The first time I made macerated oranges was years and years ago for a small dinner party I threw for some of my colleagues at Duke. I had made my yummy stuffed shells, which is a quite hearty pasta dish, and wanted something light to follow it. I followed Marcella Hazan’s macerated oranges recipe in her quintessential Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, adding the optional orange liqueur. Excellent! Now that orange season is in its prime, it’s time again to make some of this wonderful citrus sensation.
I decided to make some kid-friendly macerated oranges and substitute raspberry balsamic vinegar for the orange liqueur in Hazan’s recipe, since I knew Lexi would want to try them. I also cut the sugar some (and next time I will try Stevia instead.) In addition, I made a batch using Grand Mariner, as some traditions die hard. Tastewise, both versions rock, but with the liqueur the oranges don’t get dark like they do with the raspberry balsamic. I recommend you try both versions, keeping in mind that you will not want to serve the oranges with the liqueur to kids.
You can garnish both versions of these oranges with mint leaves and serve them “naked” for a wonderfully light and refreshing dessert, or else as a refreshing side to vanilla ice cream or chocolate brownies. These oranges also kick up a basic screwdriver!
Ingredients (makes 2 to 4 servings)
- 4 large seedless oranges
- ½ lemon, for zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon raspberry balsamic vinegar (substitute 2 tbs. orange liqueur if desired)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
Cut the peel of the oranges, removing all of the pith (the white stuff.) Slice into thin rounds and place the oranges in a bowl.
Using a microplane, zest the lemon. Add it to the oranges as well as the juice of the lemon.
Sprinkle the sugar on the orange slices and gently stir until it is blended.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. One hour or so before serving, gently mix the orange slices with the raspberry balsamic vinegar (or the orange liqueur) and refrigerate again.
Macerated Oranges with Vanilla Ice Cream
Cool and creamy vanilla ice cream served with sweet oranges with a touch of raspberry – how delightful and refreshing! My rule of thumb – use vanilla ice cream in the winter and frozen vanilla yogurt in the summer. Yum! I think the oranges with the liqueur look more elegant than those with the balsamic, but you can’t go wrong with either.
Brownies with Macerated Oranges
Oranges and chocolate, does it get any better? Seriously, does it? While the kid-friendly oranges with the raspberry balsamic add another depth of flavor, the liqueur oranges are vibrant and fresh. Decisions, decisions!
Make sure you save a few of the orange slices and some of the juices to take an ordinary screwdriver to a new level. Again, if you use the balsamic oranges, your drink will take on a slightly darker color than a screwdriver with the adult oranges.
The jury is still out on this one – I am going to have to conduct some additional research to decide which one I love best!
Eat, drink and be merry!
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