Although the fried orange zest garnish adds sweet crunchy bite to these caramel oranges, it may be omitted.
8 navel oranges
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1-1/2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups sugar plus additional for fried zest
1/4 cup medium-dry Sherry
1 cup vegetable oil for frying zest
With a vegetable peeler remove zest from 2 oranges for garnish. Squeeze juice from 1 orange with a sharp knife cut peel and pith from all oranges. Cut each orange into 8 chunks, discarding seeds, and transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
With a mortar and pestle or with bottom of a heavy saucepan coarsely crush fennel seeds and peppercorns. Split whole cinnamon stick in hall lengthwise.
In a dry heavy saucepan cook 2 cups sugar over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork (to help sugar melt evenly), until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan to ensure even coloring, until deep golden. Remove pan from heat and carefully add Sherry down side of pan (caramel will bubble and steam). Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until caramel is completely dissolved. Carefully add orange juice down side of pan (caramel will bubble and steam). Stir in spices and cook mixture, stirring constantly, until caramel is dissolved. Immediately pour caramel over oranges and stir to combine well. Cool oranges to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Caramel oranges may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
To make fried orange zest, in a 1-quart heavy saucepan heat oil over moderate heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Fry zest in batches, stirring, 1 minute, or until golden. (Make sure oil returns to 375 degrees F. between batches.) Transfer zest as fried with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and immediately sprinkle with additional sugar.
Serve caramel oranges topped with fried zest.
Best of Gourmet
Featuring the Flavors of Spain
By The Editors of Gourmet
Random House, June 1999
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created September 1999
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