Editor’s note: Oranges have long been associated with Christmas as placing an orange in the toe of a Christmas stocking was a common practice. Before and during the Depression, children would expect oranges and nuts in their stockings as opposed to the current day practice of candy or other little gifts. According to Smithsonian.com, the orange became part of Christmastime tradition in the 19th century, in concert with the rise of hanging stockings near the fire. Placing an orange in Christmas stockings may have had something to do with the legend of the three balls (or bags or bars or coins) of gold that Saint Nicholas, gave to three poor maidens to use as dowries. At any rate many children today still get the oranges. If you want a sports reference for the oranges during the holidays look no further than New Year’s Eve and the Orange Bowl. Our Travel/Food Editor takes a look at some holiday things that can be made with oranges.
By Suzanne Corbett, STLSportsPage.com Food / Travel Editor
Each Christmas I’m gifted with citrus. Oranges to be exact. A gift I can’t wait to arrive.
This year a bevy of navel oranges picked fresh from Floridian orange groves arrived. Yep, that’s right, picked fresh. Few realize that winter is citrus season. Perhaps one of the reason oranges became a cherished holidays treat since the 19th century. A prized gift Santa would leave in stockings along with other candies and nuts.
Oranges served alone or used in recipes makes the holiday table a little taster. Each year I search for a few new recipes that feature oranges to include in my holiday menus. That said, Sunkist has Christmas covered. Offering old and new recipes to make during Christmas week that will make anyone’s Santa a little more jolly. My pick this year to add to my menu is Baked Camembert Wreath with Navel Orange and Cranberry and Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peels. Both are easy to make. A good thing since Christmas is just days away. Both recipes are a gift to STLSportsPage readers from Sunkist, who along with myself wish you all a Merry Christmas
For more recipe ideas to celebrate the holidays visit Sunkist.com.
Baked Camembert Wreath with Navel Orange and Cranberry
1 navel orange
1 can (8 ounces) jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1camembert cheese wheel
1 bag (25 ounces) frozen Parker House style rolls, thawed
sprigs rosemary, for garnish
sprigs thyme, for garnish
In bowl, add zest and juice from orange. Add jellied cranberry sauce and red pepper flakes; mix. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use.
Cover baking sheet or round pizza stone with parchment paper.
Using cheese wheel as guide in center, arrange rolls around cheese leaving about 1/4-inch space between rolls.
Create two concentric circles of rolls around cheese then place cheese back in refrigerator and let dough rise 2 hours.
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Remove top of rind from cheese wheel and place in center of dough. Bake 7-8 minutes. Remove from oven and add orange cranberry sauce. Bake 7-8 minutes until bread is golden and cheese is melted and bubbly. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peels
4 Navel oranges
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 cup dark chocolate, melted
Rinse and dry oranges. Slice both ends off each orange.
Using paring knife, carefully score each orange in quarters then remove peel from each section, trying not to get too much pith.
Slice peels into 1/4-inch strips. Add to pot and cover with water and sugar; stir. Bring to boil.
Turn heat to medium-low until water reaches soft simmer. Simmer 45 minutes. Add vanilla before turning off heat and stirring.
Remove peels from syrup and cool on wire rack. Roll in sugar to coat.
Serve immediately or dry at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Dip candied orange peels one at a time in dark chocolate.
Place on parchment paper to set up and harden. Store in airtight container.