Candied Orange Peel

First off, this is easier than you might think. I made a batch last night during commercial breaks. Wednesday nights are my one commercial TV night and what with being gone most of the day, it was the only chance I had to make some candied orange peel. But I wasn’t going to miss ‘The Neighbors’ for it.

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Drying peels

I had someone request some of my deluxe Irish Soda Bread, which requires some orange peel. So here you go.

You just need 2 pretty nice looking oranges. Ones from your tree or your neighbors or grandmas would be the first choice, organic ones next and just regular store bought ones after. Just wash them real well.

I cut off the north and south poles. Then slice into the peels, going from end to end, just cutting through the skin, not the orange. I make several cuts to make it easier to peel. Now peel off the segments. I bagged up the naked oranges for juicing in the morning.

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Now get out a saucepan, put in the peels and cover with water. You are going to simmer these peels for about 10 minutes (now don’t start the count until they are at a good simmer) and even then, you will let them sit further in the water, off the heat, for another 15 minutes after that.

So, simmer 10 minutes. Take off the heat and let sit 15 more. While you go watch TV. Or check emails. But set the timer. You know how it is checking emails. You look up and an hour has gone by.

You want the pith, the bitter white part of the peel, to pretty much be translucent. You will be cutting this part off next.

Drain the peels and let them cool slightly.

Scrape off as much of the white pith on the peel as possible. At this point the recipe says to cut the peels into 1/4 inch strips, but I wait on this. I like having bigger pieces to work with, then dice them up later.  It makes it easier when sifting through the sugar to find bigger pieces. But feel free to cut into 1/4 slices. Maybe it makes for more sugar coverage later.

Anyway, the are cooled and the pith is scraped off with a small sharp knife.

Now in that same saucepan, put 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 2 Tbsp. of corn syrup. (I did not have corn syrup when I made it once before and it still came out fine. But I use it when I have it.) Whisk this together and heat. Put the peelings into the pan and cook at a simmer over medium heat until the peel is pretty translucent, about 10 minutes. Then bring to a high boil for 4 minutes (don’t ask me why.).

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Peelings simmering away in a simple syrup.

Meanwhile, sprinkle a baking sheet with about 1 cup of sugar.

Drain the cooked peelings well. I put them through a strainer sitting over a bowl. I am trying to think of what to do with the orangy syrup. Maybe some orange cinnamon rolls for hubby this weekend? Or save it to brush on warm scones from the oven. Or you can just pour it down the drain but what a waste.

When well drained, place them on the sugary baking sheet and toss well, I used 2 wooden spoons, until all the pieces are full coated. Leave them to dry. I left mine overnight and am leaving them still while I write. Later I will shake off the loose sugar, cut them into smaller pieces and put them into a closed jar. They keep for up to 3 months. Even the sugar they were sitting in I save in a plastic baggie to use in other baking.

If you want, you could try cutting them into slender pieces and dipping in dark chocolate. Try it and let me know.

 

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