Want to make your own Heston Blumenthal hidden orange pudding? If you do, there is one thing you will need to make first, and that's the orange you hide inside. It may be a little time consuming, but it is really easy to do. You can find the pudding recipe here.
It’s not that hard, if you can simmer water, you can candy an orange. Belly Rumble’s HQ has been busy testing the waters to create the perfect candied orange for your pudding. It’s easy, but as I just said you will need some time up your sleeve. It will take you eight days to candy an orange using my method.
Please don’t completely freak out about the length of time, as your hands on portion to the process only takes up a few minutes each day.
I wanted to create a candied orange that wasn’t crystalised. By crystalised I mean an orange that you can visibly see sugar crystals on the outside of your orange. I wanted a smooth candied finish. Thanks to David Lebovitz, I discovered the secret is to use corn syrup in your syrup mix. It was his recipe for candied citrone that I tweaked to come up with the method for candying a whole orange.
I candied blood oranges, but of course you can use normal oranges as well.
I will be placing a recipe and instructions on how to create your own hidden pudding using your candied whole oranges shortly.
I hope you do take on the challenge. As you can see it is really easy, just takes a bit of time. Good luck and if you have any questions about the above please don’t hesitate to ask below or send me an email. I really look forward to hearing from you if you do attempt the above. Let me know how you go!
Do tell dear Belly Rumbles’ reader, what would be your ultimate Christmas pudding?
How to Candy a Whole Orange
- 6 – 8 blood oranges or substitute regular oranges
- 1540 grams sugar
- 3000 ml water
- 120 ml light corn syrup
- With a fine needle pierce around your oranges several times. Making sure to insert the need right through the skin or the oranges. This allows the candying syrup to penetrate the oranges. Do not use a skewer!
- Place oranges in a large pot (which has a lid) and cover with water. Bring water to a simmer and cook for an hour. This will remove some of the bitterness from the pith of the oranges.
- Drain oranges in a colander and set aside.
- In the same pot add your sugar, water and corn syrup. Heat until sugar has dissolved and then increase heat until the syrup boils. Reduce heat and place your oranges back in the pot. Place lid on your pot, but do not fit it tightly, leave it slightly off centre, as you want some of the steam to escape. Gently simmer for an hour, make sure it is a very gentle simmer.
- Remove pot from the heat and place lid firmly on top of your pot.
- The same time next day, place pot back on stove. Place lid slightly off centre again and bring oranges and syrup to a gentle simmer again. This time simmer for 30 minutes.
- Once you have done this, remove pot from the heat again, replace lid and leave until the same time the next day.
- You repeat this process for eight (8) days. You may need to add a little water if your syrup is reducing too much.
- Once you have simmered for your final day. Cool oranges completely and store in a container in your fridge. They will keep for up to six (6) months.
- Don’t discard the syrup either as this takes on a deep orange flavour. This then can be used for cordial or many other purposes.
For some reason on the second day my oranges are collapsing. When heated the are nice and round. But when cool they are sunken in. Any idea what I did wrong
You aren't doing anything wrong. If you have a look at the photos you will see that mine aren't perfectly round either. Some turned out rounder than others, some were more deflated.
It is the physics of an orange. They are large with interiors that are mainly juice and some fiber. The most structural part is the outside skin. As they candy over the 8 day period their interiors break down, which is what causes the collapse.
Thicker skinned oranges will retain their shape more.
So in theory small really thick skinned oranges will retain their shape far better than larger oranges with thinner skin.
Even if not perfectly round they will taste amazing.
Thank you for this recipe. These provide fond memories of my childhood and I had no recipe for them and every recipe was always for sliced ones or peel. You are my hero! A company called Rafetto used to sell them in a jar and they were stuffed with dates or cherries and when you sliced the candied orange it looked beautiful. They are no longer selling them for the past decade or two and I missed them as part of my Xmas. Question- do you put it in the frig each day for the 8 days as you make them or do you wait and refrigerate after you are done with the process?
I'm glad you stumbled across my recipe. Having them stuffed with dates or cherries sounds amazing!
I didn't refrigerate the oranges during the process, between each cooking session. I simply left them in the pot in a cool area out of the way, and out of direct sunlight.
Once I had finished with the whole process then I put them in the fridge.
I have mandarin oranges - very small (about 2 inches in diameter) and very loose, thin skins. I want to try to candy them, but I suspect this recipe for big, thick skinned oranges will cook them too much. Would you do fewer days, shorter boils, or a combination?
You would have to have a go and see how they turn out. I've never used this method on loose skinned citrus.
Hi, can I use the same method for any fruit (candied berries as an example) and can I use liquid glucose or golden syrup instead of corn syrup?
I have never tried this method with other fruit, only other citrus. I would be concerned that this method may break down the outer skin of berries. They are quite delicate, and you may end up with jam.
The corn syrup is used to help prevent sugar crystals from forming on the oranges as you candy them.
Yes, you can substitute golden syrup, one for one, it will act the same as corn syrup.
Brown rice syrup is a good substitute as it also prevents sugar crystals from forming. Though it will add a slightly nutty taste to the finished product.
Thank you for this fab recipe! If I only wanted to candy 3 oranges, should I halve the sugar and water - or still use the same amount of sugar and water? Thank you.
In theory yes you could halve the sugar and water. But also use a smaller pot to make sure the oranges are covered by the sugar syrup.
Hi, my greatgran used to make the whole orange preserves, and I'd like to try making it too. The only thing is, here in RSA, we cannot get the corn syrup. Is there something I can use instead?
The role of light corn syrup in this recipe is to help prevent the sugar crystalising while candying the oranges. I believe that you can substitute a dash of lemon juice or cream of tartar and it will do the same thing. The quantity I'm not too sure as I personally have not tried it. I hope this helps.
Hi, I've been following the recipe, it seems to have gone well but what is the best way of telling that the oranges are 'done'? Just cutting them open?
After all the time you spend on this recipe, 8 days of candying, they are totally done. To test if they are 'done' the only way is to cut them in half. But trust me, they are done, not need to cut in half.
Okay, thank you!