Country Living Series

Monday, January 11, 2010

Canning oranges

When my brother and sister-in-law came to visit over Christmas, they first went to Costco and bought fruit - apples, grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines. And I meant they bought fruit - veritable cataracts of it! (They don't have kids and completely overestimated how much fruit the four of us could eat.)

So this week the fruit was getting old and starting to go dry and mealy. I hate to see good food wasted - all those beautiful oranges and tangerines! - so I decided to try something different: canning citrus.

According to my beloved Putting Food By (highly recommended), canning citrus was a fairly simple matter. So I tried it.

I peeled the oranges and tangerines (keeping them in separate piles) and packed them in pint jars.



The book said to use a thin syrup (2:1 ratio of water:sugar). Here I'm making the syrup. While the oranges are packed cold, the syrup should be boiling.


The citrus is ready and the lids are on.


Into the boiling bath. Once it's boiling, keep it boiling for ten minutes. Citrus are high acid so they don't need to be pressure canned.


While the citrus was boiling, I peeled and cored the apples to make applesauce. They were so dry and mealy that I couldn't use the apple peeler (you can see it off to the right side) so I peeled them by hand.


I used some of the extra syrup from the citrus and added it to the applesauce. Normally I don't sweeten my applesauce, but trust me, this time it needed it.


So out of what would have been mere fodder for the compost pile, I emerged with nine pints of fruit. Whoo-hoo!

By the way, some people may wonder why I would bother canning citrus. Haven't you ever seen those tiny tins of canned tangerines in the grocery store? I've bought them a few times to use in dessert recipes. Now I have my own.

17 comments:

  1. I don't know if it's an optical illusion or not but the jar in the front center of the picture doesn't look as though it sealed. There doesn't appear to be a depression in the lid.

    For what it's worth you can take that and $2.00 and get a cup of coffee almost anywhere.;-)

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  2. No, the front center jar has oranges. All the oranges and tangerines sealed fine, but one of the applesauces (back left group) failed, so it's in the fridge awaiting a snack attack.

    - Patrice

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  3. have you tried using the apple peels to make jelly? (you can also make apple butter from them) I candy the citrus peels and use them in muffins, breads and cakes. It's not that hard, and it's kind of neat to get 2 uses out of the fruit!

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  4. Wow you have canned something I have never tried - citrus! Since I love mandarin organges in the can I am going to try it now. This week I am going to try my hand at marmalade. This is not only the season for citrus but since the weather has seriously affected the Florida citrus orchards and the lack of water is affecting the California growers citrus is going to become increasingly expensive. Time to can some up for use later.

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  5. Wish I had known this when I had more tangerines, from my own tree in a pot, than I knew what to do with. Next time. I have dried the peels of home grown oranges (as they have no dyes added) and ground them into frosting, especially over cinnamon rolls. I will have to check out 'candying' the peels... ANY IDEAS FOR MY STARTING TO SHRIVEL LEMONS, besides lemonade. thanks to all.

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  6. Cindy,
    Lemons are a great add in to a cheesecake. Also I have a jar from the store of dried lemon peel that is minced up.was pricey to buy so try that out with your lemons

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  7. They turned out beautifully. And it's funny you should ask today of all days - I just got finished canning another 14 jars (some pints, some half-pints) of oranges and tangerines, more leftover fruit from Christmas. It's quite easy and I highly recommend it!

    - Patrice

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  8. I don't know why but mine turned out tasting weird. Almost like you could taste the white of the orange but I got pretty much all of it off. Any suggestions or can i fix it? I would hate for them to go to waste.

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  9. They definitely taste different than fresh fruit. In my case, part of the reason is because the fruit was old to start with, but also because it was boiled with sugar syrup which is bound to alter the taste. I wouldn't bother trying to eat them fresh. Instead, use the oranges or tangerines chopped up in a dessert. In particular I'm thinking of a cottage cheese/jello/whipped topping indulgence some neighbors taught me to make, which includes chopped tangerines. Yum.

    - Patrice

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    Replies
    1. can you give us the recipe for the cottage cheese/jello/whippedd topping indulgence?

      I'm glad you passed on your citrus canning experience. I went through a phase years ago of freezing all kinds of fruit so I could make fruit salad on days I was too lazy to clean the fruit. The citrus was a disaster -- freezing it made it taste metallic. Canned citrus from the store doesn't have that problem but I didn't realize it would be so easy to make. Thanks.

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  10. Thanks that is definitely a good idea!

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  11. Is there a recipe that will make the oranges taste good enough to eat out of the jar?

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  12. One recipe I saw suggested using orange juice instead of sugar/water syrup to fill the jars. That would probably turn out great, though I haven't tried it myself.

    - Patrice

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  13. the oranges are a good idea. they look beautiful in the jars. a must for all

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  14. that is very interesting, i have never thought about canning oranges. I do love manderine oranges though. It looks to be almost the same as like peaches and pears, with the sugar syrup.

    I might just have to buy some extra oranges this Christmas season just to try and can them.

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  15. I canned citrus a couple years ago and the acid made the lids turn the fruit and liquid brownish like the lids metal had seeped in the fruit so I dumped it any special lids and where do you get them

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