Seville Orange Spoon Sweets

Adapted from recipe by Tessa Kuros in

Falling Cloudberries


2kg bitter oranges

400g (14 oz) caster sugar

450 ml (15 fl oz) water


You will also need:


cotton thread

piece of baking paper

Wash the oranges well in warm water, and dry thoroughly.

Using a good peeler, peel off the skin of the oranges in long strips.  Try to leave behind as much of the white pith as you can - you want only the thin skin.  If you find that your peeler takes off too much of the pith, then just lay the strips on a board, pith side up, and remove with a sharp knife.  I peeled my strips from the top to the bottom of the oranges, and got 6-8 strips from each orange.  If you prefer you can go around the circumference, in which case you will end up with fewer but longer strips, which you will cut in half.

Put the strips of peel into a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the strips have softened and are pliable.  Remove from heat and drain.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Starting at one end, roll each strip of peel up quite tightly, and using a needle thread onto a length of cotton, as though you were making a necklace.  Keep the pieces close together - this helps the strips to stay in their little rolls while they are being boiled in the syrup.  Although a little fiddly, this is fun and really quite therapeutic - also all the oils that come out of the orange peels will make your hands feel and smell amazing.

Put the sugar and water into a pan, along with the strained juice from one of the oranges.  Stir constantly until the syrup comes to a boil, then carefully drop in the necklace of orange strips.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the surface with a circle of baking paper (to keep the necklace submerged in the syrup), and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Remove the "necklace" from the syrup into a clean bowl.  Allow to stand for a few minutes until cool enough to handle, then slide the orange rolls off the thread into a sterilised preserving jar.

The syrup will have thickened up a bit during the cooking, but you can keep simmering it for a little longer if you want it to thicken some more.  When you are happy with your syrup, pour it into the jar until the peels are just covered.

Once cool, refrigerate, and use within a month.

Kali orexi