Nerantzi glyko – orange spoon sweet

Nerantzi glyko – orange spoon sweet

I adore coming across recipes that are unique and have a certain warmth about them. These nerantzi glyko – or orange spoon sweets – evoke images of a loving γιαγιά sitting in her favourite chair beneath a grape-covered arbor, threading fragrant curls of orange onto string.

Nerantzi glyko - orange spoon sweet

There’s nothing unique about candied orange, but it’s the way this is done that makes it a little different from the rest.

To my understanding, nerantzi glyko are traditionally made using a variety of small, walnut-sized oranges that are still green and bitter. Although, I could be wrong. But it does explain the multiple water changes in the method, to remove much of the bitterness.

Nerantzi glyko - Orange spoon sweet

What I do know is that it isn’t just little green oranges that are candied this way. Regular orange peel, as well as other fruits can be done the same.

The way you eat these things is quite simple. A spoon of the candied orange is served with a little of the syrup – often when guests drop by – brought out with water and coffee.

Nerantzi glyko - Orange spoon sweet

A former colleague of mine has family in Cyprus, and she told me that she was often given nerantzi glyko served in a glass with some syrup, topped with ice cold water.

I tried this myself, using sparkling water instead, and the result is a deliciously refreshing drink with a treat in the bottom of the glass.

As for the fresh oregano that I’ve used – that’s my little touch. This herb features quite a bit in Greek cooking, so why not infuse the syrup with it?

Recipe slightly adapted from here

Nerantzi glyko - orange spoon sweet

 

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Nerantzi glyko - orange spoon sweet
These nerantzi glyko - or orange spoon sweets - evoke images of a loving γιαγιά sitting in her favourite chair beneath a grape-covered arbor ...
Nerantzi glyko - orange spoon sweet
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cypriot, Greek
Servings
many
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cypriot, Greek
Servings
many
Ingredients
Nerantzi glyko - orange spoon sweet
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry the oranges. Remove the zest with a microplane and set the zest aside.
  2. Cut each orange into quarters and remove the flesh. Cut each quarter of orange skin into thirds lengthways, resulting in 12 slices of skin per orange. If your oranges are on the small side, cut each quarter into 2.
  3. Take a length of kitchen string and thread it onto a largish needle. Tie a knot at the end of the string, then start curling each piece of orange skin into a tight coil, threading them onto the string with the needle. Tie off the end with another knot.
  4. Hang the orange garland somewhere inside for 24 hours to dry out, away from sunlight. You'll notice it becomes a little spongy in texture.
  5. The following day - Remove the thread from the orange peels and toss them into a pot. Cover with water, bring to the boil and drain the oranges immediately. Repeat this process 3 more times. Set the blanched orange peels aside as you prep the syrup.
  6. Place the sugar, water and oregano into the saucepan you used to blanch the peels. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. After 10 minutes remove the oregano and discard it. Simmer the water for another 30 minutes.
  7. Tumble the blanched orange curls into the simmering syrup, allowing them to cook for 17 minutes. Pour in the lemon juice and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
  8. Turn off heat and allow to cool completely before storing in sterilised jars in the fridge or pantry.
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