5 Ingredients or Fewer

Candied Olives

February  8, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes 1 cup
Author Notes

Need something unexpected for your sweet tooth? Your taste buds sure won't see these candied Castelvetrano olives coming. I was recently introduced to the concept of heating olives (swoon-worthy when roasted or fried) and playfully wondered what a candied olive would be like.

The answer is in this recipe. The olives are not too sweet, not too salty, and have added brightness from fresh lemons. Their jewel green exterior is improved by sugar's glossy sheen.

I bet they would be lovely on an antipasti platter or sprinkled on a savory pasta. I'm using mine in a nut-free Torrone. Fingers-crossed that it sets! - Zomg


Test Kitchen Notes

If you seek out nibbles that perfectly marry sour, sweet and salt, look no further than these candied olives. On first taste, it’s hard to discern where the sugary sweet ends and the lemony sour starts, but the finish is an unmistakably briny, meaty one. From there you know you are eating an olive and not something akin to a quirky jelly bean. Castelvetrano olives and cane sugar stray from the grocery store norm, but locating them is worth the effort. I recommend keeping the olives whole, not pitting them, so they hold up better during the oven drying process. —cheese1227

What You'll Need
  • 28 Castelvetrano Olives
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar, to sprinkle
  1. Preheat oven to 300. Pit and halve olives. Select olives that are firm and fresh-looking for best results.
  2. Over medium-low heat combine olives, cane sugar, lemon juice, and water in a small saucepan. Stir vigorously until the sugar is fully dissolved. Note: Your results and cooking time will vary based on your stove and the thickness of your cookware. If the mixture looks over-active, remove the pan, set heating element to a lower temperature, and resume cooking.
  3. Keep a watchful eye as the syrup begins to thicken. Once you can pass your spoon through the liquid and count 2 full seconds before it closes up afterward the olives are ready for finishing.
  4. Carefully pour the olives and syrup onto a prepared baking tray. Spread evenly and sprinkle with remaining cane sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until olives are firm and the syrup is thick.
  5. Remove and let cool. These will keep in the fridge for a week...if they last that long!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Fran McGinty
    Fran McGinty
  • mrslarkin
  • dymnyno
  • gingerroot
  • Zomg

5 Reviews

Fran M. April 13, 2011
I have a question do you strain the olives when making this or add the juice. I wanted to make these this weekend for a party I am going to. I have not been able to find the Castelvetrano Olives yet but I haven't given up. I wanted to bring something different and this fits.
mrslarkin February 8, 2011
you're daring. i like it!
Zomg February 9, 2011
thanks! It was a ton of fun, really. All of the candy-making and none of the pressure.
dymnyno February 8, 2011
I'm so glad you tried this...I was tempted. Sounds interesting!
gingerroot February 8, 2011
These sound really interesting...and delicious.