I think candied peel is one of those things that fits with my whole philosophy of using everything you can from the food you produce and purchase. Whilst not in the same league as Grapefruit peel, lemon and orange peels are just as tasty and even easier for me to get hold off and thus make.
The process makes the peel become sweet, losing the bitterness, yet still holding onto that tartness, and once used to cook with a second time – such as on a baked ham or on top of cakes, takes on a crystal like transformation that is chewy and just a true decadence.
There are hundreds of recipes to make this – each with their own twists, but here is my version:
2 oranges – peeled and fruit cut into 1cm slices
1 cups raw castor sugar
1 cup dark brown or molasses sugar
1 cup water
3 tbsp arancello, grand marnier, or other orange liqueur
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch sea-salt flakes
- Commence by preparing the oranges
- Place the peel and orange slices in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil, at which point, we take out the orange slices, shake off any water and place them onto paper towels.
- Returning to the saucepan, add the spices, sugars and salt and return to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes and then add the liqueur and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Re-introduce the orange slices and lower heat to the lowest setting – allowing it to simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool for ten minutes prior to pouring out the contents onto piece of parchment paper and separating out the individual segments.
- Allow to cool completely. Remove and discard the cinnamon and cloves.
- Cut peel into slices and the orange slices into quarters.
- Store in airtight jars, or place them back along with the cooled sugar in the parchment paper, roll tightly and store in the fridge.
As mentioned, I tend to use these as garnishes for my cooking – as a glaze item on roasts, as a glazed garnish on cakes in their last ten minutes of baking or simply as decorations on top of frosting. The Italians and French both make similar recipes where they dip half the oranges in a dark chocolate and serve them as accompaniments with coffee or tea. Whichever use they have for you, they are delicious and so easy to make, why would you not give it a go?