Mandarin orange dust. It sounds absolutely magical – and it is! We love sprinkling this sweet, intensely-flavored powder on everything from oatmeal to roasted vegetables and ice cream. We have Pen & Fork's Gwen Ashley Walters to thank for this enchanting idea (which she, in turn, picked up from Chef Becky Selengut). It involves nothing more than drying very thin slices of mandarin orange in an oven or dehydrator and then grinding them into a powder with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. (We have also tried this with dried peels only but like the whole orange version better.) A little pinch of sugar and salt rounds out the flavor and cuts through any bitterness, but the dominant flavor is pure, vibrant orange.
The uses are limitless. After making our last batch of mandarin orange dust, we've been sprinkling it on our oatmeal every morning. The fragrant powder can also be used in marinades, vegetable dishes, baked goods, and sweets. Packed in an airtight container, it retains its flavor and fragrance for about a month in the refrigerator. Presumably one could also freeze it for longer.
Have you ever made mandarin orange or tangerine powder? How do you use it?
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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