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Caramel Oranges

6 Servings

40 minutes

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Fresh orange slices bathed in caramel sauce — simple, bright, and bold. Similar desserts were all the rage on London dessert carts during the ’80s. Known as “aranci caramellizzati” in Italy, it was first introduced by food writer Elizabeth David in her 1954 work, Italian Food. Nigella Lawson offers a similar recipe in Forever Summer and suggests serving the oranges with yogurt, an idea we were happy to adapt here. If two oranges don’t yield enough juice in the first step, add water to measure ¾ cup total. To switch up the flavor, replace the cinnamon sticks with two star anise (our favorite) or six cardamom pods (lightly crushed). Use granulated white sugar, not a “natural” sugar, since the latter will make the color of the caramel hard to judge. Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt replaces salted butter. You also can serve the oranges with ice cream, pound cake or topped with a handful of toasted and chopped nuts.




Don’t think about the caramel’s color for the first few minutes. The sugar mixture will melt, froth furiously as the heat increases (and moisture evaporates), and finally subside into larger, shinier bubbles before coloring. If the sugar browns too quickly, slide the pan off heat and whisk steadily to incorporate cooling air.

40 minutes


  • 8

    medium navel or Cara Cara oranges, or a combination (about 4½ pounds)

  • 1

    cup (7 ounces) sugar


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Helen H.
June 18, 2022
Adding butter to the caramel
I have been making this recipe for years, I first found it i a Cordon Blue cooking series fromn my time in England in the 70's. I tried your recipe adding butter to the caramel. In my opinion the addition of butter spoils the brightness of the dish. The butter detracts from the flavor and appearance of the sauce.
Michele R.

Used the tip to replace cinnamon stick with star anise. Used Cara Cara oranges. Served with Greek yogurt and pistachios per photo. Very pretty at service. Enjoyed the flavors but we thought this more delicious before the dish was refrigerated. If we make it again we'd serve the warm caramel over the oranges absent the refrigeration step as flavors seemed less 'orange delicious' to us then.

Lynda S.

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Scott P.

An easy dessert to make. I'm sure it would go well with cake and ice cream, but Greek yogurt's tanginess ideally balances the sweetness of the fruit and caramel.