Arancini alla Sorrentina

Marinated Oranges with Orange Peel and Caramel

Subtly spiced and lovely to look at, these oranges from Sorrento will bring any dinner to a triumphantly refreshing close. They are also to be considered as an elegant alternative to ice cream, on any occasion that it might be served at home.

The peel and the sliced orange are marinated separately for about two days, the latter with cloves and cinnamon. When it has finished marinating, the peel is sliced into very fine julienne strips, coated with dark caramel, and drenched with the spiced, aromatic juices of the orange marinade. The orange slices and the caramelized wisps of peel are then combined. The dish is ready to serve after a few hours of refrigeration, but it will also keep for several days.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium oranges
  • Round toothpicks
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Method

  1. Peel the oranges, taking care to remove only the outer orange skin and none of the white pith beneath.
  2. Put the peels in a bowl with enough cold water to cover amply and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 36 to 48 hours. Replace the water with fresh cold water at least twice a day.
  3. Remove the white pith surrounding the oranges and cut these into slices ½ inch thick or less. Slice across, not along, the sections. Recompose the orange, skewering together the slices with toothpicks.
  4. Put the orange slices in a bowl together with ½ cup of the sugar, ½ cup of cold water, the cloves, and the cinnamon stick. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for the same length of time as the peels.
  5. When ready to complete the recipe, drain the peels, pat them dry with a kitchen towel, and cut them into long strips about inch wide.
  6. Put the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of cold water in a small, lightweight saucepan and turn on the heat to high. Allow the sugar to melt without stirring. When it becomes colored a dark brown, turn off the heat. Add the orange peels and stir vigorously.
  7. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick from the bowl containing the sliced oranges. Pour the liquid from the bowl into the caramel. Stir steadily until the caramel dissolves to a flowing consistency. Pour the caramel with the peels over the oranges. Refrigerate and serve from several hours to several days later. Remove the toothpicks when serving.

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