Last week was our last CSA box! D is switching jobs, and we don’t know if there will be a CSA that delivers to his new office. We’ll look into it more in the fall, but in the meantime I’m looking forward to going to the farmer’s market more often. Lately I’ve only gone to the farmer’s market to see what’s in season and get one or two special things, because we get so much from the CSA. Now I’ll get to go weekly, and I just have to promise to buy a few things I don’t know much about.
I bring this up because I often preserve and cook looking for ways to use up extras from the CSA. Too many pears? Dry them. Too many apples? Make applesauce. Too many oranges? Umm… how about candying them? Before yesterday I’d never had candied oranges, but they are quite beautiful, and therefore worth trying just for the visuals. If you’re like me, making something beautiful is almost as fun as making something delicious. And if I can do both, well that counts as an excellent day.
I found this recipe from Food and Wine, which looked like a good representation of the other recipes.
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 orange, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
In a medium skillet, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over medium heat*, turning over every 5 minutes with tongs, until the liquid is reduced to thin syrup and the orange slices are translucent, about 20-25 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.
(*Note – I found medium to be too cool in the first step, and ditto for medium-low, so I used medium-high and medium, respectively.)
Cool orange slices on a rack. Reserve the syrup.
We ate the candied oranges plain, for dessert. They have a strong “marmalade” flavor, which I’m not crazy about. I ended up eating just the flesh and leaving the peel. If you like marmalade you’ll love the whole thing.
Next, we tried them in bourbon (me) and rye (D). Ok, now we are talking! I added a little of the left over orange simple syrup, popped in the candied orange, and ooh la la. This was so delicious! And the orange at the end was such a nice way to finish off a drink. We saved the syrup in a squeeze bottle, and the oranges are in a Tupperware with wax paper between the slices because they are sticky. They should keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.