Thursday, December 23, 2010

Candied Orange Peels - Erin


Our mom has been making this since we were little.  This recipe is quite different than most in that the peel is done without removing the white pith, which is supposed to result (according to all other recipes I’ve seen) in bitterness.  I’ve tried the other way several times (which is a lot more trouble, too) and have found that I like the tenderness that this method delivers-- and it is not at all bitter.  

The recipe is from one of our mom's favorite cookbook authors and artists, Susan Branch, from her wonderfully illustrated, “Christmas from the Heart of the Home”.  It is wonderful as is, dipped halfway in chocolate, or my favorite way, chopped up and put into cooked cranberry sauce for the holidays.

Susan’s notes:
“This works with all citrus and you can double the recipe so you’ll have extra aroud to add to all sorts of Christmas recipes.  It’s delicious in stuffings, cookies, muffins, vegetables—anywhere you want the delicious surprise of bittersweet orange.”


what you'll need:

1 cup organic orange peel (about 1-1/2 oranges -- see instructions below)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
extra sugar for rolling peels in, if desired

Score oranges in quarters and remove peel. (Reserve oranges for another use) Scrape a sharp knife over skin to release oils.  


Cut into strips or small squares; put in small heavy saucepan with enough cold water to cover. 

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Drain (discard water), rinse and repeat this boiling, simmering and rinsing process 2 more times—this takes most of the bitterness from the peel.


Add ¼ cup water plus the sugar to the peel; slowly bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves—reduce to a simmer, watching closely until syrup is almost absorbed, stir gently until completely absorbed.  


Pour out onto oiled surface (or parchment paper) to cool and dry somewhat.  (I roll the pieces in sugar several times here).  Store in an airtight container in freezer or refrigerator.


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