Candied fruit always seems to be a Christmas-only specialty that the local baking wizard produces for potlucks and gifts before he/she vanishes with a puff of smoke, not to be seen again until next year.
Well, that doesn’t work for me. It’s too hard to find good dried and candied citrus slices for my tea (a rare treat that only seems to show up in specialty shops way over priced – at least around here). I also like them as a snack and often crave them. I decided it was time to mad-scientist my way through this and find a way to make them the way I like them without a degree in spinning sugar.
This recipe worked perfectly for sliced oranges for tea. The rinds may need a bit more sweetening for most people to make them a good snack.
It still takes a little time, but that’s unavoidable. The good news is that you can just leave them baking and ignore them until they’re done.
Candied Dried Orange Slices (for Tea)
- 3-4 Slightly Overripe Seedless Oranges
- 4 Cups of Sugar
- 1 Pinch of Salt
- 4 Tablespoons of Ginger (cut by 1/2 if using fresh)
- 4 Cups of Water
- Wash oranges, and slice them into 1/2 inch slices with rinds intact.
- Put water, 3 cups of sugar, ginger oranges, and a pinch of salt in a medium-sized saucepan and stir gently.
- Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until water is more than 1/2 reduced and a thin, gold syrup has formed (watch the pot closely to prevent your syrup from burning).
- Remove from heat, and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Convection bake is best, but if you don’t have that option, just baking them works too.
- Put a strip of wax paper on a large cookie sheet, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Use a pair of tongs to place the orange slices on the sugared wax paper. Make sure the slices aren’t touching each other.
- Save the remaining syrup in a jar in the fridge to use to make Orange Ginger Caramel or Coffee Syrup. Recipes coming soon.
- Sprinkle a little more sugar on top of the orange slices.
- Convection bake on the middle rack for 1-2 hours. If you don’t have a convection oven, bake for 2 hours, turning over once half-way through baking time.
- Remove from oven when slices are firm, but not brittle.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- Add to hot tea, iced tea, hot cocoa, or hot chocolate; or use as a garnish for cakes. Add extra sugar around the rinds before baking to use as a snack.