not to cut away too much of the flesh. Slice each orange across into ½-inch-thick rounds. Wrap the orange slices in plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  2. For the candied zest, cut the orange zest strips lengthwise into ¼-inchthick slivers. Don't worry about all the slivers being perfectly even; they'll taste delicious regardless. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the zest, and boil for 1 minute. Drain well.


  3. Return the zest to the empty saucepan with the 1 cup water and ¾ cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Boil for 2 minutes, then decrease the heat to medium low and gently simmer for about 30 minutes, until the liquid is almost fully evaporated and the zest strips are fully translucent. Stir often to prevent sticking and burning (especially important near the end of cooking).


  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and scatter the remaining ¼ cup sugar over. Add the orange zest to the sugar and toss, separating the zest pieces so each strip is coated. Work quickly to prevent sticking; you can scatter a little more sugar over if needed. Transfer the zest to a clean plate and set aside to dry for at least 1 hour.


  5. When ready to serve, arrange the orange slices, slightly overlapping, on a serving platter or individual plates. Drizzle the Grand Marnier evenly over and finish with a light sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg (a little fresh nutmeg goes a long way). Scatter 4 or 5 strips of candied zest over each plate and serve.
  6. by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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