Candied Citrus Peel
Simmering citrus peel in a simple syrup made from granulated sugar and water is one of the oldest forms of preserving the unique fragrance and taste of citrons, oranges and lemons. This method may be used for any thick-rind citrus fruit or for fresh ginger but oranges are the best for eating as a candy or dipping in chocolate.
Makes about 2 cups (500 mL)
2 Navel oranges
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) water
about ¼ cup (50 mL) extra granulated sugar for coating
Cut the peel into strips that are roughly 1/4-inch by 2-inches .
3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Add drained peel strips, reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 hour. Stir the strips once to distribute them evenly in the sugar water but after that, leave them to simmer without stirring. Check on the pan occasionally to make sure that the syrup is simmering gently and not scorching. A heavy bottomed pan is essential. After 1 hour, check on the pan every few moments. The water should be almost evaporated and the strips should be translucent and soft but not mushy.
4. Meanwhile, prepare parchment or waxed paper by sprinkling it with 3 tablespoons (45 mL) granulated sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and using tongs, transfer the candied strips from the syrup to the sugared paper. Toss well to coat the strips and sprinkle with more sugar if needed to evenly coat them. Use a fork to separate the strips. Let cool and dry overnight on the paper over a wire rack. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for 1 week or pack into freezer containers, seal, label and store for up to 9 months.
Use: Dip the candied peel in chocolate and use as a sweet confection; use to decorate cakes, muffins or chop and add to the batter of baked goods. I have used them as swizzle sticks for cocktails and they are especially nice with rich chocolate mousse or brownies.