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NYT's video – Orange Confit


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Mark Bittman has a cool video on the NYT dining site about how to make orange confit, but he doesn't say how to store the oranges when you're done, just that they'll last forever. So, is this forever in the refrigerator? Or forvever in the pantry in a sealed container?

I'm also curious what the double blanching does? Is that for safety? Killing off anything on the outside of the rind? And wouldn't them being simmered for 16+ hours do the trick? I don't plan on skipping that step, just trying to understand the "why" behind it.

Here's the link if you want to see the video:

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/dining/

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I was intrigued by the video as well and might be trying it with some Meyer lemons tomorrow. No idea re: the storage question but he did say that the blanching was to remove the bitterness from the pith. I didn't think they were double-blanched though, just that you needed to bring the water to boil again before blanching the next batch.

I guess I'll have to watch the video again <!!!>.

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I tried taking notes from the video, and had to blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water; and then do it again in a fresh pot of boiling water. But this is done with orange still whole, so I'm not exactly sure how it takes out the bitterness of the pith, but if he says it does, I cool with that.

I bet it's awesome with grapefruit too.

Hope someone chimes in with an answer to the storage question!

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I can't help with the preservation question, but I did find the original article (three years young!) with the instructions in printable form. It also includes a recipe for a mousse to serve with it. If it's as good as it looks, I'm not going to have any concerns about storing it :smile:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...753C1A9629C8B63

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I'm making Meyer lemon confit as I write this; it should be ready for tomorrow night's dessert. Will report back...

I am trying it today, but I am using a slow cooker instead of the stove. I can't stay in the house for the next 16 hours and leaving the stove on makes me nervous. My guess is that the crock pot should keep the temp low enough and I'll be back often enough to keep the water level up.

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I'm going on my 3rd 8-hour stretch, and am hoping I'm still doing it right. The tangerines taste quite bitter still (when you eat the rind); but the navel oranges are much sweeter. A few look pretty ragged, but I'm hoping that's okay. Mark's video said you could do 2 8-hour stretches, or go for a 3rd one. That's what I'm doing since they just don't look "done" to me yet, though I have nothing to base that on. More if/when I know it!

How did your lemons turn out?

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The texture is surprising; they're very soft to chew but still firm enough that they don't feel slimy in the mouth. I did two eight hour poaches and I could still taste a hint of bitterness in the rind. I'm not sure whether it's enough to make me want to poach them for another 8 hours though.

They didn't get served as dessert because they look a little dodgy. They're just not attractive.

My big question though is what am I going to do with the syrup. What a great bonus to making this recipe!

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Here is an interim report on my oranges in the slow cooker.

1) After two eight hour sessions on the low setting, the oranges were still very bitter. I have to admit, I was concerned the whole time because Bittman suggested that the heat ought to produce at least a few bubbles, but the low setting on the crockpot seems to be too low even for that.

2) Six further hours, this time on high setting, which seems to produce a low boil (maybe a bit too hot?), the oranges are raggedy and getting sweeter, but the rind is still fairly bitter. I added more sugar.

Note that I am doing this covered, because that is the way of the slow cooker. So I have a couple questions:

1) What is the point of changing the water and sugar every 8 hours? Is this just to get more sugar in, to get fresh water in, to raise the water level or what? (I am determined to see this through, even if it is not ready for tonight's dinner, because, darn it, I want to...but should I change the water again or just let it go on for another 6 or 7 hours?)

2) Anyone have any idea what the impact of keeping it covered in the slow cooker will be? Speculation is very welcome!

Whatever happens, I'll report back this evening.

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I'll speculate that the point of changing the water is to remove the bitter compounds that the poaching leaches out of the orange rind. The only effects of keeping it covered would be to prevent evaporation of water, and to prevent the volatile oils and compounds from evaporating out of the pot. I don't know if the bitter compounds (neohesperidin and naringin) are especially volatile, so I don't know if leaving the lid on would (negatively) affect the decrease in bitterness.

-- There are infinite variations on food restrictions. --

Crooked Kitchen - my food blog

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Success!

After something like 30 hours, the last 8 or so on the high setting in the slow cooker, the oranges had turned a very dark orange, closing in on brown and had also become very delicate. We took several sections out and served them along with a lovely creole cream cheese cake our guests brought, drizzling the syrup that the process produced on the cake. Both were delicious, although at least one person felt that the orange rind was still a bit too bitter.

I'd like to try this again, perhaps with a thinner skin fruit. And I'm sticking with high heat the whole way through the next time. But the slow cooker is definitely a winner on this one, at least for me.

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I don't think I'd rate my oranges a success. They're not horrible, but the rind remained bitter, even after 2 8-hour stretches and another 6-hour stint. I had them in a pot on the back-simmer burner, and the heat was on lowest setting, producing no bubbles. My guess is it was a bit too low and needed to be higher. I did change the water and sugar. My other thought was maybe I needed more sugar for the amount of oranges I used??

That said, my husband seemed to like them, and kept sneaking a few here and there, but I don't think know that they're pretty enough to want to serve to guests. They just seem a little...I dunno...plump and ragged at the same time. If I cut out the fruit and leave the rind, they're delicious, but the presentation isn't spectacular.

I do agree that the syrup has to be terrific in a drinky-drink of some kind. Suggestions? :biggrin:

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I can't help with the preservation question, but I did find the original article (three years young!) with the instructions in printable form. It also includes a recipe for a mousse to serve with it. If it's as good as it looks, I'm not going to have any concerns about storing it :smile:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...753C1A9629C8B63

in the printable instructions at this link he specifies the orange confit will keep for several weeks refrigerated with their syrup.

i have an abundance of navel oranges and was planning to make marmalade. this is more more intriguing, as it will be a new process for me. so, tomorrow, i begin orange confit. i'll use my slow cooker, but it's temp settings are more varied than i believed some of yours appear to be. i can boil, simmer or barely heat. will report on the progress and final result.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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