To preserve Oranges, after the Portugal fashion - Sir Hugh Plat 1609- Whole Preserved Orange Peels Stuffed with Orange Marmalade

To preſerue Orenges after the Portugall faſhion

Take Orenges & coare them on the ſide and lay them in water, then boile them in fair water til they be tender, ſhift them in the boyling to take away their bitterneſſe, then take ſugar and boyle it to the height of ſirup as much as will couer them, and ſo put your Orenges into it, and that will make them take ſugar. If you haue 24. Orenges, beate 8. of them till they come to a paſte with a pounde of fine ſugar, then fill euery one of the other Orenges with the ſame, and ſo boile them again in your ſirup : then there will be marmelade of orenges with your orenges, & it will cut like an hard egge.

Sir Hugh Plat, Delights for Ladies The Arte of Preſeruing, Conſeruing, Candying.&c. 1609

To preserve Oranges, after the Portugal fashion. Take Oranges and core them on the side and lay them in water, then boil them in faire water till they be tender, shift them in the boiling to take away their bitterness, then take sugar and boil it to the height of syrup as much as will cover them, and so put your oranges into it, and that will make them take sugar. If you have 24 Oranges, beat 8 of them, till they come to paste, with a pound of fine sugar, then fill every one of the other oranges with the same, and so boil them again in your syrup: then there will be marmalade of Oranges within your oranges, and it will cut like an hard egg.


8 Oranges (6 filled, 2 beaten)

Cut a hole near the stem end of your orange about the size of a 50 cent piece. The remaining two oranges should be quartered quarter and the pulp removed. 

Boil the whole oranges several times. My preferred method is to cover with water, bring to boil, boil approximately five minutes and drain. This is to remove the bitterness. I completed this process three times,  because I prefer my oranges slightly bitter. 

Keep an eye on your oranges because you do not want them turning brown. Also note, they will become increasingly soft, it was easier for me to remove the whole oranges using tongs rather then a spoon. Also note--it does not feel good to sprinkle your feet with boiling water or sugar careful!

After the oranges have been boiled and the bitterness removed, make a syrup using twice as much sugar as water and try to ensure that the syrup will cover your oranges by at least 2/3. You will want to make sure you have a pot that is deep enough to hold them and to keep them slightly seperated. Heat sugar and water together until it becomes clear. 

Place your whole oranges into this pot and bring to a rolling boil (I didn't measure temp..sorry). Lower heat to simmer and stir constantly. Let your oranges steep in the syrup approximately 30 minutes. Remove and drain.

In the meantime, weigh your pulp and the quartered peels. Add as much sugar as pulp so that you have a 50/50 mixture, and pulse in a food processor until well blended.

Once your whole oranges have steeped for at least 30 minutes, remove them from the syrup and drain. Fill the whole oranges with the pulp and peel mixture (see earlier cautionary note regarding sugar syrup and feet, hands, fingers...etc.) Be Careful! It's HOT and it's like napalm...the syrup doesn't want to leave your body easily. Yes, that is the voice of personal experience talking.

Return filled oranges to the syrup and steep for at least 20 minutes or more. Remove from syrup and place in fridge, hole side down to keep the beautiful shape of your orange. As they dry, the fruit pulp will crystalize, this is normal. Before serving cut into wedges like an egg.

Tedious but ohhhh so worth it!

Please note -- that it has been pointed out that I used sweet not Seville (bitter oranges), I have corrected my ratio of whole oranges to orange pulp because it was off in the original recipe. The method is sound and at some point I will recreate this recipe more correctly.

Updated 10/3/2021