Arance Caramellizzate

Caramelized Oranges

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Appears in

Great Italian Desserts

By Nick Malgieri

Published 1990

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This most typical Italian restaurant dessert has the advantage of being both easy to prepare and low in calories. Use good, firm eating oranges, such as Valencias, for this recipe.

Aurum is a wonderful Italian orange liqueur not widely available in the United States. Cointreau is an excellent substitute.


  • 8 seedless oranges
  • 2 cups sugar
  • cup water
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur


Strip the zest from the oranges with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the white pith underneath. Then stack 3 or 4 pieces of the zest at a time on a cutting board and cut into -inch shreds with a large, sharp knife. Place the zest in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, drain, and rinse.

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook the syrup until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, cut away the white pith that remains on the oranges with a sharp knife to expose the flesh of the oranges: slice off each end and stand the orange on one of the ends. Then, following the contour of the orange, remove the pith from top to bottom. The oranges may exude a little juice during the peeling. If this happens, add the juice to the syrup.

Lower the heat so that the syrup is barely simmering around the edges of the pan. Place the oranges, one or two at a time, in the syrup and cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful that the oranges do not become too soft. Continue until all the oranges are cooked, making sure that the syrup does not become too thick. If it does, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water at a time to thin it.

Remove the oranges from the syrup with a slotted spoon, allowing the syrup to drain back into the pan, and place them in a serving bowl or deep platter.

Add the blanched, shredded zest to the syrup and cook the zest for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove the zest from the syrup and strew it over the oranges.

Chill the oranges and sprinkle with the orange liqueur just before serving.