Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I'm making candied orange peel as gifts for my relatives. The recipe I used is as follows:

5 oranges
Lots and lots of water

3 cups sugar
3 cups water
(Note: I'm pretty sure this was too much of each -- next time I'll only use two cups of each)

More sugar (probably about a cup)
Ground spices: cinnamon, ginger, clove

Scrub the oranges thoroughly. Cut into quarters, remove the flesh (and eat it, duh). Cut each section of peel in half, and remove as much of the pith (the white part) as you can. You can then cut each piece in half again -- you want to end up with long, thin strips. Put them in a large pot (with a lid) with enough water to cover them completely. Bring to boil, turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes (until they are tender). Let them sit until they have cooled, then put them in a large bowl (or just back in the pot), cover with cold water, and let stand overnight (uh, most people will tell you to refrigerate them, but that is totally for sissies). Next morning, drain the water and replace it with fresh. Drain/replace again at night. Drain/replace the next morning. You can repeat this for many days if you want (the Menagier says for 9 days!), but I usually give up at this point.

When you've drained the peels for the last time, put the sugar and water in the pot alone and bring to a boil. Add the peels, bring to a boil again, and then simmer. You will need to simmer them for a LONG time -- until basically all the water has evaporated. If you are some kind of "serious" cook you will use a candy thermometer, but if you are some kind of serious cook then why are you reading my blog? Anyway. Once the peels are ready, take them off the heat. While they have been cooking you should have gotten out a piece of wax paper (see? this is why you have to read all the way through before starting!) on which you spread out the sugar and spices. Now fish out the strips of orange peel a few at a time and drop them in the sugar/spice mix, coating them completely. Move them to a plate as you finish them, then do a few more. This will take a long time. When all of the pieces are coated, toss them all around together with the rest of the sugar/spice mix, just to make sure they're coated all the way. Transfer them to some kind of flat tray, or just spread them out on the wax paper, and let them dry overnight.

Box them up and give them to people.

If Amber weren't waiting for me to get off the internet I would post a long and rambling history of suckets/candied peels, but she is so I won't. They're old.

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