I had some peels left over from a salad I made last Thursday – smoked mackerel, oranges, couscous and rocket with an orange juice dressing, yumminess!
Once upon a time I wouldn’t have given them a second thought and they would have gone straight to the bin. But no longer. I kept them and I was wondering what do to with them. There are so many things you can do with orange peels but I went for the candied option. They just feel like autumn, I had never done them before and, well, I really wanted to put something in our lovely jars.
So here is he recipe I used. To be honest I am not sure if I did the whole sugar thing right but it came out super tasty so who cares!
Peel of 3 oranges (with thick skin)
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
How to prepare the strips: Cut off the top and bottom of each orange half – this is assuming you are using leftover oranges for having used the juice somewhere else – cut it in half again and push it against your chopping board. This will make it easier to cut the strips. If you have lots of pulp left on the skins just run a knife along it to remove it. I didn’t remove much of the pith as I like it.
If you are worried about the bitterness worry not. What you need to do next is to blanch the peels 3 times. Put cold water in a pan with the peels and bring it to the boil, empty and start again another 2 times. pic 1
Once that is done in another pan put your sugar and water and bring to boil. I think you are supposed to bring it to a certain temperature but I don’t have a thermometer so I just brought it to the boil and turned the heat down to a simmer straight away. Put the peels in and simmer for 45 min. pic 2. Well that’s how long mine needed but to be honest it will probably vary from each person. So I would say from 30min to however long you need. As long as you leave it long enough so that they became nicely translucent then you are all good!
Once that is done lay them one by one on a parchment or rack. At this point you may want to quickly pass them on some sugar. This is, for me, an option. I can’t do with things being too sweet and for me they are prefect without it. But feel free to roll them if you want!
Most recipes will tell you to leave it to dry for 4-5 hours. I left mine for 2 days. It is rather humid by the sea and our flat. When they are dry you will be basically good to go!
I stopped mine there. For now….maybe. I love them just as they are. But I may also want to dip a few of them in some chocolate at some point. You can do this at any time so see what you like! I just know that Christoph is not that keen on the orange and chocolate combination.
Sorry it is a bit of a lengthy recipe, there are a few variables. Have a good, experiment and see what you love best.
Ps: forgot to say that I kept the sugar syrup they were simmering in! I think it would taste lovely drizzled over a nice loaf or cupcake! All orange bits being used to the max. Love it!