Candying whole fruit has been around in England since as early as the 14th century. It was usually done over a period of a month! Never fear though I have tried to reduce the pain… Glace fruit is often made these days using a simple syrup made of sugar, water and glucose syrup. It is the glucose syrup which prevents it from becoming crystalised.
I went on a massive mission to create a Paleo candied orange just to put inside my Paleo ‘Hidden Orange’ Christmas Pudding all Heston style! I attempted to candy a whole orange in 2 days. Yes 2 days. I went over a few different methods to see if it was possible and the end result was nowhere near as good as a traditional glace orange but it was however a nice syrupy and juicy orange by the end of it.
I initially made some candied oranges over a period of a week, they soon collapsed and the insides were completely dried out. I was left with a shell of candied peel that was too tough to even use.
I have decided that next year I shall be investing in some vegetable glycerine and a crockpot and see if I can come up with the perfect candied orange but for now you will all have to settle for this in your Christmas puds, that is if you want to!
The best thing about this is that you will be left with some amazing gloopy syrup that you can pop into your baked goods and hot drinks! Marvellous!
You can get away with popping another orange or two into the syrup but be prepared to make more simple syrup so that you can top up if needed!
Makes: 1 to 3 Candied Oranges
Preparation Time: 2 days
Cooking Time: 4 hours
3/4 cup raw honey
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup water
1 tbsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
1 to 3 oranges (if making more than 1 you may need to make more simple syrup to top up with)
- Take your orange and remove the little stem button on the bottom of the orange. With a fine needle (must be a needle!) poke a hole through the top and bottom making sure that the needle goes right through. Poke a couple of holes into the sides. I found that piercing more times than this ended up in collapse!
- Place your orange into a pan and cover with hot water. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes. This will help to remove the bitterness from the skin of the fruit.
- Meanwhile make up your simple syrup – place all of the ingredients (except for the orange of course) into a small pan. Whisk frequently until the sugar has fully dissolved. Turn off the heat and place to one side.
- Once your orange has finished cooking place into the pan of syrup and be sure to cover as best you can. It is quite likely that your orange will float so you will have to frequently roll it in the pan to ensure even cooking. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Leave to cook for 1 hour.
- Take off of the heat and leave to cool in the syrup for 4 hours. Place a light weight down on the orange to keep it submerged in it’s syrup. This prevents crystalisation.
- Repeat the process again and leave overnight and the following day repeat the process – cook in the syrup twice. You will notice that the skin starts to look slightly translucent. This is when you want to stop cooking!
- Place on a wire rack and place in the oven on the lowest heat. Cook until it is only slightly tacky to the touch.
- It is now ready for use! Be sure to keep your syrup because it sure is yummy people!