Orange juice concentrate is a very common ingredient in cooking and baking. This product is made from fresh orange juice that has been processed to remove water content. Concentrated orange juice is usually pasteurized and frozen to ensure freshness as well as long storage. Recipes use it to add flavor or sweetness to food and it has a thicker consistency than regular juice, so replacements should be made carefully.There are several substitutions that will work depending on the dish and cooking process.
Orange or Citrus Marmalade
Orange or citrus marmalade can be used in sauces and marinades instead of orange juice concentrate. Marmalade is sweeter than the juice concentrate in most cases, so a few adjustments must be made to produce an end result similar in flavor to the original recipe.The best modification to make is to reduce the sugar required in the recipe or add a small splash of lemon juice or rice vinegar to cut the sweetness of the jam. It is not recommended to use this substitution for baking or cocktails.
Blended Orange Juice Concentrates
There are many different juice blends available to consumers, even combinations that include vegetables such as carrots, yams and yellow or red peppers. These blends still provide a kick of orange flavour and the sweetness associated with it. It is important to consider the application when choosing a juice blend. For example, orange-banana and strawberry has a recognizable berry taste that might not work in sauces but might be appropriate in an ice cream recipe. These orange blends should be used in the same quantity as the straight orange juice concentrate, simply thaw and measure.
Orange flavored liqueur is a good substitute for concentrated orange juice. This substitution is appropriate only in small quantities and not for dishes meant for people who abstain from alcohol. Obviously the alcohol content must be taken into consideration when adding it to a recipe. Keep in mind sauces will flambe when exposed to flame. These liqueurs are not as sweet or intensely orange as the juice concentrate so extra adjustments can be made such as a little zest and a squeeze of fresh orange juice.
If a recipe calls for a couple tablespoons of orange juice concentrate for flavouring then orange extract can be a viable substitution. Orange extract is not as sweet as the juice so a tablespoon of added sugar is also advisable to create the correct flavour profile. Orange extract mixed with lemon juice and sugar can also be used in sauces where the liquid will be reduced slowly. This mixture will also be effective in marinades but not glazes where more sugar is required.
Michelle Anderson is a professional corporate chef with more than 25 years of experience. She has served in every aspect of the hospitality business, from catering to overseas work.