Nerantzi, called kitromilo (or kitromilaki for the small ones) in Cyprus, (bitter oranges or Seville Oranges), Citrus aurantium belong to the citrus family but they are not edible because of their bitterness. However, they can be made into three kinds of preserves. When it is in blossom, when it is green the whole fruit is preserved and when it is ripe, only the peels are made into a preserve. From the blossoms you can make blossom water and the essential oils are used in to make perfumes. Another use of the ripe fruit peels is to make marmalade and in Cyprus we use the juice to make aspic.
I have already given enough recipes of spoon sweets so that you may get the picture what this is about. Most fruit and vegetables can be done in the same way. Just have in mind that if a fruit or vegetable is bitter you will have to soak it in water and change the water regularly for some days until the bitterness is gone.
If you can find this fruit where you live, try it and you will be amazed how it is transformed into the most aromatic fruit preserve.
Kitromilaki or Nerantzi Glyko (Bitter Orange Spoon Sweet)
- 50 small bitter oranges (walnut size)
- 2 kilos of sugar
- 3 cups of water
- The juice of 3 – 4 lemons (½ lemon juice will be used in the end)
- Peel a thin layer of skin from the bitter orange and empty the centre with a special corer. If you don’t have one a big nail will do. Make a hole on the side of the stem and place the head of the nail inside.With circular movements, try to scrape the inner part where the pips are.
- Place them in a basin and cover them with water.Leave them in the water for five days, changing water twice a day, to remove bitterness.
- During the second day now that they are softer, repeat the procedure cleaning the inside part.
- After rinsing them, place them in a big saucepan and cover with water.Boil them for 2 – 3 minutes, drain them and put them in cold water again.
- Repeat boiling procedure until they are soft. Do the needle test. (You can poke them with a small skewer to see if they are soft. If they are they will fall from the skewer).
- Place them in a basin with cold water and add the lemon juice. Leave them in the water for one hour.
- Again, drain and add fresh water and add the sugar and water and boil for about 15 minutes.
- Remove them from the heat until the next day.
- Boil them for the last time until the syrup is ready and add the remaining lemon juice.
- Remove them from the heat and let them cool down.
- Store them in clean, sterilized jars.
You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.
Other related Recipes:
Glyko Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet)
Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon)
Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot)
Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries)
Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts)
Glyko Kydoni me amygdala (Quince with almonds)
Glyko Kydoni me kastana (Quince with chestnuts)
Glyko Milo (Apples)
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,