Monday, May 21, 2012

Candied Orange Slices

The other day we received a big batch of quartered oranges. I wanted to find out if I could do something than just dehydrating the slices, so I decided to candy them.

Dehydrated Candied Orange Slices

I found a recipe on line, but when I used it, the results were not what I expected. Well, all right, it called for one naval orange sliced into rings, and I had eight cups of wedges.

I studied the oranges and decided that ¼ inch slices would work.
 In order to be consistent in size and shape, I decided to cut the pointed ends off and not use them.  Mike later ate the ends as a snack.

Some of them still had a bit of the center on them, so I sliced that part off.

My recipe called for 1 ½ cups of water to ½ cup sugar as a syrup for one orange.  I had no idea how to compute for 8 cups of orange slices, so I took a wild stab.  I used 12 cups of water to 4 cups of sugar…. Now don’t laugh, you guys!

The instructions said:

  • In a medium skillet, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over moderate heat, turning them occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a thin syrup and the orange slices are translucent, about 20 minutes
Yeah, right!  I got my syrup to boiling, then added the oranges.

My oranges never did get translucent. Nor did I have a syrup in twenty minutes. 

I realized with all that liquid it would take hours to boil down, so I removed about six cups of the liquid. (I did reserve it for later use. I wasn’t about to waste all that sugar!)

I kept checking the fruit. My concern was that the fruity part seemed to be cooking away and that syrup part just wasn’t happening.

The next instruction was:
  • Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.
In reality, a good thirty minutes after the slices were tender did the syrup begin to happen.
Finally, the liquid was pretty much cooked away and sticky candy-like fruit was left in the bottom of the pan.

It was a pretty sticky mess, so I used my tongs to place each piece on the racks.

I had nearly four racks of sliced fruit.

I happened to be up at 4 a.m. (sometimes I just can't sleep)  They were pretty dry and just a little sticky.  I left them running until the afternoon when we got back from the Senior Center after lunch. The dehydrated candy did not shrink much. I suspect that is because of the high sugar content.

The recipe says they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  But  I’m thinking that this dehydrated version will last much longer.  That is, if you can keep people out of it long enough! <grin>

What to do with dehydrated candied oranges:
  • The taste is concentrated and strong, fairly sweet.  One or two pieces seems to be sufficient for the sweet tooth.  There is a bit of an under taste of the peel, but we did not find it unpleasant. 
  • Oranges and chocolate are a great combination.  I’m thinking it would be really tasty as a garnish on chocolate ice cream or perhaps dipped in a chocolate sauce.
What would I change next time?

  • Allow the syrup to cook down a bit more before adding the fruit
  • Don’t use so much syrup water to start with

Watch for the update the next time I try this. 
  • Being that I’m a frugal lady and don’t live where oranges are reasonably priced, this may take a while.


  1. have made these many times with large sweet seedless oranges and find it works better for me when I do smaller batches at a time. I roll the candied pieces in sugar before putting them in the dehydrator and they are not sticky when done. Don't know how long they would normally last as the grandkids and hubby eat them like chickens picking up corn :0) Also used this recipe for Satsumas and kumquats which grow in our yard and have thin skins and no seeds but are smaller than oranges. Delish. I thought the thicker peels with lots of white pith might not be as good as the thinner peels but no need to worry - it's all good !

    1. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions! Am thinking I need to try the sugared ones. I generally try to avoid sugar because both hubby and I are diabetic, but they will make great food gifts for others.