Friday, April 15, 2011

sugared oranges

a couple of weeks ago
my good friend julie
handed me
two grocery bags
stuffed full
blood oranges
amazingly sweet
stunningly hued
orbs of delight
best part
they were all mine

for the past fortnight
i have been
all sorts 
in my kitchen
first up
 sugared oranges
*to make approx 9 pint jars
blood oranges-or thin skinned oranges
(this recipe uses about 180-200 orange slices)
granulated sugar
ground ginger (optional)
6 cups granulated sugar
3 cups water
1 cup blood orange juice
2-1" knobs of fresh ginger
choose your oranges carefully.  make sure they have thin skin and that they are not so large that they will not fit into the jars you are going to preserve them in. slice the oranges in rings no thicker than 1/8" beginning at stem end.  arrange in a casserole dish in a single layer, slightly overlapping.  once you have your first layer, sprinkle sugar to lightly cover.  lightly sprinkle ground ginger on top as well (no more than 1/8 tsp per layer). continue with a second layer of oranges and repeat with the sugar and ginger. continue until you have reached your desired number of orange slices. remember to reduce the amount of syrup if you are reducing the number of oranges.
sugar and ginger the top layer of oranges, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for an hour at room temperature.  after 1 hour or up to 2 (if waiting longer than 2 hours, place in refrigerator) lightly pack your oranges into sterilized jars--each pint jar will hold approximately 20 pieces.
 make the syrup.  
place the sugar, water, blood orange juice and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. add the leftover juices from your oranges as well.  bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup appears clear.  remove from heat.  using a ladle, spoon the hot syrup over the oranges, making sure there are no gaps of air.  use a knife to maneuver the oranges so the syrup can seep through. leave a 1/4" gap at the top of the jar.
seal the jar and process in a water bath per standard canning methods. 
for tips on canning please click here
i processed my jars for 20 minutes at high altitude, but i cannot guarantee that this method will be appropriate for your batch.

And now for the big question
what would you use these for?
coming soon is a
cake recipe using sugared oranges
but you can also use for
cocktail garnish-using the syrup in the beverage
dry them in a slow oven and dip in chocolate
top cupcakes and cheesecakes
sweeten your morning yogurt
garnish grilled chicken
be imaginative
the list is endless...


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