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Seville or Bitter Orange Rind Preserved in Syrup - Cáscara de Naranja Amarga en Almíbar

Seville's bitter oranges usually end up in marmalade, but they can also be turned into this syrupy preserve. The method here comes from the convent of San Leandro, famous for its secret recipe for candied yolks. The nuns make it in small quantities using oranges from the trees in their patios to give to friends and family. It is also made at Santa Paula, where the zest is left on. I have quoted the method exactly as given in María Luisa Fraga Ibarne's book Guía de dulces de los conventos sevillanos de clausura, but added in suggested weights for the ingredients.

Makes approximately eight 12 oz servings.

Prep Time: 1 hr.

Cook Time: 1 hr.

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4 1/2 lb bitter oranges, to give about 2 1/4 lb rind
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups water
1 cinnamon stick


Pick healthy bitter oranges and remove all the orange colored rind with a grater. Then halve the oranges and empty them of their juice and pips. Cover what remains of the oranges with water. This should be renewed daily until the oranges lose their bitterness, at which point they are drained and cooked in a syrup flavored with a cinnamon stick until they are tender. If the water boils down too fast, top it up every so often and continue simmering until the rind softens. Once cooked the rinds can be sliced. Keep in the fridge, or sterilize.

Selected by Vicky Hayward
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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