Why do fresh mandarin oranges get very bitter when baked?

What compound in mandarin oranges turns bitter when heated?

  • are you baking rind on? and aaronunt, i think it's supposed to say ingredient in instead of of and I would rephrase it futher to say what part of the mandarine causes the bitterness. – sarge_smith Jul 31 '10 at 22:20
  • Are we really talking about the small orange items here? – bmargulies Jul 31 '10 at 22:47
  • 3
    I think and hope so...because if we're talking about the people being baked I'd be bitter too! ;-) – Darin Sehnert Jul 31 '10 at 22:49
  • I baked a cheesecake with fresh mandarin oranges and it was impossible to eat. Canned mandarine oranges (sweetend) are fine. – IanH Jul 31 '10 at 23:51
  • @sarge: It was mainly a cosmetic edit on my part. Looks like Darin fixed the rest already; either way, thanks. – Aaronut Aug 1 '10 at 0:25

The white, pithy part is a source of the bitterness. Either peel more thoroughly, or trim off with a knife.

The pulp of some oranges (of the navel variety), can turn bitter when exposed to air. http://www.preparedpantry.com/CitrusQuickGuide.htm

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