1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Glyko Portokalaki: Orange Peel Spoon Sweet


Greek Orange Peel Spoon Sweet

Syrupy Orange Peel Spoon Sweet

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: γλυκό πορτοκαλάκι, say: ghlee-KOH por-toh-kah-LAH-kee

In Greece, I might make this differently - using long pieces of orange peel, coiling them and securing with thread - but this simplified version is equally delicious, and there's no sewing involved!

Enjoy this by the spoonful as a snack, dessert, or dessert topping.


  • navel oranges
  • sugar
  • water
  • lemon juice


This recipe uses the following ratios, by weight:

For every 1 pound of oranges:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

For this recipe, I used 3 navel oranges (about 2 1/2 pounds) which makes enough for about 25 typical spoonful-sized servings of 3 pieces + syrup each. To change quantities, use a kitchen food scale and the ratios above.

Ingredients using 3 navel oranges:

  • 3 navel oranges (2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Prepare orange peel: Remove all the dark orange external layer of peel using a fine vegetable grater. Trim off the ends of the orange (removing enough to expose the orange pulp) and discard.

Slice the orange in half, then quarters, then eighths - top to bottom. Remove peel in strips.

Cut strips in half, across the width. I like to make a bias cut (on a slant) but a straight cut works just as well.

Remove bitterness: Orange peel, with or without the external part, is bitter. This process removes most of that bitterness without bleaching out the flavor, and softens the peel.

  1. Place peel in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, timing from when it starts to bubble.
  2. Drain in a strainer or colander and rinse under running cold water.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, boiling for 3 minutes.
  4. Repeat step 3.

Total boiling time: 11 minutes.

Lay pieces of peel on a kitchen towel and allow to dry for several minutes to several hours.

    If you need to take a break, this is the place to do it. The peel won't dry completely. This is just to remove the excess moisture.

Prepare the sweet:

Place sugar and water in a saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add orange peel, return to a boil, and cook for 5-7 minutes just until the syrup begins to thicken slightly (it should be quite syrupy - but thick enough to coat a metal spoon). Stir in lemon juice and remove pan from heat.

Allow to cool completely before storing in sterilized jars.

Serving suggestions:

In Greece, spoon sweets are served as shown in the photo - a spoonful on a small plate, usually accompanied by a glass of cold water. They're not served as desserts, but rather as a sweet snack. In your home, spoon sweets might find a place as a dessert, snack, or a dessert sauce with ice cream, yogurt, cake, and even pastries.

What's left over?

The grated orange peel from three navel oranges comes to about 1/2 cup, and there are, of course, three delicious oranges! The fabulous Orange Yogurt Phyllo Pastry calls for orange juice and 1/2 cup of grated orange peel.

  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Greek Food
  4. Desserts, Pastries, Sweets
  5. Traditional Spoon Sweets
  6. Traditional Greek Orange Peel Spoon Sweet Recipe - Syrupy Orange Peel Preserves - Recipe for Glyko Portokalaki

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.